Special Sub-Topic: "Kim" by Rudyard Kipling
|The story starts with the scene of three street urchins playing outside the museum at Lahore. Three boys are playing 'king of the castle' on a big cannon. What is the name of the big cannon?|
Zam-Zammah. On a plinth outside the Lahore museum in Pakistan stands the largest gun made in India of its day, Zam-Zammah. According to Peter Hopkirk's "Quest for Kim" the cannon was cast in Lahore in 1762 for Ahmad Shah Durrani who was the Afghan warrior king who ruled the Punjab at that time. The cannon was 14 feet long and had a calibre of ten inches and the last time it was used was in 1818, but it became damaged, and since then has been on display.
According to Wikipedia Big Bertha was a super heavy howitzer developed by the armaments factory Krupps in Germany just before the start of World War 1. Along with Langer Max and the Paris Gun, Big Bertha was founded on a lesson learnt by the German military during the Russo-Japanese war. During this campaign 1904-05 the Japanese dismounted a number of their coastal defence howitzers and used them to break their siege of the Russian naval base at Port Arthur. This was unheard of at that time.
|The Lama, an old ascetic Tibetan priest, is on a journey to find the sacred river that was created by Buddha's Arrow. Along the way he meets the curator of the Lahore museum and looks at the collection of Buddhist relics in the museum. The curator, as a parting gift, gives the Lama something personal that belongs to him. What did the curator give the old priest?|
His spectacles. Kipling used his father, John Lockwood Kipling, as the inspiration for the character of the curator of the Lahore museum. In 1875 Lockwood Kipling was the Principal of the Mayo School of Arts in Lahore. He also became the curator of the Lahore Museum which is called "the Wonder House", "Ajab Ghar" in the story.
|Consistently throughout this story Kim is addressed, especially by the Lama, by which nickname?|
"little friend of all the world". He gets this name because of the little missions he would undertake in Lahore to deliver love letters and arrange assignations between lovers, dressed as a Hindu beggar boy. The phrase was used by the author Christopher West who has written a book extending Kim's story past Kipling's original ending.
|The Lama seeks the 'River of the Arrow' to free himself and to be cleansed, by bathing in the river, of "all taint and speckle of sin". What, in particular, is the Lama looking to be released from?|
The "Wheel of Things". The "Wheel of Things" is also known as the "Wheel of Suffering" (Samsara) in Tibetan Buddhism and refers to the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The Lama, in finding the "River of the Arrow", hopes to free himself from the "Wheel" and achieve Enlightenment. It is their journey to find where the arrow of the Lord Buddha fell that leads us throughout northern India.
|Kim is on his own quest to find the "Red Bull on a green field". To achieve this he becomes the Lama's 'chela'. What is a 'chela'?|
Disciple/servant. At first when Kim sees the Lama he is a disinterested boy playing with two other boys on a large cannon. Never having seen a Buddhist monk before, he becomes intrigued by the Lamas' mannerisms and journey of discovery. When he finds out that the chela to the Lama has died in a previous city Kim agrees to accompany the Lama on his journey, while at the same time delivering some papers for Mahbub Ali to Creighton Sahib.
|Kim is the son of an former Irish sergeant in the British army in India. But, Kim is a shortened version of his full name. What is Kim's full Christian name?|
Kimball. Kimball O'Hara is the orphaned son of an Irish ex-sergeant of the British Army in India, born shortly after the Second Afghan War of 1865. His mother died shortly after he was born from cholera and his father left the army and drank himself into an early grave, leaving the boy in the hands of a narcotics den mother.
|While on the journey with the Lama, Kim comes to a village where he pretends he can see the future and 'foresees' a great war with eight thousand soldiers on the march. This brings him to the attention of an old soldier who lived in the village. During The Great Mutiny of 1857 the old soldier sided with the British forces and retired with honour after attaining which rank in the Indian army?|
Ressaldar. According to Wikipedia a Ressaldar was a native commander of a ressala (captain of a cavalry squadron) in the Anglo-Indian army during the Raj.
A Sepoy was a private in the Indian armies during the British Raj.
A Jawan was also an infantryman but the term specifically referred to those ranks below Commissioned Officer in the Indian army.
