Kim by Rudyard Kipling---Gautami's 7th book

Title: Kim
Author: Rudyard Kipling
ISBN-13: 9780140183528

Publisher: Penguin Group/338pages
First Published: 1901

Kim is a story about a British orphan about thirteen years of age who has been raised on the streets of Lahore, now in Pakistan. He speaks fluent Hindi, understands assorted dialects and, is well versed in whirl of religions and cultures. He takes to the road as a disciple of a wandering Tibetan priest in search of a mythical holy river with healing powers. Along the way, he has a chance meeting with his deceased father's old army regiment and his identity is revealed to him. The army sends him to an English language Catholic school in the south, but his underlying value, because of his knowledge of local language and understanding of culture, is quickly made use by a member of the British secret service.

Kim is not a children’s book. A child may be the main character, but the book is too philosophical and filled with complex human behaviour to be of much interest to children. The main thrush of the book is the relationship between Kim and the Red Lama, the basic story of two people, one an orphan boy and the other an elderly mystic, finding many of the things they are seeking in caring for and looking after one another.

In Kim, Kipling characterizes all the good of India while playing down the contrasts. He shows us what India would have been like in an ideal situation of mutual tolerance. Kipling’s observations are remarkable and one realizes from time to time that it is not the writer’s imagination about a period long gone but that he was in fact a part of that period.

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Rudyard Kipling---Nobel Prize1907