Munshi Premchand Books- Haven’t we been lately talking a lot about only English literature, books, and authors? I think we are. But, I also think that this is high time we also talk about what legendary pieces of work Hindi literature has! What legendary Indian authors, and not to forget, the remarkable and timeless books they wrote!
Starting with probably one of the most popular authors in Hindi literature, it is Munshi Premchand and the explicit books written by him. Well, not all, but my favorite Munshi Premchand Books! But do you even know who Mushi Premchand was? If you do, GREAT! If you don’t, have you been living under a rock?
Munshi Premchand was and is still one of the most celebrated authors in Hindustani and Hindi literature. The lesser-known fact about him is that his original name is Dhanpat Rai Srivastava while his nickname is Nawab. Munshi Premchand’s books/creations that we are going to discuss in this blog are “Godaan”, “Gaban” and one of his short stories “Namak Ka Daroga”.
I read his first creation in the library of my school. It was a novel by Premchand called “Karmabhoomi“. It was one of the most beautiful pictures ever painted of rural India using mere words!
Anyway, moving on!
Who’s Munshi Premchand? | The Upanyaas Samraat
As earlier said, Munshi Premchand (31 July 1880 – 8 October 1936) was one of India’s most celebrated authors. The Upanyaas Samrat is the Hindi term for the “Emperor of Novels” where Samraat means Emperor and Upanyaas mean Novel.
Why not? He deserves to be celebrated. For, he has given us gems in Hindi literature!
The title for being “the upanyaas samraat” is rightly given to him because I don’t think there is a better delight for the urbanized population to visit rural India without even visiting rural India than reading Munshi Premchand Books!
*change my mind!*
Godaan; The ultimate gem | Munshi Premchand Books
Godaan is one of the famous, eternal novels written by Munshi Premchand. Godaan was and is still one of the most famous and among the most read books in Hindi literature.
The novel was published in the year 1936 and translated into English in 1957 by Jai Ratan and P. Lal as “The gift of cow“. Which is the English translation for “Godaan”.
It was the last completed novel of Munshi Premchand. Godaan especially tells us about the life of the villagers, the farmers, and how they managed to run their households in extreme poverty. The book also presents a glimpse of the urban lifestyle.
Munshi Premchand is known for his stern writings on the social issues of the 20th century. Especially, the issues faced by the poor.
In Godaan too, we see some ongoing issues faced by villagers. The socially discriminative problems include discrimination due to caste segregation, exploitation of women, exploitation of lower caste, and problems due to interpersonal relationships, love, and marriage.
Summary of Godaan | Munshi Premchand Books
This realistic and explicit story of Godaan, one of the many Munshi Premchand books starts with its main character Hori, who buys a cow from Bhola, who is a milkman.
(The arrival of the cow was a matter of great pride and a symbol of prestige for people at that time. It was somewhat like buying a Mercedes.)
Hori and Gobar (which means cow dung but here, the brother of Hori) go to Bhola’s house to get the cow, where Gobar meets Jhunia, a young widowed daughter of Bhola.
When the cow is brought to Hori’s house, it becomes a matter of grudge for the neighbors (typical neighborhood ritual in India).
In between all this, a fight takes place between Dhania (Hori’s wife) and Heera, Hori’s brother.
Due to jealousy, Heera taints the cow. Dhania calls the police to arrest Heera but Hori somehow manages to save his brother.
Meanwhile, Gobar starts a love affair with Jhunia, and Jhunia gets pregnant with Gobar.
(Which is still a big deal, maybe?)
Gobar brings Jhunia to his house and runs away to Lucknow for earning money so that he could make the two ends meet.
Thus for humanity, Dhania and Hori shelter Jhunia but the community of the village imposes a penalty of Rs. 100 on Hori. Hori was already facing a lot of financial difficulties. Bhola also forces Hori to give the price of the cow.
One odd day, due to overwork and heat stroke Hori goes unconscious in the field, and **spoiler alert** later he dies.
After his death, Dhania, Hori’s wife is asked by the priest to do “GODAAN”, the charity of the cow for the peace of Hori’s soul.
Nevertheless, because of poverty, she couldn’t afford a cow, so instead of a cow, she gives 1 rupee 25 paise to the priest as everything for the ceremony of her husband’s death.
The story indeed is gut-wrenching.
What you will love about Godaan if you read it, is its ability to get you all teary-eyed, at least it did that to me.
The story of the novel Godaan deals with the ongoing major issues like castism, gender inequality, exploitation of farmers by money lenders, and the dowry system.
What’s even more surprising, these ills are still there in society, for more than 100 years now!
Premchand forces the reader to think about these societal issues and to eradicate them from the core.
The story is so realistic and easy to understand so the reader doesn’t even get bored.
Munshi Ji has also encouraged widow remarriage and needs for land reform in rural society.
In this story, a female figure is shown so strong (Dhania)-that she can raise her voice against the brutality of society.
Why the GenZ should read Godaan or Munshi Premchand Books?
Munshi Premchand is the one name that comes to mind when we think of Hindi literature. And Godaan is one book that practically everyone in India had heard about irrespective of whether they have read it or not.
When you deeply read and understand the story in the novel Godaan, you will get to know about how village life is.
How farmers were and still are exploited by moneylenders.
Godaan tells us the story of how some traditions are ongoing for so many years and they didn’t have any logical meaning!
When you’ll read godaan (and please do), you will come to know about the power of the caste system of that time and how the lower class were oppressed by the so-called upper class.
Munshi Premchand Books are a delight to read and a treat to the mind.