A Sowar was a horse-soldier belonging to the cavalry troops of the native Indian armies of the British army.
|Whilst on the Grand Trunk Road Kim and the Lama travel with the woman of Kulu and her retinue. To where is she travelling?|
Saharunpore. The woman of Kulu is one of several women who provide for the maternal needs of the boy Kim. When she finds Kim and the Lama travelling together she takes the opportunity to invite the two of them to her house, in the hopes that the Lama will bring good luck to her family.
|What was the nickname of the fictitious Irish regiment whose flags were adorned with a red bull on a green field?|
The "Mavericks". According to Sharad Keskar, "no actual regiment had as its crest a red bull on a green background; the nearest was the Connaught Rangers with an elephant on the camp marking flags and green facings on their red coats ...". Having been familiar with all the regiments who were in India at the same time as he was, Kipling would not have wished to offend any particular regiment and so he created the "Mavericks".
|What is the Catholic priest, Father Victor's, favourite phrase when he is surprised?|
"Powers of Darkness". Upon capturing Kim in the soldiers' camp Father Victor and The Reverend Bennett are surprised when they find out that the boy, who they thought was an Indian boy, is actually the son of a former member of the regiment they are connected to. These two pillars of the Christian community are the main targets for Kipling's contempt. Bennett emphasises the Dickensian authority figure whereas both are characteristic of the missionary zeal to cast nine-tenths of the world in the role of the heathen.
|At the soldiers' camp Kim is able to get hold of a letter writer so that he can send a plea for help. To whom does Kim send his plea?|
Mahbub Ali. The character of Mahbub Ali, magnificently played by Errol Flynn in the movie, is a red bearded Pashtun horse trader in the employ of the British intelligence service in India. A vain, womanising adventurer, Mahbub Ali is one of several father figures in the story, and it is he who presses Creighton to employ Kim in the 'Great Game'. The best part of this scene is when the writer finally realises that Kim does not have any money to pay for the letter, but because it is going to Mahbub Ali, who is known for his honour, sends the letter anyway.
|The Lama and the priest come to an arrangement whereby the Lama pays for Kim to be sent to a Catholic school in Lucknow instead of the Military Orphanage which is run by the Church of England. What is the name of the Catholic school?|
St. Xavier's. Many Roman Catholic schools are named after St Xavier who was a Jesuit Apostle in the East Indies. He died in China, in 1552, and his remains were brought to Goa, India to be buried. When the casket was opened the body was well preserved and so he was placed in a show-casket and put on display for many years.
The actual school that Kim went to is now the La Martiniere School in Lucknow.
|In which Indian city does Kim meet, and become apprenticed to, the gem seller and spy, Lurgan Sahib?|
Simla. Lurgan Sahib is based on a real person called Alexander M. Jacob who appeared in a book called "Mr Isaacs" (1882) written by F. Marion Crawford. In 1921 an obituary notice appeared in the "The Times" saying that Jacob "... claimed to be a Turk ... born near Constantinople". Most accounts on his life claim that he was sold as a slave at the age of ten "to a rich Pasha who ... made a student of him ... he acquired wide knowledge of Eastern life, language, art, literature, philosophy and occultism".
|During the course of his stay with Lurgan Sahib Kim came very close to being hypnotised. What did Kim use to stop himself from being hypnotised?|
Multiplication tables. To test the young Kim, Lurgan Sahib broke a plate in front of the boy and tried to convince Kim, using mesmerism, that the broken pieces were reforming into the plate. Kim, using his European logic and the multiplication tables he had learnt at school, thwarted Lurgan's attempts to hypnotise him, leaving the occultist very impressed with his strong mind.
|Lurgan's friend, and fellow link in the chain of information, Hurree Chunder Mookerjee is an educated Bengali Hindu. What honorific is he given to show his knowledge?|
Babu. Babu Mookerjee shows that he has both oriental superstition and occidental knowledge. He is shown as a brave man who knows how to be fearful, and who is able to insinuate himself into many different situations under a number of different disguises to get the information that he needs.
|As a small diversion Mahbub Ali and Kim travel to buy some Gulf Arabs to trade later. What are Gulf Arabs? |
Horses. While on a journey to Bombay, to sell three truck loads of tram horses, Kim suggested they sail in a dhow to buy horses. Apparently, according to a 'hanger-on of the dealer Abdul Rahman', the Gulf Arabs fetched more money than the mere Kabuls. Mahbub Ali, a mountain man to his core, nearly died on the spot at the proposal.
