Table of Contents
This chapter tells the story of a visit to a fair. Rasheed, the narrator, recounts his experience of playing a game of chance. He ends up using all his money in the lucky draw but learns a valuable lesson.
On the occasion of Eid, a fair was held in Rasheed’s village. The fair lasted several days. He visited the fair with his Uncle and the Bhaiya who helped in the household chores.
Like all fairs, there was a big crowd and lots of shops selling different goods. At the fair, his Uncle met some of his friends who wanted to spend some time with him. So, the Uncle warned Rasheed and his Bhaiya to not spend much money in his absence. Then, he went away with his friends for a while.
The boy went around the fair with his Bhaiya. He did not buy anything as he had promised to wait until his Uncle returned. But then they reached the Lucky Shop. The narrator was too fascinated by the game and by the players who tried their luck at the shop.
The lucky draw involved the customer to pay 50 paise and pick any six discs. The discs had been marked with numbers from one to ten facing down. The total of the six numbers decided whether or not the customer won anything valuable.
They first watched an old man try his hand at the game. He won a beautiful clock for the number total of 15. Unwilling to keep the clock, the old man sold it back to the shopkeeper of the Lucky Shop for 15 rupees and went away happy with the amount he had won.
Then, they watched a boy of nearly the narrator’s age, play the game. The boy’s luck proved even better than that of the old man. He went away with a good amount of cash by selling the items he had won.
The narrator was so fascinated that he could not resist. But he only won small, invaluable items like two pencils or an ink pot. Overcome by the greed to win a big prize, he tried so many times that he lost all the money he had.
Rasheed was dismayed. Bhaiya explained the matter when the Uncle returned. To cheer him up, the Uncle bought gifts for Rasheed. Rasheed returned home with his beautiful umbrella, biscuits and sweets.
Rasheed realised his mistake when his uncle explained how the shopkeeper had tricked them. He told Rasheed that the old man and the boy who had won cash were shopkeeper’s friends. Together, they had deceived Rasheed.
Rasheed realises his fault and his mistake teaches him a valuable lesson. He learns that greed can make one foolish. He understands that he lost his money due to his own foolishness and not due to bad luck.