Munshi Premchand needs no introduction. In this collection, twelve stories from his oeuvre, carefully adapted and specially illustrated keeping young readers in mind, offer a vivid glimpse of life in the villages and small towns of north India. Each story is unique in its own way. The Road to Salvation traces the theme of revenge and human folly, while January Night is as much about the plight of Halku, a poor farmer at the mercy of the local landowner, as it is about the bond he shares with his dog Jabra. A Catastrophe narrates the suffering of an old, destitute widow, and shows that bad deeds never go unpunished. Penalty is a surprisingly short story about finding kindness and sympathy in a cruel world.
A Lesson in the Holy Life varies the tone of the volume with its humorous dig at fake saintliness. Festival of Eid celebrates young Hamidâ€™s act of love and sacrifice over the childish self-centredness of his friends. The self-appointed arbiter of correct social behaviour in A Car-Splashing makes good his escape in the end before himself coming to be judged. The Story of Two Bullocks is a moving account of the close companionship shared between man and animal. The Thakurâ€™s Well exposes the cruelty of a caste-ridden society. My Big Brother is a tender yet comic story about the changing relationship between two brothers.
The NaÃ¯ve Friendsâ€™ looks at the misadventures of Keshav and Shyama as they go about trying to safeguard the eggs of a bird which has made a nest in their house. And finally, The Power of a Curse is a dramatic tale of human deception, wrongdoing and its effects, and fear of divine retribution. The simplicity of these stories of everyday life and the accompanying visuals will delight young readers and Premchand fans alike.