INTER UNIVERSITY PRESS Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 1
The speaker in the given extract is the narrator of the story The Kabuliwala, and Mini's father.
The narrator had started writing the seventeenth chapter of his novel when Mini, his five-year-old daughter walked into the room and interrupted him with her chatter.
The narrator was a writer by profession.
Mini walked into her father's room and began, 'Dad, our sentry Ramdayal doesn't even know how to pronounce the word "crow." He is so backward.' Before her father could explain the differences between languages, she launched herself into another topic, 'See, Dad, Bhola was saying that when elephants lift water with their trunks and spray it from the sky, it rains. Dear, oh dear! Bhola can speak such nonsense. He can rant day and night, without making any sense!' Without waiting for her father's reply, she asked him the next question, 'Dad, who is Mum to you?' There was no connection between the three questions that she asked her father. Her father mentions in the beginning of the story that Mini liked to talk all day long. It took her about a year after being born to acquire the talent for language, and since then she had not wasted a single wakeful moment of her life remaining silent.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 2
Mini was sitting beside her father's writing table close to his feet. She was playing the game of knick-knack with her hands and knees.
Mini called out to a tall, shabbily dressed Afghan who was walking down the street.
The Afghan was a street vendor from Kabul with a turban on his head and a sack on his back. His name was Rahman and he was called Kabuliwala by Mini.
Mini called out to the Kabuliwala after abruptly stopping her game of knick-knack while still in her father's room. There was no particular reason for her to call him. Mini's father however, thought of him as a nuisance who would come in and interrupt his writing like his daughter.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 3
Mini was afraid of the Kabuliwala as she thought that if someone looked through the bag of the Afghan man, several living children would be found in there.
Mini's mother had her own suspicions about the Afghan, Rahman. She feared that one day he would abduct Mini and take her away to Afghanistan and make her a slave. Slavery was prevalent in Afghanistan and it was common for children to be abducted and sold there.
The Kabuliwala offered Mini some raisins and apricots to befriend her. However, Mini was so afraid of the Afghan man that she didn't accept the treat from him.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 4
The Kabuliwala wanted to befriend Mini and that is why he offered her some raisins and apricots.
Although Mini called out to the Kabuliwala from her window, she didn't expect the tall Afghan to turn around and walk in her direction. His built and the sack on his back made her believe the story that the sack had living children in it. Her fear of the stranger made her refuse the raisins and the apricots that Rahman offered.
Mini reminded Rahman of his own little daughter who lived in Afghanistan. Therefore, when he heard Mini calling out to him, he was drawn to her. He offered Mini the dry fruits imagining that he was giving the goodies to his own daughter. When they became friends Mini's company helped him forget the pain of being away from his own daughter.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 5
The two intent listeners in Mini's life were her father and her new found friend, the Kabuliwala.
The Kabuliwala was given half-a-rupee by Mini's father for the dry fruits he gave her for free. However, since the Kabuliwala felt affectionate towards Mini, he gave her back the coin.
Mini's mother scolded her because she had a half-a-rupee coin and no one knew where she got it from. She didn't know that Rahman had given it back to her. She wanted her to remember that taking things from strangers was not right.
Although Mini was sacred of Rahman when she saw him for the first time, one day her father saw her chatting non-stop with the Kabuliwala at the door. Mini was seated on the bench next to the door while the Kabuliwala was parked next to her feet, listening to her with a grin and interjecting now and then in broken Bengali to give his opinion. Mini and Rahman had become great friends despite the fact that there was nothing in common between the two.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 6
When Rahman used the word 'in-laws', he was referring to the police.
Bengali girls were familiar with the term in-laws since childhood. However, since Mini's parents were liberal, they did not believe in child marriage and hence, Mini had not yet experienced what it was to have in-laws. Therefore, she couldn't fathom the term 'in-laws' when Rahman used it.
Rahman made a huge fist with his hand and pretended to punch his imaginary in-law to show Mini how he would behave with his in-laws (the police). At this Mini exploded into peals of laughter imagining the plight of the in-law being beaten up by her friend.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 7
The 'he' in the given extract is Rahman, a fruit seller and a money lender hailing from Afghanistan and a dear friend to Mini.
Rahman used to go back to his home country in January or February each year. Before going away he had to rush from house to house to collect dues from the people whom he had given money to.
Although he had to rush from house to house to collect his dues, Rahman always found time for Mini. On days when he was unable to meet her in the morning, he made sure to come to meet her in the evening.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 8
The narrator saw Rahman in handcuffs escorted by two policemen as he looked outside. A whole host of street urchins was following them on the streets.
There was commotion on the streets as the policemen had arrested Rahman and some other street urchins and they were being walked on the streets.
The policeman was carrying a blood-stained knife which Rahman had used to stab a man who owed him money. As the man had refused to pay his dues, an argument broke out between them and in a fit of anger, Rahman stabbed the man.
Mini called out to Rahman when he was in the midst of hurling obscene abuses at the dishonest man who refused to pay him money. However, when Mini called out to him in her regular fashion, "Kabuliwala, O Kabuliwala," Rahman's face was filled with happiness in a flash. On being questioned by Mini whether he was going to his in-laws, Rahman laughed and said pointing to his hands that he would have beaten up the in-law if his hands were not tied up.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 9
The narrator is discussing Rahman in the extract.
Mini was a little girl with an inconstant little heart. She soon forgot about her old friend Rahman and did not ask about him when he was gone.
Rahman was serving a long sentence in the prison after having stabbed a man who refused to pay him back.
