The Naulahka – XIX

Notes on the text

by Sharad Keskar

[Heading] A collection of scattered lines from Kipling’s “O Baal, hear us!” The full poem was collected in Early Verse in 1900. (It was previously published in the Pioneer, 19 July 1888.) The title for these lines used here “In Se(e)onee” was also used for the five-line heading to Chapter XII of The Naulahka and for the seven-line heading to the fourth chapter of The Light That Failed.
‘We be the gods of the East…’ At the hospital ‘There is local holy man in the courtyard, and he is agitating their minds…’ All Kate’s patients leave. [P.H.].

[Heading, line 15] tulsi Indian basil (Ocimum basilicum), a plant sacred to Hindus.

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[Page 277, line 4] peri fairy.

[Page 277, line 10] Bhils considered to be wild, uncivilised tribes without built cities, although they are of ancient settlement in India. See “The Tomb of His Ancestors” in The Day’s Work.

[Page 277, line 15] muntras (mantras), incantations.

[Page 279, line 13] Koss (kos) varies in different parts of India but is usually a distance of about two miles.

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[Page 281, line 1] woman without a nose a dreadful insult, since it was the traditional custom for a woman caught in adultery by her husband, to have her nose cut off.