Query on term for opium

aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca
Thu May 16 23:37:13 UTC 1996

One possibility that may be kept in mind is that ca.n.du/caNDu in
ca.n.dukhaanaa might not have been meant in a direct or denotative sense.
It may just mean 'ball, pill  (Skt kandu, Marathi ce.n.du etc.). 'Place of
the ball/pill' could have been a euphemistic way of referring to a place
that was not universally respectable in the culture. Employment of
deliberately imprecise or overly general words for places or institutions
frowned upon in the higher strata of the society is a common linguistic
phenomenon (cf. use of "(government( guest house" for a 'prison' in some
parts of India).  

These lines receive an indirect confirmation in the message that just now
appeared on my computer:  carolyn-b-brown at uiowa.edu (Carolyn Brown) writes:
> in Bengali chantu (caNtu) is an
intoxicating preparation made from opium; opium itself is called aphim
ashok aklujkar
Professor, Dept. of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z2

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