How is poverty described from Rizwan and Kasim’s perspective in the story ‘Hunger’ by Nasira Sharma?
Poverty is the ideal theme of the story Hunger. The story focuses on the Iranian revolution and its aftermath, especially its impact on the country’s economy. It revolves around two characters, Rizwan and Kasim. Both the the characters are struck by poverty and hunger but Rizwan’s situation is a little better due to his education. The story is in the form of a conversation between Rizwan and Kasim. The conversation is in the form of an interview and is meant to be one. Rizwan wants to work for the Kihaan newspaper, for which he has to submit five interviews with the name and addresses of different people in order to be eligible for employment. Rizwan interviews Kasim, where we are given an insight to Kasim’s poverty. Later we are also provided an insight to Rizwan’s poverty.
But the poverty depicted for the two characters are different in nature. Kasim’s poverty is for his lack of knowledge, fear of being cheated and willingness to stick to the old ways of life. He doesn’t want to educate his son, take government’s help on getting a land for farming or even a loan from the bank to start a business. He just wants to carry on with his old job of rag-selling.
But, for Rizwan, it’s a bit different. He is an educated young man seeking a job. Poverty has engulfed the family as his father had died two years ago, and his mother is ill. His brothers have dropped out of school for their poverty. But it’s the difficulty of securing a job which is making his life miserable. Rizwan has spent the whole day trying to collect an interview in an empty stomach. But finally he gets one and submits it to the paper office.
In spite of their differences, Kasim and Rizwan’s conditions are actually similar and that is why Rizwan thought it fitting to put his own name and address on Kasim’s interview.
Hunger is a story written by Nasira Sharma with Rizwan as the main protagonist. Since he is educated his problem of poverty is not that strong as kasim who is illiterate as well as ignorant about education. This is evident from the fact that he would be introducing his son in his business at a tender age of five.