Why Today’s Google, Remembers Yesterday’s Munshi Premchand

Yesterday was Munshi Premchand’s 136th birthday and this yesteryear forgotten author was once more in front of us in the form of a Google Doodle. Munshi Premchand was an author who captured the real picture of Indian villages with some of the issues mentioned by him being still a matter of struggle, even today.
In the world of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter it is important for us to understand where we come from and these books show us a side of Indian society and how it is what it is today.
1. Idgah
This is one name we have all heard, one time or other in our childhood. It’s a short story written by Premchand and revolves around a poor boy who lives in a village with his grandmother. On Eid, when other kids are lighting candles and getting toys, this little boy buys a pair of tongs with his eidi so that his grandmother shouldn’t burn her hands while making rotis. A simple story that still pulls at your heart strings.

2. Shatranj Ke Khiladi
Once more a very popular story, on which Satyajit Ray even made a movie. The story is around two aristocrats Mirza Sajjad Ali and Mir Roshan Ali from Awad. Both of them play chess all day long without any care in the world. Even when the ruler of Awad is taken captive, they remain engrossed in their game. The story ends on a sad note with both killing each other over conflicts in the game.

3. Gaban
This is one of the best known works of Munshi Premchand and is set in the backdrop of pre-independence era. The story moves around a young man Ramanath who gets into trouble when he goes out of his way and mixes himself with embarrassing situations to fulfill his wife’s desires for worldly things. Isn’t it something that still happens in our society, with all the showing off happening around us?

4. Prema or Hamkhurma-o-Ham Sawab
Though a little less known novel by Munshi Premchand, the story plot is so rare that we just had to mention it here. The hero in this story Amrit Rai, takes the bold step and marries a widow Poorna. However, the story is not about widow remarriage or the struggles of Poorna. The story is about Prema, the young, rich and beautiful fiancee of Amrit. What she had to go through when she was left behind.

5. Godaan
As we said at the beginning, this novel is one of the most popular novels by the author. The story depicts the socio-economic struggles around us. It shows the picture of our villagers during the British era. The book was traslated into English and is known as ‘The Gift of the Cow”.
“His last and most famous novel, Godaan (1936), inspired today’s doodle, which shows Premchand (sometimes referred to as “Upanyas Samrat,” or, “emperor among novelists”) bringing his signature working-class characters to life. On what would have been his 136th birthday, the illustration pays tribute to the multitude of important stories he told,” Google says on its website.

Author: Susmita Roy

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