The Naulahka


Chapter XIV

Notes on the text


by Sharad Keskar

The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of The Naulahka, first published in 1892 and frequently reprinted since).



[Aug 29 2012]

[Heading] The two four line verses were first collected in Songs from Books, 1912.

'Because I sought it far from men …' Just when Tarvin has nearly stopped looking for the Naulahka, he sees, for just a moment, the Prince wearing it. [P.H.]

Iswara a local god described on page 211, often symbolising the god Shiva in his omipotent role, and the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. Brahma is sometimes depicted with four heads.

[Page 199, line 11] Mewar perhaps better known as Udaipur, a Rajput state nearly 400 miles north of Bombay.

[Page 200, line 29] luted with clean mud to lute is to cover carefully with lute which is a, composition of clay or other tenacious material—but what “clean” mud is, may only be defined as mud that is not dirty or clay.

[Page 202, line 22] camp followers not fighting soldiers but people in the supporting 'train' to an army. Officers took at least one 'bearer' with them. and one such servant was allowed to about each dozen fighting men. Gunga Din, the water-carrier, was such an one.

[Page 204, line 9] the destination suggested no doubt Tarvin said “to Hell with political necessity” or some such phrase or worse.

[Page 205, line 12] a little house near Surbiton close to the Crystal Palace [For Surbiton read Sydenham. The Crystal Palace was erected in Hyde Park for the first great International Exhibition in 1851 and re-erected in 1854 at Sydenham, an affluent suburb in south east London. It was destroyed by fire in 1936.] To live in 'a little house near Surbiton' or indeed Sydenham, would have been a safe comfortable existence.


[S.K.]