The narrator explains that his family very conveniently forgot about Rahman. Living within the secure walls of their home, it never occurred to them where or how Rahman must be. However, the narrator felt guilty when he realised that Mini too had forgotten her Afghan friend and found a new friend in Nabi, the syce. The narrator, however, thought about how Rahman, the man from the free mountains, was spending his years within the secluded walls of the jail.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 10
The narrator did not recognise Rahman, the dry fruit seller from Afghanistan.
The narrator was unable to recognise Rahman because he was not wearing his usual clothes or carrying the customary sack on his back. He didn't have long hair or brawny physique like before when he came to meet Mini after spending several years in jail.
Rahman had just been freed from the prison after serving a long sentence. The first thing he wanted to do was meet his little girl, Mini, whom he must have missed a great deal while he was in prison. Therefore, he came to meet the narrator.
At first, the narrator did not recognise Rahman as he had grown a little weak after spending many years in the prison. His physical appearance had changed significantly. However, the narrator recognised him through his smile.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 11
When the narrator saw Rahman standing in front of him, he at once remembered that this Kabuliwala had tried to kill someone. In addition to this it was the day of Mini's wedding. The narrator did not feel comfortable having Rahman in his house at that time and wanted him to leave the house immediately.
For Rahman, Mini was still the little five-year-old girl who he thought would come running towards him calling out "Kabuliwala, O Kabuliwala". He hadn't realised that he was gone for too long and that Mini was no longer a little girl.
It was the day of Mini's wedding when Rahman came to meet her. He was released from the prison after having served a sentence for trying to kill one of the narrator's neighbours. The narrator thought of Rahman as a criminal and perhaps was not comfortable with the idea of his daughter reuniting with him. Secondly, the narrator has earlier mentioned that Mini had forgotten about Rahman soon after he left. It is possible that he feared Mini would not recognise Rahman on meeting him again after so many years, and this would break Rahman's heart. Although the narrator was harsh towards Rahman, he thought for the good of all when he hesitated in calling Mini.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 12
Rahman placed a soiled piece of paper on the table. The paper had an impression of a very small hand on it.
The hand impression belonged to Rahman's daughter, who was as old as Mini. Since he stayed away from home, he always carried the piece of paper with him. This made him miss his daughter a little less.
Rahman showed the piece of paper to the narrator because he wanted to share with him why he felt close to Mini. In Mini, Rahman saw his own daughter, and when he spent time with Mini, he felt as if he was spending time with his own daughter.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 13
The narrator belonged to an aristocratic Bengali family while the Kabuliwala was an ordinary fruit-peddler from Kabul.
Rahman's only memory of his daughter was her hand impression from when she was little. It had been several years since he last saw his daughter, who was as old as Mini. Rahman's daughter too had grown up and Rahman was not fortunate enough to be with her in her growing years. When Mini's father, the narrator, saw the piece of paper, his eyes filled with tears for the father in Rahman who never got a chance to spend time with his daughter.
Every year Rahman came to peddle merchandise on the streets of Kolkata carrying a piece of paper in his pocket. This paper was a memorabilia of the trace of a tiny hand created with burnt charcoal daubed on the palm. For Rahman, it was not a piece of paper. It was as if the soft touch of the little hand kept his lonely heart fed with love and happiness.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 14
The Kabuliwala is talking to Mini in the extract.
When Rahman saw Mini after so many years, she was standing shyly beside her father dressed as a bride. Rahman had forgotten about the time lapse between this meeting and their last meeting. He still imagined her to be a little girl fond of her Kabuliwala and his treats. Seeing the little girl all grown up confused Rahman.
Rahman asked Mini, "Girl, are you going to the in-law's house?" When years ago Rahman and little Mini would meet, this was one of the stock questions used by both of them for fun. Rahman thought that she would remember him with that question. Therefore, he asked it to her.
Mini dressed as a bride, now understood what the word 'in-law' meant. When Rahman asked her if she was going to her in-laws, her face became purple with shame and she abruptly turned around and left.
The last meeting between Mini and Rahman was as abrupt as their first. When Mini saw Rahman for the first time, she was sacred of him. When she saw him in her father's study on her wedding day, she felt shy because he asked her about her in-laws. Both the meetings were abrupt. After Mini left the room, Rahman slouched on the floor with a long, deep sigh. It suddenly dawned on him that his daughter too had grown up and he would have to get to know her all over again. She would not be the same girl he left behind. He wasn't even sure about what might have happened to her in the past eight years.
Chapter 7 - The Kabuliwala Passage 15
The festivities were taking place in the narrator's house on the occasion of his daughter Mini's wedding.
The narrator had to cancel the band party and had to compromise on the quality of the lightning decoration for the wedding.
The narrator gave some money to Rahman so that he could go back to his daughter in Afghanistan. He wished to see Rahman united with his daughter and hoped that the happiness of their union brought blessings for Mini too.
In the beginning of the story, the narrator thought of Rahman as a nuisance whocame into his courtyard and interrupted his writing exercise. He did not approve of him offering dry fruits to Mini for free. He saw Rahman handcuffed and hurling abuses at one of his neighbours because the latter had not paid him his dues. After being freed from the prison, when Rahman came to meet Mini, the narrator almost hated him because he was a criminal. However, when he came to know that Rahman had no memory of his own daughter except for the soiled paper containing the little hand impression, his heart melted and ached for him. Suddenly Rahman was not a nuisance anymore. He was also a father living in the pain of being away from his daughter. The narrator realised that he too would soon feel the same pain when Mini would go to her in-laws home for the rest of her life. In this moment, the two fathers were equal and understood each other completely.
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