Jalebis: Summary and Analysis by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi

The story, Jalebis, written by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi tells the story of a young boy and his temptation to have jalebis on his way to school.

Jalebis Summary

Written by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Jalebis is a value-based story about an honest young boy, Munna. He yielded to his temptation of eating jalebis using the money with which, he was supposed to pay his school fees. Munna was a student of class five and was going to school with four rupees in his pocket. His parents gave him the money to pay his school fees. However, he could not make the payment because his teacher, Ghulam Mohammed was on a leave. While Munna was going back home, he was tempted at the sight of fresh jalebis. He could hear the jingling of coins in his pocket. He thought that the coins were persuading him to buy jalebis with them. The oldest rupee was telling him that he could pay his fees with the scholarship money which was due the next day. He understood that the coins talking to him were simply a part of his imagination.

Munna was resisting spending the money because he was supposed to use it to pay his fees. Eventually, he gave in to his sweet tooth craving. Initially, he got jalebis with the one rupee coin and devoured the mound of jalebis. Then, he purchased more with the remaining money and distributed it to the children who were collected there. Munna went home and could not eat because he was full. He was worried about how to pay the fees because he spent everything on jalebis. When he went to school the next day, he found out that the scholarship was due for the next month.

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His teacher has announced that the fees were supposed to be collected during recess. When Munna heard this, they left the school and just walked until they reached the starting point of the Kambelpur railway station. He remembered that his elders warned him about crossing railway tracks alone. He recalled that they also told him to not eat sweets with the fees money. He felt guilty about eating jalebis with the fees money. He sat under a tree and wondered how he would pay his fees.

He thought God could help him. He offered prayers and recited a few verses of the Quran. He requested God to give him four rupees to pay his fees. He agreed that eating jalebis with fees money was a mistake and that he would not do it again. He requested God to put four rupees in his bag. When he checked his bag and did not find any money in it, he became sad. He returned home and did not tell anyone about his skipping classes in school.

The next day, he wore new clothes and left home for school. However, he returned from the school gate. He went to offer prayers to God and requested him to give him four rupees and to keep the money under the rock. Later, he lifted the rock and found a small worm wriggling under the rock but there was no money. He continued to pray every day and hopes that God would send him the money to pay his school fees, but that did not happen. The news of his absence from school spread and he was scolded by his parents for missing classes.

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When Munna was in the seventh grade, he thought about what possible harm could have been caused if God sent him four rupees to pay his fees. When he grew older, he realized that if God gave everything we ask for, there would be no differences between man and other creatures. He realized that men would not be able to learn anything if they were given everything they asked for. He realized the importance of effort.

Jalebis Theme

The theme of the story is that we should not lie because it puts us in tough situations. Even praying to God does not help us out of such critical situations. The story is about the dilemma a child goes through when he spends his school fees on some mouth-watering jalebis. He thinks that he would use the scholarship money for the fees. The story is based on the themes of innocence, childhood, prayers, and integrity.

Jalebis Character Sketch

The narrator, Munna is a young boy, studying in the fifth grade. He was given four rupees to pay the school fees, and on the way back home, he sees some mouth-watering jalebis, gives in to his temptation, and uses all of his school fees. He is a virtuous child and spent some time thinking about whether he should buy the jalebis and eventually gave in. He was sincere and innocent in his prayers. He thought of bribing God to lend him four rupees. He does not realize that God cannot help everyone who just prays.

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Jalebis Analysis Key Points

The story, Jalebis is focused on an honest boy. The boy is on his way back home and has the money with which he has to pay the fees. The money was jingling in his pocket and he saw some jalebis.  He gets tempted at the sight of fresh mouth-watering jalebis and gives in to the temptation. He also distributes jalebis among the kids who were assembled there. He does not have the money to pay the fees anymore and he is scared and sad. He started to pray to God and hopes for a miracle, but nothing happens. He also started to miss school because of this. He was fully dependent on his prayers and thought that God would send him the money. The news of his absence spreads and reaches his family. He eventually gets into trouble and learns that everything happens for a reason. He also learned the difference between fanciful and factual.