Plot[ edit ] The story begins in Delhi. Unni is the four-year-old child of a Doctor M. Soman and Sridevi Srividya. Unni has two elder sisters.
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Because of this, Mini turns to her father when she wants to talk. The opening of the story immediately establishes the close connection the narrator has with Mini in her early childhood. The narrator is unsure how to answer and so he tells her to go play, but she sits on the floor next to him and plays. Mini is not just a curious child, but an intelligent one. As such, her mind makes one leap after another, leaving her father scrambling to keep up with her train of thought.
Active Themes The narrator continues working on his book—an adventure story in which the main characters are escaping from a prison—but Mini suddenly catches sight of a Kabuliwala outside.
The narrator is working on an adventure story, which takes on new significance later when he reveals how much he wants to travel the world. The narrator explores and goes on adventures through his writing. Active Themes Hearing Mini yelling about him, the Kabuliwala comes up to the house, but Mini suddenly becomes afraid that the Kabuliwala actually carries children in his bags, so she runs away to another part of the house.
Not wanting to be rude, the narrator invites the Kabuliwala in and buys something from him while they talk about Afghani politics and the present conflict between the British and the Russians in Afghanistan.
He wants her to be curious—but more than that, he wants her to be brave when faced with the new, so she can move forward with more confidence. Download it! Cleary Mini and the Kabuliwala have forged some sort of connection with each other, which is surprising given her earlier fear of him.
However, the narrator still only sees the Kabuliwala as a fruit seller trying to make money, which is why he gives him the half-rupee. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations Later, when the narrator gets back home, his wife is in the middle of scolding Mini for somehow getting her hands on a half rupee. They have become so close that they have inside jokes and the narrator comes to enjoy seeing them laugh together.
The narrator might enjoy seeing Mini and the Kabuliwala together, but it is something that he, personally, is outside of and has no part in. This seems to foreshadow the distance that will sprout up between them as they get older. They do not want to be replaced by a father-in-law, which will inevitably happen when Mini gets married. However, for the narrator this further establishes the seemingly insurmountable differences between himself and Rahamat, preventing them from forming a meaningful connection to one another.
When the narrator tries to convince her that the Kabuliwala is safe, she launches on a tirade about the dangers of kidnapping and children being sold into slavery in Afghanistan. Furthermore, he sees how happy Mini is in her friendship with Rahamat, something which he is beginning to enjoy, as well. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations The time eventually comes for the Kabuliwala to collect his debts and return to his home.
Active Themes One morning during this time, the narrator is up early and working in his study. One of the policemen bringing him away is holding a bloody knife. Active Themes The narrator goes outside to ask what happened and, between what the Kabuliwala and the policemen tell him, he gathers that a neighbor who owed Rahamat money refused to pay and so they got in a fight, during which he stabbed the neighbor.
As he tells this story, Mini appears outside and goes up to the Kabuliwala just as usual. However, in deviating from their usual script of inside jokes, the Kabuliwala fails to make Mini laugh. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations The Kabuliwala is sentenced to prison for many years, and the narrator and Mini soon forget him.
During this time, Mini grows closer to girls her age, and, presumably, her mother. This is the first indication that she will become more like her mother as she grows up and begins learning how to be a good wife before her marriage.
For Rahamat, it is inconceivable that his friendship with Mini is at an end. Thus far, Rahamat has been nothing but a Kabuliwala to the narrator.
The revelation that Rahamat, too, has a daughter who is well-loved and deeply missed is the first step toward a real connection being established between the narrator and Rahamat. The two men are connected by their fatherhood, their deep love for their daughters, and their former closeness with Mini.
Because of this, Rahamat is no longer seen as a threat, but as an equal who deserves to see Mini on her wedding day. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations Mini comes down wearing her wedding clothes, which startles the Kabuliwala.
Mini now understands that Rahamat has been to prison, and she also now recognizes that this means she will be going away as well, but in a different way. Furthermore, Mini had always been a sort of stand-in for Parvati: they are similar ages, and they might even have had similar personalities when Rahamat first met Mini.