Hindi literature is rich with an abundance of short stories that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. One such short story that stands out is “Kafan” by Munshi Premchand. This masterpiece of Hindi literature tells the story of a poor family who can barely afford to make ends meet. The story is set in a rural village in India where the people are deeply rooted in their traditions and customs.
The main characters of the story are Gheesu and his wife Jhunia. They are a poor couple who live in a small hut with their old and ailing father. Gheesu is a lazy and careless man who spends most of his time drinking and gambling. On the other hand, Jhunia is a hard-working and responsible woman who takes care of her father-in-law and does all the household chores.
One day, the old man falls ill and dies. The couple is devastated as they do not have enough money to perform his last rites. They beg for help from their neighbors, but no one comes forward to assist them. Eventually, they decide to wrap the old man’s body in a white cloth and carry it to the graveyard on their own.
On their way to the graveyard, they encounter various obstacles, including a river that they must cross. When they finally reach the graveyard, they realize that they do not even have enough money to buy a shroud for the old man’s body. They decide to use the white cloth they had wrapped him in as a shroud.
The story ends with Gheesu and Jhunia returning home, exhausted and depressed. They realize that life is a constant struggle for survival and that death is the ultimate reality that they cannot escape.
“Kafan” is a brilliant piece of Hindi literature that highlights the harsh realities of life in rural India. It delves into the themes of poverty, social inequality, and the struggle for survival. The characters in the story are relatable and their struggles are universal. The story is a testament to the power of storytelling and its ability to convey complex ideas in a simple yet effective manner.
In conclusion, “Kafan” is a must-read for anyone interested in Hindi literature. It is a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with readers even after all these years. Its message is universal and its impact is profound. Munshi Premchand’s storytelling skills are unparalleled and “Kafan” is a shining example of his genius.