Eidgah

Blog, August 6th, 2023
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illustration by Manish

“Eidgah” is a short story written by the renowned Hindi-Urdu writer Munshi Premchand. It revolves around the bond between a young boy named Hamid and his grandmother Amina. The story is set in a rural Indian village and beautifully portrays the simplicity and innocence of their relationship.

In “Eidgah,” Hamid is an orphaned boy who lives with his grandmother Amina. Despite their impoverished circumstances, Amina is loving and caring, doing her best to provide for Hamid. As Eid approaches, Hamid expresses his desire for new clothes and shoes like the other children in the village. However, Amina cannot afford to buy these luxuries for him.

On the morning of Eid, Hamid watches as his friends dress up in new clothes and head to the Eidgah (prayer ground) for the special prayers. He feels sad and disheartened by his own tattered clothes. Amina, noticing Hamid’s disappointment, comforts him and encourages him to wear his best, albeit old, clothes.

Amina gives Hamid a few paise (small coins) to spend as he wishes. Instead of buying sweets or toys for himself, Hamid decides to spend the money on a pair of tongs for his grandmother. Amina uses tongs to handle hot cooking utensils, and her current ones are old and worn out.

Hamid’s selfless act of love deeply moves Amina and the villagers. His choice to prioritize his grandmother’s well-being over his own desires highlights the purity of his character. The story ends on a heartwarming note, emphasizing the value of relationships, sacrifice, and the true essence of Eid.

Premchand’s “Eidgah” is a touching portrayal of the emotional connection between family members and the importance of empathy and selflessness. It captures the essence of rural Indian life and reflects the author’s keen understanding of human emotions and societal dynamics.

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