EVERY year on the occasion of Eid, there was a fair in our village. Eid was celebrated only one day but the fair lasted many days. Tradesmen from far and wide came there with all kinds of goods to sell. You could buy anything from a small pin to a big buffalo.
Uncle took me to the fair. Bhaiya, who worked for us at home, came with us. There was a big crowd at the fair. Uncle was leading us through the crowd when he met a few of his friends. They wanted him to spend some time with them.
Uncle asked me whether I would like to look around the fair with Bhaiya till he came back. I was happy to do that. Uncle warned me neither to buy anything nor to go too far out while he was away. I promised that I would wait for him.
Bhaiya and I went from shop to shop. There were many things I would have liked to buy, but I waited for Uncle to return. Then we came to what was called the Lucky Shop. The shopkeeper was neither young nor old. He was a middle-aged man. He seemed neither too smart nor too lazy. He wanted everybody to try their luck. There were discs on the table with numbers from one to ten facing down. All you had to do was to pay 50 paise, pick up any six discs, add up the numbers on the discs and find the total. The article marked with that number was yours.
There was a fair every year on the occasion of Eid in Rasheed's village. While the Eid celebration used to last only for a day, the fair used to go on for many days after Eid. The fair sees shops and shopkeepers from far and distant lands coming over to sell their goods. In fairs like these, one could buy anything starting from small pins to buffaloes.
On this time of celebration, Rasheed went to see the fair with his uncle and Bhaiya, who worked in their house. There was a huge crowd at the fair. Rasheed's uncle guided them to a certain place and he instructed Rasheed not to buy anything from the shops or stray too far away in his absence, as he was about to leave with his friends.
This left Rasheed with Bhaiya, and they took a stroll around the fair looking at the various items and wares on display. Rasheed himself says that many items caught his eye and wanted to buy, but he didn't. Showing that he's an obedient child who respected uncle's words and also had self-control.
This was exactly when he had encountered "The lucky shop". Anyone with \(50\) paise could play the game where they had to choose six discs from the ones that the shopkeeper had. Each disc contained a number and they were added up. The shopkeeper gifted the customer with the product whose number was the sum total of all the numbers in the discs.
Discs from 0 to 9
Rasheed and Bhaiya came to the Lucky Shop. In that shop, the shopkeeper looked neither young nor old. He could have been anywhere between \(45\) - \(65\) years of age. The shopkeeper wanted everyone to try their luck in that game.
Glossary from the paragraphs \(1\)-\(4\):
|Tradesmen||Shopkeepers or people who have goods to sell|
|Far and wide||A large number of distant places|
|Leading||Guiding to a certain place|
|Crowd||Public/ a large number of people gathered together in a disorganized way|
|Self-control||The ability to manage one's impulses, emotions, and behaviours to achieve long-term goals/Self-discipline|
|Wares||Goods offered for sale|
|Obedient||Doing what you are told to do|
|Encountered||To meet somebody/something unexpectedly|
|Stray||To go away from the place where you should be/lose one's way|
|Stroll||A slow walk for pleasure|
|Promise||To give one’s word|
|Middle-aged man||A man who is roughly between 45 and 65 years old|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Honeysuckle. A Game of Chance (pp. 99-108). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.