31 pages 1 hour read

Rabindranath Tagore


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1892

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Important Quotes

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“My five years' old daughter Mini cannot live without chattering. I really believe that in all her life she has not wasted a minute in silence. Her mother is often vexed at this, and would stop her prattle, but I would not.”

(Page 3)

This event in "Cabuliwallah" establishes Mini's character as a lively and talkative child while also highlighting the contrasting parenting styles of her mother and father. Mini's incessant chatter symbolizes of her innocence. Moreover, the narrator's tolerance for Mini's talkativeness showcases his deep affection for his daughter, establishing the emotional depth of their relationship.

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“He wore the loose, soiled clothing of his people, with a tall turban; there was a bag on his back, and he carried boxes of grapes in his hand.”

(Page 4)

Rahmun's distinctive attire emphasizes his foreign origin as a Cabuliwallah. This description immediately sets him apart from the local Bengali population and highlights cultural contrast. The presence of a bag on his back and boxes of grapes in his hand signifies his role as a peddler, a profession that becomes central to his interactions with other characters in the narrative.

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“I saw my daughter sitting on a bench in front of the door, nattering unrestrainedly; and the Cabuliwallah was sitting at her feet, listening—grinning broadly, and from time to time making comments in his hybrid sort of Bengali.”

(Page 6)

This represents a turning point in the story as it illustrates the transformation in Mini and Rahmun's relationship. Mini, who was initially frightened by the Cabuliwallah, is now depicted as comfortably chatting and laughing with him. Her unrestrained chatter signifies her acceptance and trust in the Cabuliwallah, which contrasts with her initial fear. The Cabuliwallah, on the other hand, is portrayed as a patient listener.