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The Cabuliwallah – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax Golden Tales

The Cabuliwallah – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax-Golden Tales

The Cabuliwallah – Rabindra Nath Tagore, India (1861-1941)

Literal Comprehension

In the story “Cabuliwallah”, Mini and Cabuliwallah were close friends. Cabuliwallah finds Mini like his own daughter. Actually, he formed Cabul. Cabul is the Capital city of Afghanistan. When he was selling grapes, Mini saw him from the window and she called him saying “Cabuliwallah! Cabuliwallah …” when Cabuliwallah saw her up, she became afraid and went to her parents. Then the writer called Cabuliwallah in his house because her daughter had thought that inside of his basket, there were many heads of children. The writer asked him to open the lid of that basket. When she saw grapes inside of the basket, she disillusioned. After this even Mini and Peddler became a close friend.

One day, two policemen arrested to Cabuliwallah because he had stabbed his customer. Then he was sentenced in jail for 7 years. When Mini saw him in handcuff, she asked him if he was going to father in law’s house. Hearing such words, he also asked when she would go to her father in law’s house. After this event, they were separated for 7 years. After seven years, Cabuliwallah released from jail. Then he straightly went writer’s house because he wanted to meet his very small friend, Mini. At this moment, in the writer’s house, Mini’s wedding ceremony was taking. When the writer saw him in his house, he requested him to leave his house and come another day.

But he became so sad and said that he wanted to meet her at any cost. Actually, Cabuliwallah had not gone to his house for many years. He had also one daughter like Mini’s age. So when he says that he finds his own daughter face in Mini, the writer feels sad and calls his daughter Mini. When Cabuliwallah saw Mini in her bride dress, he asked if she was going to father in law’s house. In this time, Mini does not speak with him and she becomes nervous and afraid. Similarly, she also makes her face red. Cabuliwallah thought that his daughter Parvati would be also at her wedding age. Finally, the writer gave him $100.


The story tries to tell that all the peddlers are not bad. They also have heart and feeling of love. It is their compulsion to live far from their family. They might have left their family far behind. They try to forget their children by being close to other’s children. The story also presents the bad concepts of people towards the peddlers. Mini had a blind belief that inside the bag of Cabuliwallah, there were two or more than two children like her. Mini’s mother believed that peddlers are either thieves or drunkards.

Critical Thinking

The story is very interesting. The story presents the nature of children very realistically. Why did the writer let the Cabuliwallah visit his daughter frequently? But some of the ideas in the story are unconvincing.  Why does such a simple man like Cabuliwallah stab a man? Why does the Cabuliwallah ask the same question to Mini even after eight years?


The story changes my concept of peddlers. Before reading this story, I used to think all peddlers are bad. I did not like them. I thought that they all were there to cheat us. Therefore, I had nothing to do with them. But the story changes my bad concept. I realize that they are also human beings and they also want love. They also have children and family. They love their children as we do to ours. Thus, I have determined to love and respect them.

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