The Naulahka – XVI

Notes on the text

by Sharad Keskar

[Heading] Four lines of Kipling’s “The Ballad of the King’s Jest” collected in 1892 in Barrack Room Ballads.

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[Page 225, line 32] hakims in Muslim countries, and in India, a hakim is a doctor, though sometimes a judge or governor. In Kim it is used for Hurry Chunder Mookerjee, who knew a little about medicines. It implies wisdom and knowledge.

[Page 226, lines 7-8] hemp an annual herbaceous plant (Apocynum cannabinum) from which a narcotic drug is obtained known as bhang or hashish. From the leaves, reduced to a, paste and mixed with sugar, spices, milk and water, an intoxicating liquor can be made.

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[Page 228, line 20] European all English-speaking white people were assumed to be British and so European. Americans rarely visited India in those days.