Divided Destinies

(Notes edited by John McGivering)


ORG Volume 8 (Verse) page 5080, records the first appearance of this poem (Verse No. 140) in the Pioneer of 19 August 1885, as “Divided Destinies” or “The Divided Destinies” and the Pioneer Mail of 30 August the same year.

It is collected in:

  • Early Verse
  • Departmental Ditties and Other Verses
  • Inclusive Verse
  • Definitive Verse
  • The Sussex Edition, Volume 32, page 81
  • The Burwash Edition, Volume 25.
  • The Works of Rudyard Kipling (Wordsworth Poetry Library)
  • A Choice of Kipling’s Verse by T. S. Eliot.

Verse 6 of this poem is used as the heading to Chapter 3 of Lockwood Kipling’s Beast and Man in India:

His hide was very mangy and his face was very red,
And ever and anon he scratched with energy his head.
His manners were not always nice, but how my spirit cried
To be an artless Bandar loose upon the mountain side!

See also “Collar-Wallah and the Poison Stick”.

Notes on the Text

[Verse 1]

Bandar: translated in a footnote as ‘Monkey’.
The Bandar-log (Monkey-people) appear in The Jungle Book, notably in “Kaa’s Hunting”.

[Verse 2]

Ranken: tailors with shops in Simla and Lahore mentioned in many of the Indian stories. [Edward J Buck, Simla Past and Present, Thacker, Spink, Calcutta, 1904.] Buck has an illustration of Ranken’s Simla premises on page 154.

[Verse 3]

bunnia:  merchant, trader, shopkeeper

Peliti’s:  Hotel in Simla. See Buck p.55.

[Verse 4]

Hamilton’s: jewellers in Simla (see Buck, page 153)
Jack Pansay bought a ring there for Kitty Mannering in “The Phantom ‘Rickshaw” (Wee Willie Winkie).

[J McG.]

©John McGivering 2009 All rights reserved