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Read of the Week: Kim by Rudyard Kipling

November 25, 2016

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This week’s read, just in time for the weekend, comes from Ben, our Membership Manager who suggests an old favourite, Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.

Kim, Rudyard Kipling

Some books from when you are young stick with you in the most unshakeable ways. For me Kim is one of those books.

I must have been 11 when I first read it/had it read to me and I was hooked. The sights and smell of India, the sense of adventure on The Road, spying in The Great Game, pencil cases that are weapons and a small boy as the hero glued this book to me. In my teens the book gave me an exciting look at identity as Kim shifts from street boy in Lahore, to English public school boy, via spy and chela (disciple).

Now though it is the relationship of Kim to the Tibetan lama that really sticks with me. The sense of the fact that love and simple hearted goodness can exist even in a divided country and transcend age, religion and status. I’m writing this on the day that Donald Trump becomes president elect and I urge you, dear readers, to ignore any desire to look at this as colonial.

Instead read it with an open heart and perhaps like me you will discover that you too need both an unworldly lama and a ducking and diving street child on your way.

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