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The Cabuliwallah: Analysis

The cabuliwallah is from Kabul. His real name is Abdur Rahman. He works as a peddler in India. He goes to Kabul once a year to visit his wife and little daughter. In the course of selling goods, once he reaches to the house of writer, Rabindranath Tagore. Then his five years daughter, Mini calls him ‘Cabuliwallah! A Cabuliwallah’. When Cabuliwallah goes to visit Mini she is afraid because he is wearing loose solid clothes and a tall turban. He looks gigantic. When the writer knows that Mini is afraid, he introduces her with him. The Cabuliwallah gives her some nuts and raisins. Mini becomes happy from next day, the Cabuliwallah often visits her and he gives her something to eat. They crack looks and laugh and enjoy. They also feel comfortable in the company each other. The writer likes their friendship. But Mini’s mother doesn’t like it. She thinks that the peddler like Cabuliwallah can be child lifter. However, Mini and the Cabuliwallah becomes intimate friend.

The Cabuliwallah sells seasonal goods. Once he sells a Rampuri shawl to a customer on credit. He asks him for the money many times but he doesn’t pay. At last he denies buying the shawl. The Cabuliwallah becomes very angry and stabs the customer. Then he is arrested by police and taken him to the jail. He is jailed for eight years. When he is freed from jail at first he goes to visit Mini surprisingly. It is the wedding day and he isn’t allowed to visit her. When he shows the finger of a piece of paper to the writer, he permits to meet Mini who is in wedding dress. The writer knows that the Cabuliwallah has no money to go back to his house so the writer cuts of the wedding expenses like a light and bands and gives one hundred rupees to the Cabuliwallah and sends him to Kabul.


The writer may be trying to show the attitude of people towards the foreigners and poor peddler. Although the Cabuliwallah is very simple and honest, writer’s wife suspects him as a child lifter, also tries to cheat him by not paying his money. The story also shows the plight of the people due to poverty. If the Cabuliwallah had enough money, he would not come to India leaving his wife and daughter in Kabul. The writer seems to shows that temper ruins anyone. If Cabuliwallah didn’t stab the costumer, he wouldn’t have to go to the jail. This story is also full of feelings of humanity. The writer cuts off the wedding expenses and helps the Cabuliwallah.

Critical Thinking:

Although this story is full of the feeling of humanity, some ideas of the writer are skeptical. Does a man leave his children freely with a stranger? Does a peddler give things to others children freely every time? Does the Cabuliwallah stab the costumer? Can we find anyone who helps others by cutting off weeding expenses? So, I don’t agree with the writer totally.

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