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The Gift of a Cow: A Translation from the Hindi Novel
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The Gift of a Cow: A Translation from the Hindi Novel

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  2,559 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Premchand is the most famous Hindi novelist, and Godaan is Premchand's most celebrated novel. Economic and social conflict in a north Indian village are brilliantly captured in the story of Hori, a poor farmer, and his family's struggle for survival and self-respect. Hori does everything he can to fulfill his life's desire: to own a cow, the peasant's measure of wealth and ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 480 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Indiana University Press (first published January 1st 1936)
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Lots of typos n grammatical mistakes in the English translation..will try to get my hands onto the original hindi version..but nonetheless painful n true portrayal of rural life in India.
Madhulika Liddle
Godaan - literally, the donation of a cow - seems, when this landmark novel of Premchand's first begins, an event unlikely to happen, because the story starts with a poor farmer's desire to somehow buy a cow. Hori, the 40-year old protagonist of the book, owns three meagre bighas of land, is in debt to various moneylenders in his village, and (along with his wife Dhaniya, their 17-year old son Gobardhan 'Gobar' and their two young daughters Sona and Rupa) is living pretty much a hand-to-mouth ex ...more
Shreya Bora
No words of mine can describe the greatness of this novel.
All i can remember is...i was inconsolably crying when i finished reading this novel (without even realizing that i was actually crying)....

I am a modern girl hailing from a metro city.....never in my life have i been to a village, i have never seen farms....have never met any Peasent...realization of there existence in this world had never before occurred to me......i had often heard the news of farmers committing suicide...I had seen Ra
Pushpam Singh
This was my first exposure to the projected banal Hindi Literature but to my amazement it swept me off floor when i finished reading it. My friend gave it to me and hence i started reading.
Munshi premchand is really a maestro in writing. It is hard to find someone even in English who can be compared to his writing skills.
The story is about a peasant who fights with Zamindars for his survival.
Most impressive aspect of this story is the stronghold over characters. Premchand never loses that. Mi
Pulkit Verma
I simply couldn't do justice by writing anything about this book. The characters feel so lively that you forget that they are from a book. A true insight into the lives of Indians. You feel the pain of characters, you enjoy with them, in short you feel what they feel. A completely gripping novel with a great philosophical touch. You can only turn into a die-hard fan of Premchand Ji. A must must read for every Indian. And please don't read it in any language other than Hindi.
An interesting look at intersections of caste and class, the rising nationalism, and comparisons between village and city life in 1930s India.
This is about the most hardhitting book that I have read against wealth itself! It covers a period and society in India where exploitation is common. Not as good as Munhi Premchand's short stories, but a terrific book neverthless.
Rosun Rajkumar
It's been such a long time since an old friend of mine suggested this book to me. My favourite Indian writer till now has been RK Narayan. Now, after reading Munshi Premchand, there is a tie! The plethora of characters in Godaan, the village-city conflict depicted, the zamindari system portrayed all add up to this book being one of the magnum opus ever to grace Indian readers. I was spell-bound as to even think each character will be so beautifully laid out- each having his/her moments, ups and ...more
Describes the Life of a poor farmer Hori and his struggle to keep alive in the milieu of British Raj.

Hori is a poor farmer, who has 3 acres of farmland, which he and his 2 daughters, a son and wife till. However, he is perenially in debt and is therefore never really the master of his own destiny. He is, however, largely at peace with his life and the only thing he wants is to own a cow. One day, he sees a milkman coming toward him with exactly the kind of cow he wants, but he has to hold his h
Shashank Garg
Godaan is not a novel of peasant India. It is a novel of contrast. It depicts how, the peasant India dies day-by-day under the burden of debt which compounds exponentially within years, while those in the higher class are busy with their own little schemes. They play out their own games and suffer their own defeats. But the rigidity of the society does not leave any room for morality to prevail.

It is a picture of India as I had never seen before. Written before 1935, it hardly mentions the Briti
I read this in Hindi - it was my first Hindi novel. My hindi reading was very rusty when I started, but the book drew me in, and it is a compliment to it that I read it all, and I read it all with "gusto".

