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Interactive Literature Selections

Investigate, Inquire, and Imagine, page 727


1a. What can Mini, the narrator's five-year-old daughter, not live without doing?

2a. What is Mini's first reaction to the Cabuliwallah?

3a. What gift does Rahmun bring to Mini on her wedding day?


1b. What troubles the narrator when Mini is silent?

2b. What actions on the part of Mini and the Cabuliwallah show that they enjoy one another's friendship?

3b. What actions on the part of Mini show that she has grown up?


4a. Analyze the relationship between Rahmun and Mini. What things do they do with each other? How do they feel toward one another? Back up your answers with examples from the text.


4b. Based on the relationship between Rahmun and Mini you described in question 4a, predict what their relationship would have been like if Rahmun had never gone to jail. In what ways would Rahmun's life be different if they never separated? In what ways would Mini's life be different?


5a. What is the reason Rahmun develops a special friendship with young Mini? Do you think this is a good reason? Why, or why not?


5b. Why do you think the narrator reacts the way he does when Rahmun shows him the impression of his daughter's hand on the piece of paper? How do you think the narrator's reaction would have been different if he, himself, were not a father of a daughter?

Understanding Literature, page 727

Theme.What underlying theme is highlighted by the change in Mini, as seen by Rahmun, at the end of the story?

Characterization.Review the chart you completed for the Graphic Organizer. What techniques does Tagore use to characterize Rahmun? Which of Rahmun's behaviors show that he dearly loves his only daughter?

Writer's Journal, page 728

1. Pretend you are Rahmun. Write a letter to your daughter in the mountains of Afghanistan, telling her how you feel about her, what you keep always in your possession, and why you have been separated.

2. Write a wedding invitation for Rahmun.

3. Imagine Rahmun returns to see the narrator after he has seen his daughter. Write a dialogue between the two men in which they discuss what their daughters were like when they were little and the relationship they have with them now that they are grown. Did Rahmun's daughter forgive him after his long absence? Did Mini forgive her father after he pared down her wedding celebration?

Integrating the Language Arts, page 728

Language, Grammar, and Style

Using the Active Voice. Read the Language Arts Survey 3.37, "Making Passive Sentences Active." Determine whether each of the following sentences is written in the passive or the active voice. Rewrite those that are in the passive voice, using the active voice instead. Write OK if a sentence needs no correction.

1. A hero and a heroine were created by the narrator for his story.

2. Ruhman was called the Cabuliwallah by the people of Calcutta.

3. Ruhman accepted the money for the almonds and raisins that the narrator handed him.

4. He was taken to jail by the police for hitting a customer.

5. Ruhman was released from his jailers on the day of Mini's wedding.


Using Context Clues to Estimate Word Meaning. Read the following passages from "The Cabuliwallah" and use context clues to estimate the meaning of the underlined word.


The Cabuliwallah had overcome the child's first terror by a judicious bribery of nuts and almonds, and the two were now great friends.

judicious: well thought out

1. Entering at this moment, I saved her from impending disaster and proceeded to make my own inquiries.

2. But she would not show it, and with instant composure replied: "Are you going there?"

3. "It is a euphemism for jail, the place where we are well cared for at no expense."

4. "Ah," he would say, shaking his fist at an invisible policeman, "I will thrash my father-in-law!" Hearing this, and picturing the poor, uncomfortable relative, Mini would go into peals of laughter, joined by her formidable friend.

5. I could see the string of camels bearing merchandise, and the company of turbaned merchants carrying queer old firearms and some of their spears down toward the plains. I could see—but at this point Mini's mother would intervene, imploring me to "beware of that man."

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