Dhanpat Rai (1880 – 1936), born in Varanasi on July 31, 1880 was a prolific writer of both Hindi and Urdu. He changed his pen name to “Premchand” after his book “Soje Vatan’ was banned by the then British government. He wrote about the realities of life and the various problems faced by the common man in a turbulent society. He focused chiefly on rural India and the exploitation faced by a common villager at the hands of priests, landlords, loan sharks, etc. He also emphasized on the unity of Hindus and Muslims. Some of his well-known works are Godaan, Gaban, Karmabhoomi, Pratigya, etc.
Halku came in and said to his wife, “The Landlord’s come! Get the rupees you set aside, I’ll give him the money. Munni had been sweeping. She
turned around and said, ‘But there’s only three rupees. If you give them to him where’s the blanket going to come from? How are you going to get
through these January nights in the fields! Tell him we’ll pay him after the harvest, not right now.
For a moment Halku stood hesitating. January was on top of them. Without a blanket he couldn’t possibly sleep in the fields at night. But the
landlord wouldn’t be put off, he’d threaten and insult him. Trying to coax her Halku said, ‘Come on, give it to me. I’ll figure out some other plan.’
Munni was angry. She said, ”You’ve already tried. Some other plan”. You just tell me what other plan can be found. Is somebody going to give you a
blanket! What I say is, give up this tenant farming! The work’s killing you, whatever you harvest goes to pay up the arrears. Were we born just to keep
paying off debts! Earn some money for your own belly, give up that kind of farming. I won’t give you the money, I won’t!,
Sadly Halku said, ‘Then I’ll have to put up with his abuse.’ Losing her temper, Munni said, ‘Why should he abuse you–is this his kingdom?’ But as she said it her brews relaxed from the frown. The bitter truth in Halku’s words came charging at her like a wild beast. She went to the niche in the wall, took out the rupees and handed them over to Halku.
Halku took the money and went outside looking as though he were tearing his heart out and giving it away. He’d saved the rupees from his work, pice
by pice, for his blanket. Today he was going to throw it away. With every step his head sank lower under the burden of his poverty.
A dark January night. In the sky even the stars seemed to be shivering. At the edge of his field, underneath a shelter of cane leaves, Halku lay on a
bamboo cot wrapped up in his old burlap shawl, shivering. Underneath the cot his friend, Jabra the dog, was whimpering with his muzzle pressed into
his belly. Neither one of them was able to sleep.
Halku curled up drawing his knees close against his chin and said, ‘Cold, Jabra! Didn’t I tell you, in the house you could lie in the paddy straw! So
why did you come out here!, Now you’ll have to bear the cold, there’s nothing I can do. You thought I was coming out here to eat puris and sweets
and you came running on ahead of me. Now you can moan all you want.’
Jabra wagged his tail without getting up.
Halku reached out his hand and patted Jabra’s cold back.
He got up, took some embers hem the pit and filled his pipe. Jabra got up too.
Smoking, Halku said, ‘If you smoke the cold’s just as bad, but at least you feel a little betters’
Jabra looked at him with eyes overgrowing with love.
‘You have to put up with just one more cold night. Tomorrow I’ll spread some straw. When you bed down in that you won’t feel the cold.’
Jabra put his paws on Halku’s knees and brought his muzzle close. Halku felt his warm breath.
After he finished smoking Halku lay down and made up his mind that however things were he would sleep now. But in only one minute his he began to pound. He turned from side to side, but like some kind of witch the cold weather continued to torment him.
When he could no longer bear it he gently picked Jabra up and, patting his head got him to fall asleep in his lap. The dog’s body gave off some kind of
stink but Halku, hugging him tight, experienced a happiness he hadn’t felt for months. Jabra probably thought he was in heaven, and in Halku’s innocent heart there no resentment of his smell. He embraced him with the very same affection he would have felt for a brother or a friend.
Suddenly Jabra picked up the noise of some animal. This special intimacy had produced a new alertness in him that disdained the onslaught of the
wind. Springing up, he ran out of the shelter and began to bark. Halku whistled and called him several times. But Jabra would not come back to
him. He went on barking while he ran around through the furrows of the field. He would come back for a moment, then dash off again at once.
Another hour passed. The night fanned up the cold with the wind. Halku sat up and bringing both knees tight against his chest hid his face between
them, but the cold was just as biting. It seemed is though all his blood had frozen, that ice rather than blood filled his veins. He leaned back to look at
the skies. How much of the night was still left! Only a stone’s throw from Halku’s field there was a mango grove. Halku thought, ‘If I go and get a pile
of leaves I can make a tire of them and keep warm. If anybody sees me gathering the leaves in the dead of night they’ll think it’s a ghost. Of course
there’s a chance some animal’s hidden in my field waiting, but I can’t stand sitting here any longer.’ He ripped up some stalks from a nearby field, made a broom out of them and picking up a lighted cow dung cake went toward the grove. Jabra watched him coming and ran to him wagging his tail. Halku said, ‘I couldn’t stand it any more, Jabra. Come along, let’s go into the orchard and gather leaves to warm up with. When we’re toasted we’ll come back and sleep. The night’s still far from over.’ Jabra barked his agreement and trotted on toward the orchard.
