Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Rajahship of Kala Akhaata

We had some old friends to dinner last night, Savage, Tootsie and Uber* and a marvelous time was had. Mrs. Kinch laid on a superb spread, wine flowed and the company was excellant.

Earlier yesterday, while I was in my role as plucky native bearer (of shopping) accompanying the memsahib as she was buying appropriate comestibles, the subject of my fictional Indian state came up. We discussed the possibilities and felt that "Kala-Akhaata" had the best sound and mouth feel.

Niila though I'm sure a perfectly respectable Sanskrit** word has too many Egyptian associations.

Zyaama sounded exotic to my ear, but not Indian - I've no idea why.

Kara Saras was the front runner for a while - it has that sing song tone that I associate with spoken Urdu. I once found my self extremely embarrassed when trying to deal with an Indian couple who were having a row in English (bless them, I'm not sure, I think they were trying to be inclusive). Both parties were obviously extremely upset - but the sound was so inherently funny to my ear and that I had to work very hard to keep a straight face. It was like listening to an Englishman who has lived in Ireland for years trying to pass as a native - painfully sincere, but ultimately hilarious.

Rather more Peter Sellers than the name of a brave warrior people don't you think?

Kara Akhaata had two good hard K sounds, which sounded Indian to my ear - Calcutta, Kali, Krishna, Sanskrit, Lakh, Shere Khan, Akela etc and much more reminiscent of the strange Indian movies Channel Four used to show early on a Saturday morning, usually featuring a satisfactory number of sword fights and war elephants and on one occasion, an exceptionally interesting (to my nine year old imagination) magical flying buzz saw.

So, my chap will be the Rajah of Kala Akhaata, Lord of the Black Pool.

I have given some thought to what his people will be called, subjects of the Rajah of Kala Akhaata I suppose. It seems unlikely that they would have a national identity as we would understand it.

Kala Akhaatians doesn't exactly trip off the tongue.

*It was drawn to my attention some years ago, that along with Donogh, I am one of the few of our social circle that does not have a commonly used nickname, though Donogh was known as "Dr. No" for a while.

He also has another name, but it is best not to speak of it.

**Every time I type this, it comes out as "sans skirt" - I should see a chap about that.


  1. Hmmm, does Kala Akhaati have a "maiden guard" (as some Asian countries did) that goes about sans skirt?

    If so, painting that unit should be fun . . . although Mrs. Kinch might have other ideas . . . so perhaps not.

    -- Jeff

  2. A Maiden Guard.. indeed the setting is propitious.
    "Children worship their toys. They ask of them what Men have always asked of their Gods: joy and forgetfulness.": such pantheon has a place for Goddesses.
    And since Highlanders are warrior men in skirts, what about warrior women in pantaloons?