Blog: This story changed the image of ‘Kabuliwalas’ in India


A Bengali story ‘Kabuliwala’, written by Rabindranath Tagore, about an Afghan man who has to leave his country to come to Kolkata.

A story that has been translated into English by Sister Nederlanda of Ireland living in India.

Balraj Sahni, one of the best performers of Punjab, brought the film on the screen.

That is, a story crossing many borders. And perhaps this is the beauty of art.

Tagore’s story ‘Kabulivala’, written in the year 1892, has now been given a new look in the film ‘Bisskopawala’, in which actor Danny has played the role of an Afghan man.

Earlier, director Heman Gupta had made Hindi film ‘Kabuliwala’ on Tagore’s story in 1961.

Taliban from Kabulivala: Indo-Afghan relations
Danny strolling in the jungle for sharp weapons

‘A my dear nation’
The song “A my beloved nation, ,  shattered my chaman, heart Qurban on you” sings the unimpeachable voice of Manna Dey, who sings the pain of that person who left his daughter in Afghanistan to leave for Calcutta (now Kolkata) and it reminds me of the herb.

But the story of Kabuliwala is much more than that. There is also the story of trust between two people and without conditions.

A four-five-year-old girl living in a ‘good family’ of Kolkata and selling asafoetida and spices on the streets, a tall, tall, stiff-looking and horny-looking Afghan Pathan.
Dried fruits, mini and kabuliwala
Before moving forward, move in a little flashback, you will find that the people who came to Kolkata after that did not see people with a good look.

These Kabuliwalas were so infamous that people used to scare their children by saying that Kabuliwala would fill the children in their sacks and sell them in Kabul.

During the Anglo-Afghan war between the British and Afghanis in the 19th century, a large number of Afghan people came to India. Especially Kolkata was the capital of the British.

By the way, many people used to come from the areas of Kabul, Ghazni, Pattyak and Paktika instead of Kabul, but they did not know how to call them all Kabulivali.

These people used to sell perfumes, dried fruits and spices. If some were settled in Kolkata only then they would have returned after doing some business.
Relationship between two unknown people

Tagore wrote about the story of a similar Afghan Pathan. Rahman Khan ie Balraj Sahni, whose friendship is a five-year mini (Baby Sonu)

Although the mother of the mini may tell horror stories about the Kabulwale, but when the Kabuliwala daily gives dried fruits, raisins in her hand to the mini and narrates stories to the talkie mini, a lovely relationship between the mini and the Kabuliwale becomes.

Kabuliwale looks at the daughter of her daughter Ameena in the mini, who has brought her on the piece of paper with the eyes of Amina.

At the same time there is a mini in the Kabuliwale, who, in a nutshell, listens to the small talk of her tiny mind, giving it time.

Perhaps this relationship was considered as both of them, or to a lesser extent the father of Mini.
Kabuliwala’s Khan house
But luck turns to such a turn that the Kabuliwala and Mini are separated. After 10 years, when Kabuliwala came to meet her, she was her wedding day after 10 years.

But the memories of Kabuliwala have become blurred in the mind of a grown mini. So what does mini do?

Balraj Sahni’s acting is amazing in every eye, with his eyes and gestures, rather than dialogue. As well as the little baby girl rolling Sonu.

It was Tagore’s story that changed the image of the Kabulis in the hearts of the Kolkataites.

There is no official statistics, but even today, around 5,000 Kabulwali people live in areas such as Titagarh in Kolkata.
India or Afghanistan?
In their homes called Khan Kothi, there is still a glimpse of Afghan culture.

Pantha dialect, on the carpet, the traditional Atan dance, the pulse Pashto quilting in the ears. These are still alive in these Khan Kathis of Kolkata.

In the past, these Kabulists came to Afghanistan. But the killing of India also fell on these.

It has become difficult to get through Pakistan and many people have never been able to return.

Many of the Kabuliwalas married only Indian women, so many families lost their lives in Afghanistan.

Yes, if there is a feeling of tasting there, then these people have opened many restaurants in Kolkata.
Will the Kabulwale get his daughter?
But there is a strange tragedy of the life of these Kabuliwalis that they have not lived here for years or despite being born, they are not Indians. There is no basis card, no passport.

These Kabuliwalis are considered to be their descendants even today. And India is in love with the country, and both of them.

And if you want to see a glimpse of their culture then go to the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

These people will still be able to get traditional egg-wrestling, kite-flying and their traditional dance on the day of the holiday.
Balraj Sahni
By the way, whenever I see the film Kabuliwala with Balraj Sahni, I often think that after 10 years when Kabulivala would have returned back to her family, her daughter would have recognized her?

He would have even found his daughter? Otherwise, the hands of a girl on a piece of paper will remain as a last glimpse of Kabulwale.

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