“A Pair of Mustachios” is a short story written by Mulk Raj Anand, and it revolves around various themes such as tradition, acceptance, freedom, class, and conformity. Read More English Summaries.
A Pair of Mustachios Summary
A Pair of Mustachios Summary in English
‘A Pair of Mustachios’ is a thought-provoking story told in a humorous way by Mulk Raj Anand. It focuses on false motives of people to which they attach themselves to appease their false sentiments. The story can be understood in two parts. In the first part the story teller tells about the types of mustachios popular in our country. In the second part the writer tells us a person’s false notions about his decency.
As the writer says there are various kinds of mustachios worn in our country. Someone wear Chinese type, someone American and someone English. Someone keeps it in a convenient way, someone in a fashionable way. Whatever the type be one thing is certain that it symbolises one’s pride and prejudice. The lion mustache symbolises one’s pride of Maharaja type sentiment. Man with such mustache always tries to pose himself to be Raja, Maharaja, Nawab or a great emperor.
The tiger type mustache symbolises the ranks of the feudal gentry who has nothing left but the pride in their neatness and a few mementos of past glories. Then there is goat mustache worn by commercial bourgeoisie and the shopkeeper class. Charlie Chaplin mustache is for lower middle class, clerks and professionals who are of compromising nature between the traditional full mustache and the class- shaven. Curzon-cut mustache is often worn by the sahibs and the barristers. Some other type like sheep mustache is worn by coolie and the lower order while the mouse mustache is worn by the peasants. It has often been seen that there is a tendency to prove oneself superior to others on the basis of the style of mustache.
The writer presents an interesting story in order to satirise the false notion of the people. There was a grocer-cum-moneylender said Ramanand in .the village. He was carrying brisk business. His goat mustache was a mark of his position. But his mustache was trimmed in such a fashion at the tips that they look nearly like a tiger mustache. Nobody seemed to mind it. One day Khan Azam Khan, middle-aged handsome and dignified person with a tiger mustache came to Seth Ramanand. Azam Khan always claimed himself to be a descent from an ancient Afghan family which handed noblemen and councillors in the court of the great Mughals. He had come to the Seth to pawn his wife’s gold nose ring. He noticed the upturning tendency of the hair of Ramanand’s goat mustache.
So first he asked Ramanand to turn his mustache down. After a little discussion the veteran Seth did as Khan wanted. Then the negotiation of the business was finalised. Seth Ramanand told Azam Khan that he had humbled himself because Khan was doing business with him. Otherwise he was not a mere worm. Khan was still not satisfied because he saw Seth had tricked him by lowering only one side of his mustache. Khan wanted the other side to be down also. It made moneylender impatient now. However he assumed Azam Khan to lower his other side also when he would come again. Then the Khan left his shop.
A Pair of Mustachios Summary Class 11
But Khan was not yet satisfied. He could not quell his pride, the pride of the generations of his ancestors who had worn the tiger mustache as a mark of a position. To see the symbol of his honour imitated by a grocer was too much for him. He went home and fetched a necklace which had down to his family through seven generations. He placed it before the grocer and asked him to bring the tip of his mustache down. The grocer replied that he would first do a business. Khan was ready to pawn the necklace of any price because his main concern was the tip of the grocer’s mustache. However the business was settled. But as Khan walked away he turned and saw the moneylender’s mustaches were upturned in the way as that of the Khan. Khan became furious. The grocer wanted to bring him to his senses.
But he was not ready to compromise. Khan wanted grocer’s mustache down. Then the moneylender was also adamant not to do so even. He said that he would not do so even if Khan pawned all the jewellery he possessed. Khan was ready to sacrifice all his possessions, positions, pots and pans, his clothes and even his house just to see grocer’s mustache down. The grocer was ready to accept the bargain. The landlord and some other persons also heard it and they were ready to stand with the grocer. Azam Khan lost everything just to appease his false feudal sentiments. Simply he uttered ‘my father was a Sultan’. Now he had become a pauper.