The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900

Divided Destinies (Rudyard Kipling)

It was an artless Bandar, and he danced upon a pine,
And much I wondered how he lived, and where the beast might dine,
And many many other things, till o'er my morning smoke,
I slept the sleep of idleness and dreamt that Bandar spoke. 

He said:—"Oh man of many clothes! Sad crawler on the Hills!
Observe, I know not Ranken's shop, nor Ranken's monthly bills!
"I take no heed to trousers or the coats that you call dress;
"Nor am I plagued with little chits for little drinks at mess.

"I steal the bannia's grain at morn, at noon and eventide;
"For he is fat and I amm spare), I roam the mountain side.
"I follow no man's gharriand no, never in my life
"Have I flirted at Peliti's with another Bandar's wife. 

"Oh man of futile fopperies—unnecessary wraps!
"I own no ponies in the hills, I drive no tall-wheeled traps.
"I buy me not twelve-button gloves, 'short-sixes' eke, or rings,
"Nor do I waste at Hamilton's my wealth on 'pretty things.'

"I quarrel with my wife at home, we never fight abroad;
"But Mrs. B. has grasped the fact that I am her only lord.
"I never heard of fever; dumps no debts depress my soul;
"And I pity and despise you1" Here he pouched my breakfast-roll.

His hide was very mangey and his face very red, 
And ever and anon he scratched with energy his head: 
His manners were not always nice, but how my spirit sighed
To be an artless Bandar loose upon the mountain side!

So I answered:—"Gentle Bandar, an Inscrutable Decree,
"Makes thee a gleesome fleasome Thou and me a wretched Me.
"Go! Depart in peace, my brother, to thy home amid the pine;
"Yet forget not, once a mortal wished to change his lot with thine."

Glossary: Bandar (Hindustani) Monkey
Glossary: chit (already indexed)
Gharri: (Hindustani) Clock
Place-Name: Peliti's (store in Simla)

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