GABAN | Munshi Premchand Books
GABAN is one of the amazing and famous Munshi Premchand books. It is a Hindi novel by Munshi Premchand written in 1931.
Gaban gives us a detailed glimpse of the lives of middle-class people and how they try to reach the world of the elite class, and maintain the untrue or false image of a rich person.
SUMMARY OF GABAN | MUNSHI PREMCHAND BOOKS
Gaban is mainly a story of a middle-class couple who were in a lot of greed for money and jewelry. This story starts with Ramanath, son of Jayanath, living a simple and happy life in his village. And after some time Ramanath got married to Jalpa. For Ramanath’s marriage, his father had to take a lot of loans.
To pay off the debt, Ramanath sells the jewelry of his wife. He lies to his wife and somehow manages all the situation this time. For fulfilling his wife’s desire for jewelry and gemstones, he takes up a job as a clerk in Allahabad.
He was in great debt in fulfilling his wife’s desire. In greed of money, one day Ramanath was caught in a bribery case.
When the situation goes out of hand Jalpa handles the situation, pays his office dues, and charges by selling off her jewelry. And Jalpa started hunting for Ramanath, she arrives in Calcutta and saves his husband from the corrupt policeman. The policeman was trying to use him as a fake witness in some non-violent activity.
WHAT DO I LIKE THE MOST ABOUT GABAN?
This story of Gaban, one of the most widely read Munshi Premchand books, basically tells us that we should be happy with what we have.
When you read Gaban, you also understand that money is not everything. Sometimes family, love, and relationships give us more than money ever could.
All the Munshi Premchand books and novels are written in such a nice and simple language that one will totally be engrossed while reading them.
What I like the most about the Munshi Premchand books is that they always teach something in the ens, always have an underlying message. And in the story of Gaban, Premchand, he had told us that we should stretch our legs according to the blanket.
(And I think not many will go with the motion.)
The story of Gaban also tells us that a lie is not the solution to anything we should always support the truth.
Why the GenZ should read Gaban or Munshi Premchand Books?
Youngsters of the 21st century should read this novel; one of the most popular Munshi Premchand books because, Premchand tries to show the condition of middle-class people in the the time of British era.
From the story of Gaban, we should learn some family values and how to understand each other because they really are missing in the run of life.
This is the best story for those who want to read some moralistic story.
NAMAK KA DAROGA; A SHORT STORY BY MUNSHI PREMCHAND
Before moving further to this short story written by Munshi Premchand, let’s get to know about it first!
‘Namak ka Daroga‘ is in my opinion, one of the best-written works by Munshi Premchand.
“Namak Ka Daroga” is a Hindi term that translates to The Salt Inspector (Namak meaning Salt and Daroga, meaning inspector).
It is a short story by legendary writer Munshi Premchand written and published in 1936. This story proves that honesty is an identification of an idol person.
The main theme of the story Namak is Daroga is the “price of honesty”.
From this story, we will come to know that difficulties come in supporting the truth, but the victory is always with the truth.
Summary Namak Ka Daroga | Munshi Premchand Story
The story of Namak ka Daroga starts with Vanshidhar.
Vanshidhar is a loyal, honest young man from a middle-class family in rural India.
His father thinks that “extra income” other than the scant salary is a blessing from God and is the only way which can improve their financial status.
Fortunately, Vanshidhar gets an offer for being the salt inspector or the “Namak is Daroga” and he takes up the job, but prefers to remain an honest officer.
One calm night Vanshidhar sees the vehicles of pundit Alopideen crossing the river bridge for smuggling purposes.
Pandit Alopindeen tries a lot to convince him to let the smuggling take place by offering him a huge amount as a bribe. But Vanshidhar? He stood by his decision, and the next thing we know, Pandit Alopindeen was seen in jail.
The matter spreads like the fire in the forest because the history was proof of it, no one had ever arrested Pundit Alopideen before.
Somehow, using his immense reputation and power, Pundit Alopideen bribes the judiciary, gets out of the locker room, and in return Vanshidhar is transferred on the charges of misbehaving with a respected man and a week later dismissed from the job for the same reasons.
When Vanshidhar’s father hears this news, he became very sad instead of proud because Vanshidhar had completely reversed his words.
But one charming day, impressed by the honesty and valor of the salt inspector, Pundit Alopideen arrives at his home and offers him the position of manager of his wealth.
The best part in the story Namak is Daroga?
The most beautiful thing about the story is its simplicity, which is hard to find in the works of other writers.
This is a story of a modest person, with truth as a weapon who is always ready to fight the wrongs.
Namak ka Daroga, the short story shows us the battle between justice, morality, money, and virtue play out in plain view.
This story shows both sides of society, corruption as negative and truth wins as positive.
Why should you read this story?
If you’re here, reading the summary of Munshi Premchand books and his stories, you definitely should read this story. Namak ka Daroga tells us that we should always support and tell the truth no matter how harsh it is. In the end, truth wins. Always.
The protagonist of the story, a youngster like Vanshidhar shows everyone that there is a greater value of self-respect than money.
Summing Up | Munshi Premchand Books
Whether or not you have read Munshi Premchand books or not, if you love literature, you must have heard his name, and there is no denying to it. While everyone is in the hustle to get modernized, Munshi Premchand and his books still have the fragrance of the rural India and no one can take that away from him, his books and all the works that he has done by far.
Reading Munshi Premchand Books is a treat to mind. It is like standing in an open field, eyes closed, and just feeling the cold breeze sway through you.
When we read, We Evolve!