Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Hello people,

Kim by Rudyard Kipling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have read Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book [ as I suppose almost everyone has] and hoped of something similar in this book. This book is also number 78 in the Modern Library listing of the 100 great English novels of the 20th century. Very well.

I started reading it and it seemed to be a simple story of a boy called Kimbal O'Hara or Kim. He was the son of an Irish soldier, but now an orphan living in Lahore. A Buddhist lama comes in search of enlightenment and meets Kim who becomes his 'chela' and they start their journey together. Kim also was in search of the 'Red Bull' of his dreams which would solve all of his problems.

Then as I thought this was going to be an adventure of their journey, 'The Great Game' comes in and confuses me much more. I think some one who is not aware of the history of India or India itself will get a lot confused at what is happening. I was not aware of the great game in detail apart from the fact that it was some sort of a battle between two colonialist powers Russia and Britain.

They continue their journey south east, north to the mountains and on trains by foot, on horse carts etc etc.
Kim meets his Red Bull which is the symbol on the flag of the Irish regiment and they take Kim in. The Lama continues his journey while paying for Kim's education.

Kim becomes a 'White man', a 'Babu' and a 'Chela' at once. All these terms are related to Indian history and you wont have a clue of what it means unless you know about India.
Kim plays his part in the Game and the lama realizes that the River he was in search of is in the plains and not in the mountains. He is told have found it in the end and Kim's fate is left for the reader to decide. Three possibilities I found were Kim becomes a proper 'Babu' playing the 'Game' or a 'Buddhist' or a combination of 'White Man', 'Babu' and 'Chela' depending on the situation.

It was a confusing story which, for me, never highlighted India as it truly was nor was a complete adventure story and neither was a simple childrens tale. may be it was too hard for me to digest!

You can buy the book at Flikpart.com, which is really easy and interesting! I will blogging about buying from Flipkart next time.

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