Rustum and Sohrab
Introduction: Rustom and Sohrab is an interesting story from Persia. The story is about the great warrior called Rustom who was called the shield of Persia. He had a son named Sohrab, but the situation was such that Rustum did not know that he had a son. It so happened that in one of the fights between Rustom and Sohrab, Sohrab gets killed by his own father.
Summary of Rustum and Sohrab
Long ago in Persia now called Iran, there lived a great soldier called Rustum. He was so brave that he was called the shield of Persia. The King Kaikoos was so proud of him that he used to say that had nothing to fear till Rustum was with them. On the other hand, their enemies used to say that they could never dream to attack Persia till Rustum was there.
One day Rustum met a Tartar princess Tanimeh and fell in love with her. He married her, but he had to leave her soon because the king called him back. attar princess had to bid him good-bye with sadness. She was expecting a baby at that time. Rustum gave her a diamond and said that if a girl was born to her, she should marry her off and if a son was born to her, she should tie that diamond on his arm and keep their marriage a secret.
After some time, a son was born to Tanimeh, but she sent word to Rustum that a daughter was born to him thinking that he would her son away and make him a soldier. She named the child Sohrab. Sohrab grew up into a brave and handsome boy. He learned to use the sword and shield and became skilled in the arts of war. One day a warrior to Soharab’s village and challenged people for combat. Sohrab got ready to fight him, but the warrior asked him his father’s name which he did not know. The warrior told Sohrab that he could not fight with people of an inferior race. Sohrab was ashamed. He came back home and asked his mother who his father was. At first, she did not tell, but Sohrab insisted her, she told him that Rustum was his father. Sohrab was happy and went straight to the warrior. When he disclosed to him who his father was, the warrior ran away without fighting.
Sohrab now wanted to go in search of his father. His mother told him how he could recognize each other since they had never met. She tied the diamond on his arm and let him go. Meanwhile, Rustum had to go to his village to see his ailing father. Sohrab went on fighting enemies on his way. He reached the border and started fighting with Persian army because they did not allow him to move ahead. Sohrab fought so bravely that the soldiers had to send word to Kaikoos that it was difficult to stop him and only Rustum could stop him. When the king heard this, he sent for Rustum who came immediately leaving his ailing father in the village. When Rustom came, he told the king if it was necessary to call him back and if there was nobody who could fight that young man. Rustum was told that he was very brave like him and only he could stop him. Besides, the young man had asked them that he wanted to fight with Rustum.
Rustum got ready to fight Sohrab, but he went there in his own dress and he did not wear the soldier’s dress. On his way, he met a soldier who told him about the qualities of Sohrab. Rustum in his heart of hearts wished that Sohrab had been his own son. When Sohrab heard the mighty voice of Rustum, he thought that it was perhaps his father’s. He approached Rustum and asked eagerly if he was Rustum. Rustum thought he was trying to be clever. He asked him if he was going to fight Rustum only thinking that he was ready for peace. He told him that he did not know who he was, but Sohrab was not frightened.
He drew his sword and the fight began. The fight continued for three days. Then Rustum thought that it be a disgrace if a young man defeated him. He took his sword and uttered his war cry ‘Rustum’ and attacked Sohrab. When Sohrab heard this name, he was unnerved and he lowered his shield. In the meantime, Rustum’s sword pierced his side and he fell down. Rustum told him that he was killed by an unknown man, but Sohrab replied that it was not he who had killed him, but his war cry. He told him that his father ‘Rustum’ would take revenge on his killing. Rustum was stunned. He told Sohrab that Rustum never had a son, but when Sohrab showed him the diamond on his arm Rustum was dumfounded and repented a lot. Sohrab told his father Rustum not weep and feel sorry. He made the last wish to his father. He told him that he should take his dead body to his village and bury him there so that people who pass by will say: “Sohrab, the mighty Rustum’s so, lies here, whom his great father did in ignorance kill!”
The theme of this story is that there will be a great problem if there is a misunderstanding. Sohrab tries his best to tell Rustum to disclose his identity, but he does not get ready. Ultimately, he kills his own son and repents a lot.
One more theme of the story is that we should not tell a lie. Tanimeh sends word to Rustum that their child is a daughter, whereas they have a son. She wants to save her son, but by telling a lie, she loses her son, Sohrab when Rustum kills him in ignorance.
One more theme of the story is that whatever the circumstances, parents love their children and children also love their parents. Tanimeh wants to save her son. Rustum in ignorance kills his son. After that, he repents a lot. We become emotional to hear his and Soharab’s words.
Words You May Not Know
Shield: a large flat metal object held by soldiers to protect themselves
Dare: to have enough courage to do something
In the family was: expecting a baby send word to send a message
Feat: an act showing great skill, strength or courage warrior: one who fights in a war, soldier
Combat: a fight
Savior: a person who saves from danger
armour a protective covering for the body
Longing: having a great desire
Fate: the power that is supposed to control all events
Unnerve: to become nervous
Pierce: to go into or through something
Avenge: to punish for wrongdoings
Opponent: adversary; rival
Clash(v): to fight
Ignorance: lack of knowledge; unawareness
Thinking about the text
Q. 1. Why was Rustum not able to live with his wife?
Ans) Rustum had to part with his wife because he was called by the king of Persia. The king felt unsafe in the absence of Rustum.
