Jaishankar Prasad is one of the most important and famous of Hindi writers of the modern era. His writings played an important role in the development of Hindi literature. He was a poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was also a philosopher and studied the Vedas deeply. His study of language and its evolution and the Vedic philosophy have left a mark on his writing. This post of TopYaps salutes the legendary stalwart of Hindi literature and presents 8 memorable stories penned down by him, though there are countless to go.
Ghulam is a famous story of Jaishankar Prasad. It tells the story of Ghulam Quadir who was chosen by the Mughal emperor due to his stunning beauty. He was castrated and raised as a servant of the emperor. Quadir never forgives the emperor for this and rebels against him and blinds him in order to take his revenge against the emperor. The story is based on true events of the life of Mughal emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur.
7. Sikandar Ki Shapath:
This is a story about Alexander the Great and his not so great deeds. It talks about Rajput fighters who fought in Afghanistan against Alexander. Alexander first took the vow to let them go back to India without any problem but then broke it because he didn’t want his enemies to get any reinforcements. He attacked the Rajput soldiers and killed all the men and women and children.
This is the story of Taansen and how he found his name and his love. The story is of a Sardar under Akbar who found Ramprasad near an oasis and took him to his castle because of his singing. There a slave girl, who also could sing very nicely fell in love with Taansen and he won her in a singing competition. The Sardar of the castle bestowed the name Taansen on him because of his great singing talent.
Gram is a very touching story and shows the beauty of the villages. It is the story of a traveler who is on his way back to his home in a village. He’s someone who hasn’t seen villages for most of his life and is arrogant. But his arrogance is turned into humility when he meets the simple people of the village and find out that an old woman’s troubles were caused due to his own father.
Pratidhvani means echo and this story is a deeply philosophical one about the passing of time and the echo left by different lives. The beauty of this story is in the emotions it inspires in the readers. On the surface the story is of Tara and Shyama and a small mango orchard but if you go much deeper there are serious philosophical undertones. Pratidhvani was also the name of the anthology of short stories that contained this story.
Puraskar is the story of Madhulika, the daughter of Singhmitra, who asks for death as the award for her actions. Her farmland is first chosen for a festival in which the king pays for her land but she refuses to take the amount as the land is of her family. She spends many years in poverty when Arun, the prince of Magdh, comes back to meet her and plans to take over the castle. She first helps him, under the control of her desires to be rich but later realizes her mistake and warns the king. In the end she asks for death as her prize because her love for the rebellious prince is also true.
2. Chota Jadugar:
Chota Jadugar is one of the most famous stories of Jaishankar Prasad. It is a very emotional story of a little boy who performs magic tricks on the street to earn money. His mother is old and dying and his father is in jail as he’s a freedom fighter. The narrator meets the little magician and finds it hard to relate to his world. Like many of his stories this one too is full of philosophical topics about life, death and society.
Mamta is a short story of Jaiprakash Prasad that is very famous. It is the story of a Brahmin lady named Mamta who gave shelter to Humayun even though the Mughals had killed her father. She realized that her duty was to help any man who came to her door asking for help. Later a temple was built there by Akbar but he couldn’t mention Mamta’s name as she died before anyone could find out. This type of historical fiction was Jaishankar Prasad’s favorite writing style.