Special Sub-Topic: Kipling's India
|Across the rooftops of an Indian city a young street urchin (Kim) plays the innocent games of running secret errands for lovers and ends up getting involved in 'The Great Game' where his life is on the line. Through which city does Kim first learn his gift for espionage?|
Lahore. Lahore is now 15 miles inside the country of Pakistan but, in the late 19th century, it was part of the country of India during the days British Raj. This city was the home of Rudyard Kipling for 5 years. He worked as assistant editor of the "Civil and Military Gazette". His father, Lockwood Kipling, was curator of the museum which appears in the first chapter where Kim meets the Lama. The gun, that is named in the first chapter (Zam-Zammah), is known as Kim's gun today and is exactly as it was described in the story.
|"The City of Dreadful Night" appears in the collection of stories from "From Sea to Sea Vol. II". It is a series of eight stories detailing Kipling's exploration of the city of Kolkata. But by what name did the city go by in 1888 when Kipling prowled the streets for stories?|
Calcutta. In 1887, Kipling moved from the "Civil and Military Gazette" in Lahore to the "Pioneer", in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The "Pioneer" had promoted his writings before his movement to their employ and he had to quickly come up with a few short stories to entertain the readers. In 1891 these stories finally appeared in the collection 'The City of Dreadful Night and Other Places'.
|In the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Kipling wrote for a newspaper called "Pioneer". He lived in this city in a bungalow situated near the Motilal Nehru Road. In which city was this bungalow situated in 1888-89?|
Allahabad. Kipling was ordered by his editor on the "Pioneer" to go to Rajputana to get some ideas for stories. Kipling was inspired so much that he created a collection of 19 articles describing life in the semi-independent states of India. Allahabad is also known as the birthplace of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi both of whom were Prime Ministers of India.
|In "The Bride's Progress" Kipling describes a sight-seeing trip by a couple on their honeymoon to a city that is now known as Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh. What was its name in the story?|
Benares. The Bride is appalled by the sanitation in the city commenting: "twice two-thousand stenches" and "neglected rainbow-hued sewage". In "City of Dreadful Night" he considered Benares "fouler (than Calcutta) in point of concentrated, pent-up muck". I bet that's not in the tourist guide book!
|In "Among the Railway Folk" Kipling visited the headquarters of the East India Railway (EIR) and was able to glean three stories from this place. In which city would you find the headquarters of the EIR?|
Jamalpur. "...am come here to Jamalpur, which is a sort of Crewe of Eastern India, where men make locomotives and control many hundreds of miles of lines.".
Jamalpur became the headquarters of the EIR in 1862 when the railway workshop was moved there from Howrah. These became the first fully fledged railway workshops in India.
|"They marched jaw-bound against blowing sand, across the salt desert to ..., where Mahbub and his handsome nephew Habib Ullah did much trading;". Where was Kim and the Lama headed at the other side of the desert in Rajasthan?|
Jodhpur. Jodhpur is where Kim meets up with Mahbub Ali after crossing the country with the Lama and then is to be sent back to St. Xavier's. The city also appears in "Letters of Marque". The city is dominated by the Mehrangarh Fort which is on top of a 125m high cliff-faced hill. Kipling wrote of the fort: "The work of angels, fairies and giants... built by Titans and coloured by the morning sun... he who walks through it loses sense of being among buildings. It is as though he walked through mountain gorges...".
|One of my favourite films starring Sean Connery is "The Man who would be King". However the film is based on a short story of the same name by Rudyard Kipling. In the story the protagonist has to change trains at a particular train stop. Which train station is mentioned in "The Man who would be King"?|
Marwar Junction. "You'll be changing at Marwar Junction to get into Jodhpore territory,". The main protagonist begins his adventures on the train to Jodhpore stopping at Marwar Junction to deliver a message for a stranger. Marwar Junction was part of the railway system from Agra to Bombay through Rajasthan in the north west of India. It is the only railway junction in Pali district.
|In "Kaa's Hunting" Mowgli is kidnapped by the Bandar-log and taken to an old ruined city called 'Cold Lair'. Which city, in the state of Rajasthan, are the ruins believed to be based on?|
Chitor. In the "Letters of Marque" Kipling is travelling from Udaipur to Chitor when he visited the ruined fortress at Chitor. Three times the Rajput clans gathered together at the fortress at Chitor to defeat the invasion forces of the Mohammedans. Three times they lost. Their womenfolk on seeing their men slaughtered performed 'suttee' (ritualised suicide by jumping into the funeral pyres) in a chamber deep within the fortress. Kipling found the Gomukh tank above the western wall to be particularly spooky and so he used it for where the monkeys lived in the "Jungle Book" story.
|One of Kipling's many poems is based in the former capital city of a princely state during the Rajput era. Kipling wrote of the palace there as: "To give on paper any adequate idea of the Boondi-ki-Mahal is impossible.". The poem deals with a disturbing Indian custom. Which poem is it?|
"The Last Suttee". The poem tells the story of the death of a King of one of the Rajput states and the efforts made by one of his wives to perform the act of 'suttee' against the wishes of the English. So one of the King's wives dresses up and imitates the King's favourite dancing-girl to get close to the funeral pyre so that she may throw herself on it. However her nerve goes and she begs her cousin, a baron of the court, to kill her. Not knowing who she is he acquiesces to her plea and kills her.
According to "BBC News" the last 'recorded' act of 'sati' ('suttee') was in 2002 in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh when the widow, who was in her forties, threw herself on her husband's pyre immolating herself. This practise is believed to have started 700 years ago but was outlawed by the British rulers in 1829.
|"Her Majesty's Servants" is set during the glory of the British Raj in India. The action takes place before the British army is reviewed by the Amir of Afghanistan and the Viceroy of India, Lord Dufferin. In which city, in the northeast of the Indian sub-continent, does the parade take place?|
Rawalpindi. In 1885, a young Kipling was sent by the "Civil and Military Gazette" as a reporter to cover the ceremonial reception being thrown for the Amir of Afghanistan by the newly placed Viceroy of India. While in the area he went to see the Khyber Pass where he was shot at by a local tribesman.
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