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Workbook solutions of The Kabuliwala by Rabindranath Tagore

I.
(i) The father in the extract is the narrator and the daughter is the narrators daughter, Mini. It
can be concluded from the daughters questions that she is a talkative girl, always bursting
with questions.
(ii) The two fathers in the story are the narrator and Rahamat, the Kabuliwala. The
narrator is an author by profession, whereas Rahamat is a peddler, who brings seasonal goods
from his country, Afghanistan and sells them in India.
(iii) The most important traits of the daughters character are that she is talkative and always
questioning. Her father says that her daughter has not wasted a single moment of her life
remaining silent.
(iv) The father had started writing the seventeenth chapter of his novel, the moment his
daughter, Mini, entered the room. The father shows that he is patient with his daughter by
listening to her volley of questions without saying anything and later joining her prattle and
having a lively talk with her.

(v) The main theme of the story, The Kabuliwala is human relationships that exist on
different levels the relationship between a father and his daughter, represented by the
narrator and his daughter, Mini; the relationship between the Kabuliwala and Mini, a
representation of the Kabuliwalas relationship with his own daughter, who is far away from
him; and Minis relationship with her mother, who is quite protective of her daughter.

II. (i) The narrator is the speaker here. He was startled to see Mini laughing and talking with
the Kabuliwala because initially she was scared of the Kabuliwala. She had the unknown fear
that the Kabuliwala carried several living children like herself in his bag.

(ii) The Kabuliwala was a peddler, who used to bring dry fruits and other goods from his
country, Afghanistan and sell them in India. Kabuliwala was a tall, shabbily dressed Afghan,
who used to wear a turban on his head and carry a bag over his shoulder and a few boxes of
dry grapes in his hand.

(iii) The first meeting between Mini and the Kabuliwala happened when she called him to
her house. But when the Kabuliwala came, she got frightened and ran inside. She came only
when her father called her out. She stood nervously, pressing her fathers body and looking
suspiciously at the Kabuliwala and his bag. When the Kabuliwala offered her some raisins
and apricots from his bag, she refused to take them and clung closer to her father with a
redoubled suspicion.

(iv) Mini overcame her fear of Kabuliwala when her father called her from inside the house
to meet the Kabuliwala. Minis fear of Kabuliwala carrying several children like her in his
bag subsided, when the Kabuliwala took out some dry fruits from his bag and offered them to
her.

(v) The narrator paid half-a-rupee coin to the Kabuliwala for the almonds and raisins he gave
to Mini as gifts. The Kabuliwala gave the money to Mini.

(vi) When Kabuliwala gave the money paid by Minis father to Mini, Minis mother got
annoyed that her daughter had accepted the money from a stranger. Minis father rescued
Mini from her mothers wrath by taking her out for a walk.
III.
(i) Minis mothers fear that the world was full of thieves, bandits, drunkards, malaria and
cockroaches, waiting for an opportunity to harm her family, is referred to in the extract.

(ii) The lady is not able to overcome the fear because she has been hearing about instances of
child abduction, theft and robbery and is too concerned about the welfare of her family.

(iii) She is full of suspicion about the Kabuliwala because she has heard tales of child
abduction and robbery prevalent in Afghanistan, the country to which the Kabuliwala
belonged. Since, the Kabuliwala was a huge and tall man, she feared that he could kidnap her
daughter, Mini.

(iv) She was annoyed at her daughters act of accepting things from a stranger, i.e., the
Kabuliwala. She had the fear that the Kabuliwala was trying to befriend her daughter by
giving her gifts, with the intention of kidnapping her.

(v) The pointed questions that the lady asked the narrator included were there no
instances of child abduction, was not slave trade in practice in Afghanistan and was it
impossible for a giant like Kabuliwala to kidnap a little child.

(vi) The narrator had to agree to the doubts of his wife because her doubts were not
impossible. No, he did not succeed in allaying her wifes fear.

IV. (i) The dishonest man was the narrators neighbor, who had bought a Rampuri shawl from
the Kabuliwala on credit. Rahamat was hurling abuses at him because when he asked for his
payment for the shawl, the man denied having bought the shawl.

(ii) The usual exchange refers to Minis questioning Kabuliwala about the contents in his
bag.

(iii) When Mini asked Kabuliwala if he was going to his in-laws house, he replied that he
was going there only.

(iv) The Kabuliwala was charged with murderous assault. He was sentenced to eight years of
imprisonment for his crime.

(v) It was the end of the winter season. The weather was freezing cold and almost
unbearable, especially in the morning hours, with little warmth after sunrise.

V. (i) The narrators house is being referred to in the extract. The noise and bustle pervading
the house is because of the narrators daughters wedding.

(ii) There was lot of hustle and bustle in the house because of the narrators daughters
wedding. The visitors were continuously walking in and out. A tent was being put up in the
courtyard of the house and the ringing of the chandeliers being put in the verandah filled the
air. The wedding music was being played in the house since dawn and there was festivity in
the house and no end to the noise.
(iii) Rahamats physical features had changed in the eight years he had been in prison. He no
longer had his long hair or his old vigor. The usual bag he carried on his shoulder was also
missing.

(iv) The narrator could not recognize him first because his looks had changed from what it
used to be eight years ago. He did not have his long hair, his old vigour and the bag on his
shoulder. The narrator recognized him from his smile.

(v) Rahamat had come from jail after being released from there. The narrator was little
annoyed with the Kabuliwala and asked him to come some other day. He did not like his visit
to the house because it was the auspicious day of his daughters wedding.

(vi) Rahamat was little hurt by the indifferent attitude of the narrator and was stunned on
hearing that he would not be able to meet Mini, as she was getting married that day.

VI.
(i) The impression of the hand of Kabuliwalas daughter on a piece of paper, created with
burnt charcoal was the memorabilia of his daughter. Kabuliwala carried it with himself as a
mark of love and remembrance from his daughter, which provided comfort and happiness to
his lonely heart.

(ii) The merchandise that the Kabuliwala sold on the streets of Kolkata included dry fruits
like almonds, raisins and apricots and woollen clothes like shawls.

(iii) The Kabuliwala requested the speaker to hand over the grapes and raisins, which he has
brought for Mini, to her. The speaker accepted the Kabuliwalas request because he realised a
fathers longing for his daughter and that the Kabuliwala saw a reflection of his own daughter
in Mini.

(iv) The Kabuliwala was shocked when Mini finally appeared before him because his little
chirping, five-year-old Mini has grown up into young, beautiful girl and was dressed up like a
bride.

(v) On seeing Mini, it dawned on the Kabuliwala that his own little daughter at home, away
in Afghanistan, must have grown up like Mini. She would not be the same girl, whom he had
left behind, eight years ago and would have to know her all over again.

(vi) The narrator helped the Kabuliwala by cutting down on the wedding expenses of his
daughter and giving him the money so that he could go back to his own country and meet his
daughter.

(vii) Both the narrator and the Kabuliwala are doting fathers to their daughters. Both of them,
also suffer the pangs of separation from their daughters : the Kabuliwala got separated from
his daughter when he was imprisoned eight years ago, whereas the narrator was about to be
separated from his daughter because of her getting married.