Introduction

This chapter is adapted from the story ‘Enter Mulla Do-Piaza’ by Pratibha Nath. It talks about Abdul, a smart young boy, who achieves his goal of becoming a courtier through his hard work and intelligence. He first becomes a merchant’s clerk and then goes on to work for the Emperor. After working at the Murgikhana and the library, he proves his worth and ultimately becomes a courtier.

Characters

Abdul– an intelligent young boy who wants to gain knowledge and rise high in the world

Abdul’s father– a schoolmaster

Merchant– a rich merchant who hires Abdul as his clerk

Emperor– the Emperor who finally makes Abdul a courtier

Abdul Wishes to Gain Knowledge

Abdul’s father who was a schoolmaster was getting ready to go to school. Abdul told him that he wanted to gain knowledge and education. He needed books to study hard. So, he asked his father to lend him some gold. He would buy books with the money and rise high in the world by studying them. His father said that although only the first half of the month had passed, he did not have any money to buy Abdul books because they were very rare and expensive. But he would try to borrow some books from his school the next day so Abdul could have a bright future.

Abdul was happy and said he would eagerly wait for them. But the next day Abdul’s father was very sorry because he could not get any books for him. Poor Abdul was sad and disappointed but continued to do his daily chores. He read many borrowed books and planned to serve the rich to get paid in kind.

Abdul Becomes a Clerk

Abdul approached a rich merchant and told him he was a poor student. He asked him to give him a chance to serve him. He could observe his work and only pay him what he deserved. The merchant said Abdul looked smart and hired him as his clerk. He promised to pay him well if he worked honestly. Some days passed and the merchant called Abdul. He praised his work and said he would give him whatever he demanded if it was fair. Abdul only wished to read the books in his store.

Days passed and Abdul learned many things including Philosophy, Astronomy, Arabic and Persian. He became a one-in-a-million scholar. He wanted to be noticed by the Emperor and given an honourable office. A friend informed him that the Emperor had answered Abdul’s prayer. The Royal Murgikhana was now under his care. Abdul was shocked to know that a scholar like him had been made a poultry keeper. But he did not refuse the offer and intended to make good use of the opportunity.

Abdul Works for the Emperor

Abdul worked passionately. The hens were given a new kind of food and became very healthy without using any of the Emperor’s money. The Emperor wondered why so little was being spent on the hens and asked if they had died. A minister said that they were alive and well and only Abdul knew the secret of their health. Abdul entered and bowed before the Emperor. The Emperor asked him how he nourished the hens at no expense. Abdul said that he made the servants feed the chickens scraps and waste from the royal kitchen. The hens relished their taste and also became very healthy due to this.

The Emperor recognized that Abdul had brains and put him in charge of the library. Abdul wished to become a courtier but became a keeper of books instead. But he did not mind because he loved books. After a year, the Emperor was looking at books in the library. He was surprised to see their expensive jackets and exclaimed that they must have cost a lot. But Abdul said that no money was spent on them. He had observed that formal requests were sent to the Emperor in bags of expensive fabrics. However, the bags were discarded after the papers were read. Abdul had asked the royal tailors to make the book jackets out of these bags.

The Emperor realized Abdul’s great merit and made him a courtier. Wits, brains and hard work helped Abdul achieve him aim. His patience and determination made him famous.

Conclusion

This story shows us how hard work and determination can make us reach our goals. Abdul works hard and makes use of every opportunity he gets. This helps him slowly but steadily achieve his dream of becoming a courtier. Abdul proves his intelligence and worth and is duly rewarded for it.