Gopal and the Hilsa Fish is a short story covered in the NCERT Class 7 English Textbook Honeycomb. The story is funny in its tone and nature, and presented in the comic form, not in PDF or simple word format.
Before you get into the realms of the story, you must know that Hilsa is a popular fish, found in rivers of India. It's mostly sold during monsoon season. In the story, the season is probably of monsoon. In the kingdom, everyone seems talking about the Hilsa fish.
Fishermen catching no other fish in particular, but only focusing on Hilsa fish. Even in the market, fish merchants selling Hilsa in great gusto. They are offering even discounts and other hacks to lure customers. The height of popularity reaches inside the king’s palace, even the ministers and courtiers found gossiping and discussing Hilsa fish. It is like, Hilsa fish seems to be an important topic over other state affairs.
So much stupidity all around. This angers the king. He wants that to be stopped. The king is shocked to find Gopal talking about the fish. Gopal is a courtier in the court. The king challenges Gopal to bring Hilsa fish in the palace without getting hyped about it. Gopal accepts the challenge.
A few days later, Gopal gets half-shaven and smears ash on his face and takes on torn and dirty clothes. Now, he looks like a filthy beggar. His wife opposes him, but he listens nothing.
From the market, he buys a Hilsa fish, and walks towards the palace. No one is interested in the fish carried by him. At the palace gates, he is stopped by the guards. They think he is some beggar. He insists on meeting the king. Upon causing some commotion, the king allows the man to come in.
In the palace, the king recognizes him. From his journey to fish-market to the palace, no one bothers to see what he is carrying. No one gives attention when a person looks like a rag picker or beggar. Thus, in a very cunning way, Gopal accomplishes the challenge. He wins the heart of the king.
Moral of the Story:
Gopal had no need to take up the challenge, as he was the courtier in the king's palace. He could have declined it and continue leading the luxurious life as usual. However, Gopal cared about his king and his feelings, thus he took up the challenge. Yes, the challenge was not huge, it proved that during the times of emergency Gopal will definitely help his king and the people of the kingdom. Another moral is that taking challenge in life is good and makes one popular. A person like Gopal, who has been appointed on the higher rank of courtier is so down to earth that he literally dressed like a beggar. Never run away from the challenges, be open to them and accept them, like a brave man.
Character Sketch of Gopal from the Story Gopal and the Hilsa Fish:
Gopal was a famous courtier in the palace of king. He was brave and bold, and when the time came, he did not shy away from taking the challenge. Rather he went ahead, got into the form of a beggar and brought the Hilsa fish inside the palace without being raising a hype about it.
Gopal was simple and down-to-earth person, otherwise people at courtier position do not go to such low levels just to impress their king. The challenge that Gopal took suggested that he could take up any form or resemblance to help the people of his kingdom. Because of good values, Gopal is favourite of the king.