Monday, June 04, 2007


The Cabuliwallah
-Rabindranath Tagore

If i remember it right, i had read this short story quite some time back. Forunately i read it again.

It's beautiful and touching. How strange! Relationships teach us something new. They add some worth to our being.

The protagonist as the title suggests is from Cabul. A small girl, Mini befriends him. She buys somrthing from that person. As time proceeds, their friendship develops. The cabuliwallah presents her small presents every now and then. Pehaps, as a token of affection.

Due to no fault of his, the cabuliwallah is caught by the policemen. He spends a few years in jail. Upon his release, he again visits his friend, Mini.

Mini is now a girl of marriageable age. Marriage celebrations are on in her house. The cabuliwallah meets Mini's father, and expresses his wish to meet the girl. After some contemplation the father allows the peddlar to speak to her. A harried meeting does take place between the two old friends.

Initially, the father is apprehensive about some wayside peddlar building acquaintance with his daughter. The uneasiness reaches a high when the cabuliwallah makes an appearance on the day of his daughter's marriage.

The cabuliwallah, also has a daughter far away, in the hills. Mini reminds him of her. Thus, his affection and love for her. Thus, those small invaluable gifts. That which might hold no much significance to her. On the other hand, he holds her high in his eyes.

While we are gratified.


Srik said...

This reminds me of those days, when i was in school, my father used to tell us stories from these legendary writers.
Kabuliwalah is one of the stories I heard from him. I would cry when he say "kabuliwalah being put in jail..." and the climax is such a painsgiving one, wonder how a child gets accustomed to those things!!

You have made me nostalgic as well!!

mouna said...

yes, it makes one feel sad. the climax is very touching. the wonders of childhood! :)

December Stud said...

Cabuliwallah is brilliant indeed...It's been a looooooooooooong time. nfact, even the movie was very well made, for a change.

I thought Mini did not recognize Cabulliwallah when he comes back from Jail. Nay?

mouna said...

is it so? i've never heard of the movie...yes mini does not recognize the cabuliwallah.

December Stud said... was a super popular Bengali movie by the same name.

Srik said...

I've not known about the movie too.
Will ask my Bengali friends for a DVD of it.

mouna said...

thanks for informing us! i plan to see the movie too, by hook or crook ;)