Much later I came to know that it starred Balraj Sanhi, one of the best actors of Indian cinema, as Kabuliwala. Around the same time I also came to know that the short story was A poster of the film "Kabuliwala" Around the same time I also came to know that the short story was written by none other than Rabindranath Tagore who was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in He is considered to be one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century. A book-cover design for "Kabuliwala".
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Rahamat, who is a hawker of dry fruits and shawls from Kabul, frequents the Bengali locales where Minnie and her family reside. He was a strapping, turban-clad man and fascinated Minnie. One day she called him from the window of her house.
But as he approached closer she got startled and ran back inside. He introduced Minnie to him with the title of Kabuliwala. To make her more comfortable Rahmat offered some dry fruits to Minnie.
He started calling Minnie as Khuki a child. As their friendship blossomed, Minnie and Rahmat started meeting and interacting every day.
Rahmat narrated stories of his homeland to Minnie and the young girl happily returned the warmth with her own innocent tales and playfulness. Kabuliwala listened to the young girl with great intent and relish.
She also stopped paying Kabuliwala for his goods. The tiff started due to non-payment of a Rampuri shawl that the Kabuliwala sold to the customer. The customer denied having ever bought the shawl and that caused Rahmat to lose his control. During the trial, he confessed to killing the man even after being advised against it by his lawyer.
The judge decided to reduce his punishment to years imprisonment after being impressed by his honesty. After getting released several years later he went to see Minnie. Kabuliwala obliged but while leaving offered some raisins for Minnie. He also showed a scruffy piece of paper with a handprint of his daughter that he left in Kabul. Mini was dressed and embellished like a bride but was too apprehensive to meet her long-forgotten friend. Kabuliwala was taken aback to see a girl he could not recognize and struggled to cope with the reality of the time he lost while imprisoned.
She would have been a grown woman like Minnie. In a way, they could sympathize with the plight of another parent longing for his long-separated daughter. Key Lessons The fundamental message of the story is that people have the ability to do good as well as bad to others. Often, it is easier to side with our fears and suspect someone who is not like us. It can be a different skin colour or a different language. But if we are patient with people and try to understand their situations and problems then we can find some common ground.
They go through the same emotions and conflicts as we do. They are also faced with difficult choices like us. Refer to this site for a shorter summary. Play Quiz.
The Kabuliwala Summary | Rabindranath Tagore
Summaries 2 Summaries A poor Afghani leaves his family behind to earn a living as a dried fruit vendor in India. Profoundly homesick, he befriends a young girl who reminds him of his own daughter. Meanwhile, the locals are distrustful of all foreigners. He decides to secretly re-locate to Hindustan, without the knowledge of Amina, and he does so in the dark of the night. Upon arrival in Hindustan, he finds that the locals actually fear him and his kind, and blame them for kidnapping young children. A depressed Abdul is unable to get Amina out of his mind, and spends a week without doing any business. After that he sets out to sell dry fruits on the streets.
Kabuliwala by Rabindranath Tagore – Book review