The Taj Mahal, Copyright 2007 Gerald Brimacombe

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The Taj Mahal, Copyright 2007 Gerald Brimacombe

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Persian, the language of the Mughal Empire, is one of the major world languages. Likewise Tamil, the official language of the Dakshina Nad is also very widely used, in both its spoken and script forms, along with many of the other languages of the states of the Dakshina Nad. Because the written form of Persian uses it, the Arabic script is equally widely used. English, French, Spanish and Portuguese are also very widely used, though no world language has the dominance that English does in the real world. The polyglot pidgin language known as Petafre (from PErsian, TAmil and FREnch) is also spoken quite widely, mainly among the militaries of the nations making up the Dharmic bloc.

There are significant numbers of Mughal (that is, Persian) and Dakshina Nad (Tamil) loan words in English and other European languages, even in Russian. Likewise, there are many foreign loan words in the Indian languages, particularly English, French, Chinese and Russian loan words. Also, English and Danish both have many loan words from one another, and also from Russian. The days of the week in Persian are much more widely used than in the real world.

The Indian word for restaurant, khanakhazana, has come to be used by people of all nationalities around the world. In particular its shortened form, kana, is used as widely as cafe is in the real world.

Various things have different names in this world to the case in the real world:

Real WorldThis World
AirshipHavajahaz ['Airship' in Persian]
AstronautAasmaan Yatri ['Sky Traveller' in Hindi]
AutogyroAcer-Ala ['Maple-Wing' in Spanish]
EcologyOikologie [from the Danish]
Heavier-than-air aircraftVimana [from the Hindu myths]
LaserSource Lumineuse du Régiment ['Regimented Light Source' in French], abbreviated to SOLUR
LidarModule de Balayage de Lumineuse du Régiment ['Regimented Light Source Scanner' in French], abbreviated to the mobsolur
Nuclear WeaponsPasupata [after the ultimate weapon of that name described in the Hindu epic of the Mahabarata]
PhotographySvetlo-zaznam ['Light recording' in Czech], abbreviated to svetzam
RadarSpark Wave Echo Detection System, abbreviated to SWEDS
RadioBarq Mouj ['Lightning Wave' in Persian]
SonarEtiroli Puthaiyal ['Echo Location' in Tamil], or simply Etiroli

Because of the wider spread of Indian cultures, the use of the Indian-style non-up and down head motion for 'yes' and the non-side to side head motion for 'no' are more commonly known and understood around the world. In addition to this a number of Muslim habits, such as only eating with the right hand, are widespread outside the Muslim world.


Given the different history of this world, there is also no Greenwich Meridian. Instead, there are two major prime meridians, one running through Ujjain in the Mughal Empire, and one running through Moscow. The latter is only used by the Holy Russian Empire, while the former is used by the Indian and Asian nations and much of the rest of the world. There are some problems with the Ujjain Meridian, the main one being that the meridian opposite the new Prime Meridian - which would ideally form the International Date Line - runs through Mexico and North America. As a compromise the official Line has been rerouted through the southern border of Mosquitia, so that Central America and North America, including the Dominion of Nordland (and thus Iceland), lie to the west of the Line while South America (including the Galapagos Islands) lies to the east of the line. It is thus possible to gain or lose a calendar day by stepping over the border from Mosquitia into or out of New Granada or Casaquiarja.

Certain elements of history are interpreted rather differently in Gurkani Âlam, with an Islamic spin to it. In particular the scientific method is not considered to have been invented by Roger Bacon, but instead by the prominent Arab scientist, Ibn Al-Haitham. Likewise, various elements of mathematics, such as those derived by the Kerala School, are known to have originated there, unlike the case in the real world, as are some elements of other sciences such as the theory of Koshti Gereftan Az Vojud [the Struggle for Existence, a theory of evolution and natural selection], which is derived from and expands upon the work of the ninth century Arab scholar Al-Jahiz..

The names of many of the chemical elements are different to those of the real world. This is because they were discovered and/or named by different people and in different places. Some of them have names from different Indian languages. Likewise the names of the planets are different, with those discovered in historical times being known as, for example, Tethys [Uranus], Iapetus [Neptune] and Anytos [Pluto]. The Persian and Tamil names for the planets are used far more widely in this world than in the real world.

Animals and plants are classified in either Latin or Persian or both. This results from the fact that in the eighteenth century there emerged two independent systems of classification for plants and animals [rather than the one of the real world], one used by European scientists and one by those in India. These have, over time, merged into one. Likewise many phenomena and fundamental physical constants are named in European or Indian languages. Foe example, electricity is commonly known as barq, from the Persian word for it.

Maps drawn in the Islamic style, with south at the top, are roughly as common in this world as European-style north-at-the-top maps. Also, rather than being considered a sub-continent, in this world India is considered to be a full-ledged continent in its own right, much as Europe is in the real world.

