Poverty and Hunger are under focus in Nasira Sharma’s story “Hunger”. How does the writer invoke our sympathy?
Nasira Sharma has been successful in invoking the readers’ sympathy for the poor in her story ‘Hunger’, where poverty and hunger have been the main focus.
Rizwan is an educated young man looking for a job. He is out to find a man for an interview for a local newspaper in order to secure his job. He manages to get a man named Kasim on the street. During the interview, Kasim’s poverty is revealed. He is a rag-seller and barely earns his living by that business. He has no permanent home. He has a four-year old son whom he wants to take to his business the next year, as he finds no gain in sending him to school. When Rizwan suggests him getting a loan for starting a good business or taking help from the government, he is not interested at all. It is because he has been deceived this way before. Instead of repeated calls from Rizwan, Kasim does not wait longer, as he has to earn his day’s living.
Kasim’s poverty arouses sympathy in our minds. But this is not the end. We see Rizwan returning to the newspaper office and putting his own name and address on Kasim’s interview, as Kasim had no such address and Rizwan found his own condition similar to that of Kasim. He had not eaten anything since the morning and his mother is ill back home. His father had died a few years before and his brothers were forced to drop out from school due to their poverty. In spite of having formal education, he still does not have any job.
So, poverty is not alone here; joblessness, illiteracy, ignorance and lack of ambition for a better life — all mingled together have made a wide part of the society live in hunger. Everyone is trying to survive in one’s own way. But they are hardly successful in their efforts. We don’t know whether Rizwan would finally get the job secured or whether Kasim’s condition would improve. Most probably not. It is the way it is. The readers can only sympathize.