|At the age of sixteen Kim is considered, by Lurgan Sahib and Mahbub Ali, to be ready for field training in the intelligence game. After leaving school Kim is taken to an old sorceress who clothes him in the authentic disguise of a young Buddhist priest and places a number of charms around his body to protect him from any harmful devils. What is the name of this sorceress?|
Huneefa. Huneefa has been employed to darken Kim's skin after his years in the school have lightened him. Although blind, the sorceress employs strong magic to surround Kim in a protective shield.
|It's three years after Kim is sent to school and once again he is on a journey with the Lama to find the river. On a train journey to Delhi he has a strange encounter with a man posing as a Mahratta and we find out he is E.23, a government agent, and that he is being hunted by his enemies. Kim helps the agent by changing him into a person of a different caste. What caste did he change him into?|
Saddhu. Using the phrase "the Son of the Charm" Kim is able to identify and reassure the intelligence agent dressed as a Mahratta; a person who comes from Maharashtan. During the train journey Kim manages to change the Mahratta into a religious zealot of the Hindu faith called a Saddhu. Using this disguise the agent is able to avoid his pursuers at the station and fulfill his task.
|During their journey through the hills of the north, Kim, and the Lama, are in the company of the two foreign surveyors. The Russian surveyor espys the hand drawn picture of the 'Wheel of Life' that the Lama is using as a teaching aid. An altercation with the Russian surveyor results in the Lama ending up on the ground. What did the Russian do to the Lama?|
punched him. What the Russian surveyor did was a great sacrilege within Indian religions. To strike a holy man showed the natives who carried their luggage that to continue to work for such savages would bring bad luck unto them. The foreigners were abandoned by all except Mookerjee the Bengali agent. The Lama and Kim were escorted to a local village in the hills where their injuries were attended to by the Lady of Shamlegh.
|As well as being an associate member of the British secret service Hurree Mookerjee wished to accrue an honour that Colonel Creighton holds, as a member of which society?|
Ethnological Society. Mookerjee wished to have his papers entered into the annals of the ethnological society journal. To be part of the intelligentsia is his dream but way beyond his reach due to his ethnicity.
|Kim and the Lama are hidden from the foreign surveyors by the people of the village which is controlled a mysterious woman who goes by the name of ... what? |
The woman of Shamlegh. The woman of Shamlegh first appears in the short story "Lispeth" found in "Plain Tales from the Hills" by Kipling. She is a strong character who has two husbands, whom she calls cattle, whom she seems to abhor. During their sojourn at her home Lispeth tries to entice the seventeen year old Kim into some liaison but all she receives for her flirtations is a kiss on the cheek.
|The Lama realises he has been wrong in searching amongst the hills for the river and sets out for the plains of India to the south. Travelling by litter they descend to safer ground away from the foreign surveyors. Kim's health deteriorates and the Lama decides to visit the woman of Kulu so that Kim might recuperate. Which character, in his guise as a healer, do they meet there?|
Hurree Mookerjee. Mookerjee hurries towards Kim and the Lama after he has handed over the maps, stolen from the surveyors by Kim, in Simla. With his help, and the care from the Lama and the Kulu woman, Kim regains his strength to find the Lama at peace within himself for finding the "River of the Arrow" and thereby receiving enlightenment.
|Where does Kim first meet the enigmatic spy master Creighton Sahib?|
Umballa. It has been propounded by Brigadier Alexander Mason M.C. that the character of Creighton Sahib is based on Lieut.-Col. Alexander Herbert Mason, C.B., D.S.O., R.E. the co-writer of the tome known as "Paget and Mason" otherwise known as "Record of Expeditions against the North-West Frontier Tribes". Mason, as a Royal Engineer Officer, was trained in survey work and, being responsible for the new "Record" operations, he was the most qualified man to collate trans-frontier information; which was "Creighton's" main job. He even spent time in the Intelligence department situated at Simla.
|At the start of the story Kim is being looked after by a half-caste woman who let him roam the streets of Lahore while she indulged in her addiction to which substance?|
Opium. At the beginning of the story Kim is a thirteen year old boy of Irish descent who is in the care of a half-caste woman who keeps an opium den. The boy has lost both his parents, his mother to cholera and his father to drink and indigence. Because he has grown up on the streets of Lahore he has had to live by his wits and as such has become reliant on only himself. He is a natural mimic and can become any one of the diverse religions and castes that exist in India.
|Rudyard Kipling first started work on "Kim" in 1892, but when did the book get published, as an edition, in England?|
1901. Although it had been serialised in "Cassell's Magazine" in early 1901 the first print came out later that year. It was published by Macmillan & Co., London, on the 17th of October 1901.
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