Suddenly a gust carried the scene of henna blossoms to him. ‘Where’s that sweet smell coming from, Jabra?’
Jabra had found a bone lying somewhere and he was chewing on it. Halku set his fire down on the ground and began to gather the leaves. In a little
while he had a great heap. His hands were frozen, his bare feet numb.
In a little while the fire was burning merrily. The dames leapt upward licking at the overhanging branches. In the flickering light the immense trees of the grove looked as though they were carrying the vast darkness on their heads. In the blissful sea of darkness the firelight seemed to pitch and toss like a boat.
Halku sat before the fire and let it warm him. After a while he took off his shawl and tucked it behind him, then he spread out both feet as though
challenging the cold to do its worst. Victorious over the immense power of the winter, he could not repress his pride in his triumph.
He said to Jabra, ‘Well, Jabra, you’re not cold now, are you!’ Jabra barked as though to say, ‘How could I feel cold now!’
The leaves were all burned up. Darkness covered the orchard again. Under the ashes a few embers smouldered.
Halku wrapped himself up in his shawl again and sat by the warm ashes humming a tune. The fire had warmed him , through but as the cold began to
spread he felt drowsy. Jabra gave a loud bark and ran toward the field. Halku realized chat this meant a pack of wild animals had probably broken into the field. They might be nilgai. He distinctly heard the noise of their moving around. Then it seemed to him they must be grazing; he began to hear the sound of nibbling. He thought, ‘No, with Jabra around no animal can get into the field, he’d rip it to shreds. I must have been mistaken. Now there’s no sound at all. How could I have been mistaken!’
He shouted, ‘Jabra! Jabra!’
Jabra went on barking and did not come to him. Then again there was the sound of munching and crunching in the field. He could not have been
mistaken this time. It really hurt to think about getting up from where he was. It was so comfortable there that it seemed intolerable to go to the field
in this cold and chase after animals. He didn’t stir.
He shouted at the top of his lungs, ‘Hillo! Hillo! Hillo!’
Jabra started barking again. There were animals eating his held just when the crop was ready. What a fine crop it was! And these cursed animals were
destroying it. With a firm resolve he got up and took a few steps. But suddenly a blast of wind pierced him with a sting like a scorpion’s so that he went back and sat again by the extinguished ~re and stirred up the ashes to warm his chilled body. Jabra was barking his lungs out, the nilgai were
devastating his field and Halku went on sitting peacefully near the warm ashes. His drowsiness held him motionless as though with ropes. Wrapped
in his shawl he fell asleep on the warmed ground near the ashes.
When he woke in the morning the sun was high and Munni was saying, ‘Do you think you’re going to sleep all day! You came out here and had a
fine time while the whole field was being flattened!’
Halku sought an excuse. ‘I nearly died and just managed to get through the night and you worry about your crop. I had such a pain in my belly I can’t
Then the two of them walked to the edge of their land. He looked: the whole field had been trampled and Jabra was stretched out underneath the
shelter as though he were dead.
They continued to stare at the ruined field. Munni’s face was shadowed with grief but Halku was content.
Munni said, ‘Now you’ll have to hire yourself out to earn some money to pay off the rent and taxes.’
With a contented smile Halku said, ‘But I won’t have to sleep nights out here in the cold.’
PANORAMA ENGLISH BOOK PART 2 CLASS 10 PROSE
Chapter 1 The Pace for Living
Chapter 2 Me and The Ecology Bit
Chapter 3 Gillu
Chapter 4 What is Wrong with Indian Film
Chapter 5 Acceptance Speech
Chapter 6 Once Upon A Time
Chapter 7 The Unity of Indian Culture
Chapter 8 Little Girl Wiser Than Man
PANORAMA ENGLISH BOOK PART 2 CLASS 10 POETRY
Chapter 1 God Made The Country
Chapter 2 Ode On Solitude
Chapter 3 Polythene Bag
Chapter 4 Thinner Than a Crescent
Chapter 5 The Empty Heart
Chapter 6 Koel (The Black Cuckoo)
Chapter 7 The Sleeping Porter
Chapter 8 Martha
PANORAMA ENGLISH READER PART 2 CLASS 10TH SOLUTIONS BIHAR BOARD
Chapter 1 January Night
Chapter 2 Allergy
Chapter 3 The Bet
Chapter 4 Quality
Chapter 5 Sun and Moon
Chapter 6 Two Horizons
Chapter 7 Love Defiled
BIHAR BOARD CLASS 10TH ENGLISH WRITING
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Literary
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Factual
BIHAR BOARD CLASS 10TH ENGLISH GRAMMAR
Active and Passive Voice
Narration Direct and Indirect Speech
Idioms and Phrases