Godan: A Story of Struggle for a Living

DSC06341Godaan is a novel written by the famous author, Munshi Premchand. Munshi Premchand is a writer whose novel takes us through the realistic lives of people. He is considered as a beginner of a new trend in Hindi literature.

This novel which is set in the pre-colonial period,takes us through a trip through the lives of peasants in India.Godaan,which means ‘the gift of a cow’ is a novel that revolves around the lives of Hori and his family, who represents the peasant society of India. Throughout the novel, we feel that Hori is bearing barriers for carrying a noble and pure heart inside him.

The story starts with Hori buying a cow from Bhola, a cowherd. The arrival of the cow is a symbol of prestige. Hori, with the help of the cow, additionally earns a few annas by selling its milk. Jealous of Hori, his brother,Heera poisons the cow. When police comes enquiring about the cow’s death, Hori bribes the police and is able to remove his brother’s name.Jhunia, Bhola’s daughter gets pregnant by Gobar, Hori’s son. Fearing of the villager’s action,Gobar runs away. Dhania,Hori’s wife, shelters Jhunia and again Hori has to bear the burden of debts because of sheltering a low class girl.Everyone tries to burden Hori.Then Hori lays all his hopes on his son ,Gobar. But Gobar refuses to help him and Gobar settles in the town with Jhunia.

The novel brings out the problems faced by the rural society due to the political system. In the middle, the novel tells us about the love hate relationships between two people of different thoughts –Miss. Malti and Mr.Mehta. Miss. Malti believes on the equality between men and women while Mr.Mehta thinks that women should be given a higher post than men in the society. Hori is trapped in a debt trap.

Through this story Premchand makes us see the problems faced by the peasant society during colonial period. In this story, we can see struggling for a living, till his end. This lead tears to my eyes. This made me to appear in the story and pay off the debts of  Hori and to present them a living of peace and comfort. This story can be described as ‘mind blowing sentimental story. This is a novel which took my mind into the life of the story after the book ‘Kite runner’ which I read long back.

Sandra Joy

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