Gopal and the Hilsa Fish: Summary and Analysis

The story Gopal and the Hilsa fish is about a courtier named Gopal. He shows his wit when he is challenged about being unable to talk about the Hilsa-Fish.

Gopal and the Hilsa Fish Summary

The season for Hilsa-fish had arrived. The fishermen were catching a lot of those and selling them in the market. They claimed that the prices were down. All the householders were discussing this in utter amazement about the reason behind the fish coming to such a low price.

The courtiers discussed this matter in the palace. One courtier showed the king a very big fish he caught, to which the King lost his temper. The courtier became silent and sad, and the King realized his mistake. He challenged Gopal, a witty courtier that even he could not stop anyone from talking about the Hilsa, and Gopal protested and assured him that he could do that. The King challenged him and asked him to bring a big fish to the palace without anyone inquiring about it.

Gopal accepted the challenge and started to work accordingly. He became half-shaven and covered himself with ash. His wife asked the reason behind his peculiar look, and he said that he was dressed up like that to buy Hilsa. His wife was convinced that he had gone mad.

Gopal purchased the Hilsa and walked towards the palace. A child cried about the man being comical, while the other called him a mad man. One mistook him for being a mystic. However, no one uttered a word about the fish.

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Gopal reached the court and told the guards that he wished to see the King. They did not allow him to enter. Gopal started dancing and crying loudly. They reported this incident to the King, who ordered them to bring him into the court. Gopal introduced himself, and the King asked the reason he was dressed up that way.

Gopal explained that while he was coming to the palace, no one spoke about the fish and only focused on his peculiar fish. The King recalled the challenge he had thrown at Gopal and congratulated him for achieving the impossible.

Gopal and the Hilsa Fish Analysis

At the start of the story, the readers are informed about the availability of Hilsa fish. Everyone spoke about it, and the fishermen were the happiest with the opportunity to earn better with the immense treasure. 

The markets were flooded with Hilsa fish, and everyone was surprised and happy with the fish’s availability and price. The constant discussion about the fish annoyed the King. He was fuming when a courtier boasted about the size of a Hilsa fish that he caught. The King realized that he overestimated the reaction and that it was a mistake.

The King said that even Gopal could not resist talking about the fish and challenged Gopal to bring a big fish with no one discussing it. 

After some days, Gopal made the preparations. He was half-shaven and smeared his face with ash. He wore torn clothes and went to buy a fish. People were focused on his appearance than on the fish and called him a mad man or a mystic.

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When Gopal reached the palace, he was stopped at the gates by the guards. He behaved stupidly and attracted the attention of the King. 

When he went in, he revealed his true self and explained how no one spoke about the fish as they were distracted by his appearance. Everyone was taken aback, and Gopal won the challenge. 

Gopal and the Hilsa Fish Theme

The story is based on wit. Gopal achieved absolute success at the challenge. No one thought he could win with this sheer wit. Gopal was intelligent and calculative. He understood the nature of the people he was surrounded with and knew the ways in which he could find success in his feat. The second theme is that people always talk about whatever new there is. People were obsessed with the availability of Hilsa fish that it became all that they could discuss. When they saw the ragged and peculiar appearance of Gopal, they became obsessed with it and discussed it. 

Another theme is being open to challenges. Gopal was a courtier and certainly appointed at a high rank. There was no reason for him to take the challenge and collect attention negatively. However, he dressed most peculiarly and won the challenge. One must not run away from challenges.

Gopal and the Hilsa Fish Character Sketch

Gopal was a courtier in the palace of the King. He was known for his bravery and boldness. He was not scared of taking up the challenge. He dressed up peculiarly and bought the fish inside the palace, with there being a discussion about it.

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Gopal is extremely intelligent. He quickly took up the challenge. He understood that people would discuss whatever is new. He also knew that it is very easy to distract anyone with weird things and behavior. He applied that. He shaved half of his face and smeared ash all over it. He wore torn clothes and bought the big fish. People said that he looked comical, and his wife assumed that he had become mad. Someone confused him for a mystic. At the gates, he cried and danced until the guards informed the King about the strange incident. Once he went, people discussed the man in the strange appearance and not Gopal with a big fish. That Gopal’s challenge is won.

Gopal is a simple and grounded person. Courtiers would not generally stoop to such low levels to impress the King. By doing the challenge, Gopal suggested that he would do anything to help o people of the kingdom. Gopal had strong values, which is why he was the King’s favorite.

Gopal and the Hilsa Fish Analysis Key Points

The story is a comical visualization of a king who challenged his witty courtier, Gopal. He asked Gopal to bring a Hilsa fish to the court. Gopal completes his challenge in the funniest way.