Q. 2. Why did Tanimeh send word to Rustum that their child was a daughter?
Ans) She did so because she feared if Rustum would come to know that he had a son, he would take him away and make him follow his footsteps. Tanimeh did not want to lose her son.
Q. 3. What secret did Sohrab learn from his mother?
Ans) The secret Sohrab learned from his mother was that he was the son of Rustum, the shield of Persia
Q. 4. What did Tanimeh want Sohrab to do when he met Rustum?
Ans) Tanimeh wanted Sohrab to show the precious stone to his father, Rustum so that he could recognize his son.
Q. 5. Why was Rustum at first not ready to fight Sohrab?
Ans: Rustum did not want to fight Sohrab because he had grown old and had to serve his aged father in the faraway village.
Q. 6. Why did Rustum not tell Sohrab who he was?
Ans: Rustum did not tell Sohrab who he was because Rustum thought that if he did so, Sohrab might withdraw from the fight and make peace with him.
Q. 7. How was Sohrab wounded?
Ans) Rustum, after fighting for three days with Sohrab, felt that he was going to lose the fight. Then Rustum uttered his war cry ―”Rustum!” which made Sohrab nervous and he dropped his shield. Rustum, instantly, thrust his sword into Sohrab‘s body. That is how Sohrab was wounded.
Q. 8. What were Sohrab’s last words?
Ans) Sohrab told his father to take him home and bury him there so that people will say, “Here lies Sohrab, the mighty Rustum’s son, whom his father did kill in ignorance”.
B. Find words/phrases given below for the following expressions:
Break down, precious, mighty, bury, combat, send word, invader, chief, protect, send for, parting, determined, strong-minded
a. A fight, especially in a war = Combat
b. To keep somebody/something safe from harm, injury, etc = Protect
c. Going away or separating from somebody = Parting
d. To send someone a message. = Send word
e. Wanting to do something very much regardless of difficulties. = Strong-minded
f. Determined to do something or get something. = Determined
g. Someone who enters a country by force in order to take control of it. = invader
h. A long distance away or a long time in the past or future. = Distant
i. To become very upset and start crying.= Break down
j. Of great and special value = Precious
k. An officer of very high rank in the army = Chief
l. Put a dead body in a grave = Bury
m. Very powerful = Mighty
n. To call someone back = Send for
C. Choose the correct option:
1. “Persia is safe as long as Rustum leads our soldiers,” said The King of Persia
2. “I do not fight in single combat with anyone who is of low birth,” These words are spoken by The Challenger.
3. “If you must go, I want to tell you something.” Said Tanimeh
4. “Who is so rash and thoughtless that he thinks he can attack Persia?” asked Kaikoos
5. “Carry me to your home and bury me there.” These words are spoken by Sohrab
D. Match the words in Column A with the explanations given in Column B:
Column A Column B
a. War cry a word or cry shouted in battle.
b. Challenger one who calls someone for a fight.
c. Arts of war skill in the use of weapons and infighting.
d. Champion one who fights for or defends some other person.
e. Swordsmanship skill in the use of a sword.
f. Spirit quality of courage and vigour.
g. Terror great fear.
h. Clasp hold tightly.
i. Amazed extremely surprised.
j. Ambition a strong desire for success, power or wealth.
A. Combine the following pairs of sentences with unless
1. Unless you run fast, you cannot catch the train.
2. Unless work hard, you cannot get the first class.
3. Unless you hurry, you will not catch the bus.
4. Unless you do as I tell, you will not regret it.
5. Unless you tell me about your problem I cannot give you some solution.
B. Match each clause from Column A with a clause from Column B and make meaningful sentences:
1. If I had worked harder, I would have got more marks.
2. If the driver in front had not stopped, the accident would not have happened.
3. If the weather had not been so bad, we could have gone out.
4. If you have arrived earlier, you could have seen her.
5. If you have moved the injured to hospital immediately, you might have saved his life.
6. If you had not lent me the money, I would not have been able to buy a car.
A. Report the following sentences in indirect speech:
1. She said, “My father will return from Jammu tomorrow.”
Ans. She said that her father would return from Jammu next day.
2. They said, “We will die for the sake of our country.”
Ans. They said that they would die for the sake of their country.
3. The teacher said, “Baber won the first battle of Panipat.”
Ans. The teacher said that Baber won the first battle at Panipat.
4. I said to him, “You have made a false statement.”
Ans. I told him that he had made a false statement.
5. They said to us, “We will play a match tomorrow.”
Ans. They told us that they would play a match the next day.
6. I said to him, “I am an early riser.”
Ans. I told him that I was an early riser.
7. He said, “My father died last year.”
Ans. He said that his father died the previous year.
8. She said to me, “The climate of this place does not suit me.”
Ans. She told me that the climate of that place did not suit her.
9. I said to the peon, “All your faults will be pardoned if you confess them.”