31 pages 1 hour read

Rabindranath Tagore


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1892

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Literary Devices


Tagore employs the device of foreshadowing in “The Cabuliwallah” through a shared joke between Mini and Rahmun. Rahmun asks Mini, "when are you going to the father-in-law's?” (7). As explained in the story, going to one’s “father-in-law’s” has a double meaning for the Cabuliwallah, who uses the term as a euphemism for jail. This seemingly innocuous exchange between Rahmun and Mini foreshadows a significant event in the story's climax and resolution.

First, Rahmun goes to prison over the incident of stabbing a man. Several years later, after Rahmun's imprisonment ends, he visits Mini just as she is about to depart for her father-in-law’s house, per the local tradition. This turn of events mirrors the playful banter from earlier in the story and Mini's leaving for her father-in-law's house becomes a pivotal aspect of the story's resolution.

Tagore's use of foreshadowing in this instance connects the beginning and end of the story, which also creates a sense of narrative symmetry. It underscores the theme of The Passage of Time, as the playful promise made by Rahmun in the past comes to fruition in the present.