Sunday, July 23, 2006

Put the roller over the jhool

I treasure this book. It first appeared in March 1914; this is the sixth, revised, edition, published in 1922. It was given to me by my best friend from my late teen years, "Chic" Goode, alas long gone. I offer a few extracts. Uncommented, for they need no comments. Read them aloud. The phrases hang together like poetry.


Pull the punkah
Pull harder
Don't go to sleep
Wake up
Stop the punkah
All right, that will do
Don't worry me
Don't be lazy
Hold this
Hit him with the whip


Close the door
I feel the draught
Open the door
It is very dark
I will dress now
Give me another handkerchief
Not that, the silk one
What is this spot on the trousers?
Rub some chalk over it
Look the buttons are not clean
They don't shine
The spur doesn't look right
It is loose

The lamp is smoking
The burner wants a thorough cleaning
Perhaps the oil is not good
Or the wick must be dirty
Perhaps the wick is too old
Put in a new one tomorrow
The wick isn't level
It hasn't been properly trimmed
Have you put too much oil in, or does it leak?
Perhaps you haven't wiped it
The wick is too short
It doesn't reach the oil
I think the lamp leaks

The quilt isn't thick enough
Put the blankets in the sun
Owing to the dust storm
There is much dust on the bed
Just dust the bedding
There are too many mosquitoes about
Tell the chowkidar,
he is to be very careful at night.
These birds make an awful noise
They disturb my sleep
Drive out these birds.

Why did you strike the dog?
I have dropped my handkerchief somewhere
Go and see if it is in the drawing-room
Didn't you hear me calling?


Bring my horse
Be quick
Lead him with the long rein
Hit him with the stick
Tighten the girths
Look the girth is loose
Have you watered the horse?
Don't let it go till I am mounted
Let it go
The stirrup is too long
Shorten it two holes
The stirrup is too short
Let it down one hole
Another hole yet
This one too
Put it in the last hole
Loosen the girth
Don't keep it standing in one place
Walk him about
It is sweating a lot
Take off the saddle
Dry him
When he is dry,
take him to the water-trough,
and give him some water.
Get the tumtum ready
Show me the snaffle
Where is the martingale?
How many bits are there?
Only three
What became of the rest?
Take the tumtum back
Start grooming
Wipe its face
with a wet jharan.
Put the roller over the jhool.
Soak the gram for half an hour
Crush this gram
Have you finished crushing the gram?
Don't frighten the horse
Make much of him
Give him a good lunging
Have you brought any chit with it?
How is his dung?
As usual
Does he make water easily?


I am going out shooting tomorrow
The khidmatgar will have to go with me
Send for a shikari
Are you a shikari?
Have you ever shot a tiger?
I never had a chance
Who shot that monkey?
It is against orders to shoot a monkey
There will a row over that
He was shot accidentally

Collect 20 or 25 coolies
to beat the game.
Use no violence with the villagers


The cook-house is dirty
Why don't you keep it clean?
Don't throw the ashes here
The doctor is coming in the morning
Who broke the teapot?
I don't know
No, you never know anything.

Which spoon?
The tea spoon
Put the milk in the jug
Fry that fish.

Boil the water
Beat the eggs well
One fork is short
Two silver spoons are missing

May God make you a lord
Go and tell the Mess Sergeant
I shall have a guest tonight
What have you brought from the bazaar?
A fowl, a goose and some mutton
What joint of mutton?
The head and feet
Roast the goose
Make soup of the head
and curry the feet
Make some tamarind sauce
and give baked potatoes.

I require a new strainer
and a blanket for ice.
Well, I'll give them to you.
The kettle must be tinned
Send for the tinman
And see that he does the tinning well
or I'll not pay him.


oldtownboys said...

Very pretty site! Keep working. thnx!

Old Scrote said...

God bless, oldtownboys. You know how we bloggers thrive on encouragement!