No Entry for Tagore’s Kabuliwala

Social Commentary

No Entry for Tagore’s Kabuliwala

Illustration: Sushant Ahire


n this day, we pay homage to Tagore Da. Thank you for the stories and the songs and for handing Bengalis cultural clout over the rest of us heathens. But it is with a heavy heart that I say, it’s now time to bid farewell to one of your most-loved creations: the Kabuliwala.

No middle-school student, who had to pore over his Onward English Reader is unaware of this story of the charismatic, large-hearted Pathan peddler who used to make an annual journey to sell dry fruit on the streets of Kolkata. Actually, it didn’t matter which state you grew up in, whether you attended an English-, Hindi-, or vernacular-medium school, “The Kabuliwala” was omnipresent in your syllabus.