Student Question

What is the significance of the title Abol Tabol?

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The significance of the title Abol Tabol links to how it reflects the zaniness of Sukumar Ray's collection of poems.

Abol Tabol is a collection of poems initially written in Bengali by Sukumar Ray. In English, the title means The Weird and the Absurd. Think about how those two words—“weird” and “absurd”—aptly describe the poems in the collection. Consider how the poems deviate from rational behavior and standard logic. In one poem, a mustache is stolen off the face of a boss; in another poem, a queen wears a pillow around her head while the king’s aunt hits pumpkins with her cricket bat.

Poems like these could be called “weird” and “absurd,” so the title matches the tone of the collection. The relationship is significant, as it lets the reader know the kind of world they’re about to enter. Due to the title, the reader can prepare themselves before they step into Ray’s ludicrous and offbeat atmosphere.

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