Kabuliwala (1961 film)

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Kabuliwala (1961)
Kabuliwala Poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Hemen Gupta
Produced by Bimal Roy
Leela Desai (assoc.)
Written by Vishram Bedekar
S. Khalil
Based on Kabuliwala
by Rabindranath Tagore
Starring Balraj Sahni
Usha Kiran
Music by Salil Choudhury
Cinematography Kamal Bose
Edited by Madhu Prabhavalkar
Release date
December 14, 1961
Running time
134 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi

Kabuliwala (Hindi: काबुलीवाला) is a 1961 Hindi film based on the story Kabuliwala, by the Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore. It was directed by Hemen Gupta and starred Balraj Sahni, Usha Kiran, Sajjan, Sonu and Baby Farida.[1][2]


The simple story of Kabuliwala is about the affection between Abdur Rahamat Khan, an Afghani immigrant dry-fruit-seller in Calcutta and Mini (Sonu), a girl who he imagines as his child-figure in memory of his daughter, Amina (Baby Farida), left behind in Kabul.


  • Balraj Sahni as Abdul Rehman Khan
  • Sonu as Mini
  • Usha Kiran as Rama, Mini's mother
  • Padma
  • Laxmi
  • Sarita Devi
  • Anwari Bai
  • Leela Agha
  • Baby Farida
  • Asit Sen as Bhola


Gupta had remained private secretary to Subhas Chandra Bose, and went on to direct many films including Taksaal (1956), also starring Balraj Sahni, and his tribute Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1966). The most successful adaptation of a Tagore story outside Bengal was Hemen Gupta’s Kabuliwala, produced by Bimal Roy, starring the veteran actor Balraj Sahni.

This story, unlike many other Tagore-inspired films that are more strongly rooted in context and period, offers a more classical perspective on humanism, identity and difference. Tagore’s Kabuliwala was published as a short story in Sadhana, a Bangla literary magazine he edited through the 1890s and the early decades of the twentieth century.

The story was translated from Bangla into English by the Irish woman Margaret Elizabeth Noble, more popularly known to the world as Sister Nivedita, and published in the Modern Review.[3]


Music – Salil Choudhury; Lyrics – Prem Dhawan, Gulzar


External links[edit]