Sunday, September 13, 2015

Kipling and his love for Lahore

Famous British author Rudyard Kipling lived in Lahore as a child and a young adult after his father was sent there as the curator of the Lahore Museum. The newspaper "Civil and Military Gazette" was published in Lahore, which Kipling called his " mistress and most true love",it appeared six days a week. Kipling published his first collection of verse in 1886 called "Departmental Ditties".
Rudyard Kipling wrote about the culture, traditions and people of Lahore in the thirty-nine stories published in the Gazette between November 1886 and June 1887. In November 1887, he was transferred to the Gazette's much larger sister newspaper, "The Pioneer" in Allahabad in the United Provinces. In Allahabad, he worked as the Assistant editor of The Pioneer.
One of his most famous novel "Kim" is based in Lahore in which the hero Kim (Kimball O'Hara) is the orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor Irish mother who have both died in poverty. Kim earns his living by begging and running small errands on the streets of Lahore. The novel is set in early 19 th century in Lahore which was a cultural icon of British India. Kipling writes about the Moghul Architecture, gardens and streets of the city and especially about the " Ajaib Ghar " ( museum).Mahbub Ali, a Pashtun horse trader who is a British secret service helps Kim. Kim is deeply immeresed in the local culture, many regard him as a local child.
Kim befriends a "Tibetan Lama" who is on a quest to free himself from the Wheel of Things by finding the legendary River of the Arrow. Kim becomes his "chela" or the person who tames him. Kim's trip with the lama along the Grand Trunk Road is
the first great adventure in the novel.
Kipling's father John Lockwood Kipling was the curator of the old, original Lahore Museum, and is described in the scene where Kim meets the Lama. The gun in front of the Lahore Museum described in the first chapter is an existing piece called Zamzama, sometimes referred to as Kim's gun.
Kim ranks 78 in the list of 100 best novels of English Literature. Rudyard Kipling got the noble prize in literature in 1907. Other than Kim his most notable works include "Jungle Book".