So far I read twenty books for the 2016 Reading Challenge.
Today it gives me pleasure to write a review of my favourite author, Tagore’s story Kabuli Wala.
Rehmat came all the way from Afghanistan to a community in Bengal, to earn money. Times were difficult back home so he and some of his friends went to Bengal to earn their living by selling shawls and some nuts and raisins.
Rehmat was a very honest man, he was simple and trusted every one he met. He let them have the shawl and nuts, even if they couldn’t pay on the understanding they would give the money at a later date.
Some people cheated him they claimed they did not owe anything to the Kabuliwala ( Rehmat) and that he was lying.
During this time he met a little girl named Mini, he called her Khuki(a child). Mini and the Kabuliwala became good friends, he’d give her nuts and raisins free and the two played some simple games.
The maid servant of Mini’s parents, was very suspicious, she told the mother that Kabuliwala will take her daughter away and sell her. At first the mother did not pay attention, but the maid convinced her it was true. This created a misunderstanding, the mother refused to let her daughter see the nice man.
Kabuliwala actually had a daughter Mini’s age. He felt better interacting with his little friend, who was so much like Rabeya his daughter.
Tagore’s portrayal of Kabuliwala and the little girl Mini was excellent.
The message I get from the story is we humans have a tendency to suspect someone who is different from us, especially if they are poor speak a different language, we think they should not be trusted.
The father liked the man but the mother did not. It took the mother a long time to realize how innocent the man was. She showed it by giving him the money she saved for her daughter,Mini’s wedding ceremony.
Kabuli Wala went to see Mini before he left to go back to his home in Afghanistan, it was tough for him to see his little friend had grown up.
It made him realize he missed seeing his own daughter growing up.
Tagore loved the poor people regardless of where they came from, he used to move around with them whenever he went to take care of his family’s lands.
I cannot be a good judge since I do not know Bengali language, but I thoroughly enjoyed your English translation. To me the best part about it was that it gave that feeling of being overwhelmed, almost like being pulled into an ocean of emotions forcefully and suddenly – which I have understood to be a hallmark of Tagore’s poetry, and a kind of his “signature” (by which I mean, what makes him different from other poets and comes out even in translations, when translations are good).
Thank you Bhai,I was afraid to translate it,I felt I know the language,maybe I should give it a try.
The exceptional comment coming from you,certainly made my day.Whichever way I say thank you isn’t enough.
When Akhtar Bhai suggested to write about Tagore especially his poetry.I was a bit scared,I was not sure how to handle it.
At the same time I did not want to admit I couldn’t do it.Many many thanks once again!
This is an absolutely beautiful poem.
I like that Tagore is referred to as the Universal Poet. It seems right that God would have His poets.
Thank you for sharing this.
All good wishes,
Thank you very much for this, the poem has an enormous effect on heart and mind, and also creates a splendorous sensibility about the relationship that the poet describe so simply but that simplicity produces a river of opus that flows in imagination as musical notation.
Your translation is so good that it brought out tears and I am so happy to be introduced to this beautiful piece of poetry. This is a brilliant beginning 🙂