Premchand is best when he writes about the village life. The stories of the main character Hori, a serf, and his family, are superbly written. The recurring theme here is hopelessness. Good things happen from time to time, but it's all generally downhill. In the beginning, Hori's landlord talk
Komal Mehta
It's really difficult for us, the 21st century group, to comment anything about the old, un-educated, under-addressed, village life. I have personally never been to any village, and seen those earthen houses, and oil lamps. But this book has pictured those days as real, before my eyes. It was really devastating to even imagine the poor state of a family, where the single earner of the family knows his responsibilities, and keeps on working like oxes; son leaving for a city to have never come bac ...more
Sandeep Saroha
its the best novel written by the so called greatest indian writer, Premchand.
this book is about a poor peasant, named hori who had his lifetime dream of keeping a cow, but couldn't manage even this because of various social and personal hinderences. it confronts the reader with the actual reality of indian village, and its people, of how a poor villager prefers his man mariyada, or social status much above his own life.

this book also shows the difference between life in cities and villages, an
What a ride that was, if you live in India you are not oblivious to the facts presented in this book. I just love the way the writer makes it sound so non-dramatic and stick to the facts and leaves a whole room for you to analyze the perception for your own self....
Loved it. Munshi was truly a great writer, reminded me somehow of Tolstoy, although in simpler form..
A difficult read. I don't like not finishing a book and thought this was going to be my first but am glad I didn't give up. This book was worth the effort
Shruti Yadav
book is very good.... it portrays the deep meaning and satire of social world
enjoyed it.
Shabda Raaj
Books with Social realism date badly. Most books from just 20 years ago look anachronistic because society and expectations from relationships change. गोदान and most stories from Premchand is not one.

गोदान cuts to the core of human emotions and does it with compassion and wit. It is set in a rural village in India but if you lived in cities all your life and never set foot in India, you can still empathise with the characters.
Yogesh Goel
Donn have words to describe how beautiful this novel is, I am still amazed that a human can write so beautifully, but shiri premchand has done it.
A book that gives u all the flavors of life, a must read
Satya Brat  Tiwari
Book you may not like to leave until you finish it.For those who wish to join the "religion of reading" this is the book for baptism.
Dmg Vault
Very heavy and very sad. no more words to describe.
This was really good..liked the story and the way it was presented simple and realistic , the characters were so real that they will make a everlasting impression on you..exactly depicted the life of peasants in rural India , the nativity of the characters & their relationships , problems and the way they deal about them fills u with a little joy that brings a smile on your face..the way author dealt with the human emotions in each character was too good...I enjoyed a lot reading this one... ...more
May 26, 2014 Chirag marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sawan Khan
Mar 22, 2014 Sawan Khan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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I just want to say that I was totally in love 1 7 Sep 19, 2013 04:03AM  
  • राग दरबारी / Raag Darbari
  • मधुशाला
  • Tamas
  • Anandamath
  • गुनाहों का देवता  / Gunahon Ka Devta
  • Devdas
  • आषाढ़ का एक दिन
  • रश्मिरथी (Rashmirathi)
  • The Guide
  • Vaishali Ki Nagarvadhu
  • Raavi Paar: And Other Stories
  • मैला आँचल / Mailaa Aanchal
  • Gora
  • Pather panchali: Song of the road
  • Toba Tek Singh: Stories
  • Untouchable
  • पिंजर
  • nithalle ki diary (निठल्ले की डायरी)
Munshi Premchand (Hindi: मुंशी परेमचंद) was an Indian writer famous for his modern Hindustani literature. He is one of the most celebrated writers of the Indian subcontinent,and is regarded as one of the foremost Hindustani writers of the early twentieth century.

Born Dhanpat Rai, he began writing under the pen name "Nawab Rai", but subsequently switched to "Premchand", while he is also known as "M
More about Munshi Premchand...
Nirmala Gaban शतरंज के खिलाड़ी कफ़न Mansarovar Short Stories by Premchand

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