Indian measurement systems (see also here) are as widely used around the world as European ones, as are Indian terms for numbers of items based on grouping by two decimal places, such as lakh for a hundred thousand and crore for ten million. The Gaz, a Mughal measurement for length [often translated as 'yard'] is used in many parts of the world, as are the Indian units of Bigha, Candie, Coss, Maund, Seer, Tola and Yojan.

The Islamic and Hindu calendars are used across the world for business and by international institutions in parallel with the three main Christian calendars (the Julian, the Gregorian and the Orthodox). Because of various political differences there is no one agreed Christian calendar, even outside the Orthodox world. Tools to allow rapid translation between the different calendars are commonly used by business people of all nations.

Standards for electrical supplies and electrical connectors are very different from those of the real world and, as in the real world, vary from place to place in this world.

Because of the very different history of this world, for example the lack of Sigmund Freud, psychology here is very different to that of the real world.

Because of the different history of this world, and thus the non-existence of Luke Howard in it, cloud types are named and classified differently here than in the real world.


Formal business wear has evolved to be a mixture of Indian and European styles and influences.

Indian-influenced clothing is far more widespread than in the real world, even among those not of Indian origin, and Indian clothing is much less influenced by European clothing concepts than in the real world [due to India remaining independent and powerful in this world]. In the Mughal Empire the salwar kameez is common dress for both men and women, though saris are also common female dress. In the Dakshina Nad similar clothing is worn, although men also wear the dhoti and kurta. In all cases these items of clothing have, over time, evolved new forms different to their traditional styles, in much the same way clothing styles of the real world have evolved and changed over time.

European women have been wearing trousers, in both European and Indian styles, for much longer than in the real world, and finding them most practical.

In Europe many boys below the age of seven or eight go 'unbreeched', that is, wear dresses (of a different style to those worn by girls) as was traditional in the real world until the nineteenth or twentieth century. When they reach a given age they undergo 'breeching' and begin to wear trousers. Originally widespread, over time this custom has become less common until now it is retained mainly by social conservatives, particularly among the upper classes.


Obviously all of the countries in the Mughal and Dakshina Nad spheres have a great deal of Indian stylism to their art, music, architecture, newspapers, clothing styles and so on. Even outside of these areas, Indian ideas of design and beauty influence many styles in these things, a process that began in the 1730s with the fad for Mughalserie, although there are also utterly non-Indian styles created in reaction to them, too. However, those these tend to be on more of a local level. Indian food is everywhere, and there are various chains of Indian fast food restaurants.

Even in all but the most insular and xenophobic western nations there are noticeable Indian (not necessarily Islamic) influences on architecture, the arts, manufactured products and design generally.

Skyscrapers do exist, for the same reasons of space and economy that drove their use in the real world. However, in the Islamic world many of them are built in as Islamic style [not unlike the Petronas Twin Towers in real world Kuala Lumpur], and are often decorated with Islamic-style geometric designs. In some of the dryer parts of the world vertical farms are used for food production. In particular they are used in the Mughal Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire, Oman, Abyssinia, Pudhiya Dakshina Nad and California.

Because of the large amounts of debris inserted into Earth orbit during the Long War, some of which is now slowly falling into the Earths atmosphere, there are many more meteors in the skies of Gurkani Âlam than in the real world, even if most of them are of artificial origin.

One of the visual differences from the real world is that in the Muslim world there are very few, and in many places no, statues of significant historical figures. This arises out of a somewhat stricter observation of the Muslim rules regarding iconoclasm, and the artistic representation of human and other living forms.

By the modern day products from the Mughal Empire and the Dakshina Nad are exported and sold worldwide. Advertisements for Indian products are everywhere, as widespread as ones for (for example) GM cars in the real world.


Because of the greater Indian influence in Gurkani Âlam compared to the real world there are significantly more vegetarians in this world than in the real world. As a side effect of this agriculture is significantly more arable than animal-based, which allows larger populations to be supported in some parts of the world.

Because Hinduism and Islam are much more widespread, there is much less farming of cows and pigs and much more farming of sheep, goats and other animals that are acceptable to those religions.

A number of Indian fast food chains are found around the world, as well as some European, Chinese and south-east Asian ones. In all cases these are based on the street food of their homelands, much as is the case with western fast food in the real world.

What is, in the real world, known as Indian food is in this world known as either Mughal food or Hindu Food depending on which part of India it comes from, north or south. Mughal food also includes such things as Afghan cuisine. However, the names may not necessarily mean a great deal overall, in the same way as in the real world lots of 'Indian' food is really from Bangladesh or Pakistan.

Jal Jeera, a supposedly cooling drink, is popular in the Mughal Empire and beyond. Its popularity has led to the development of a number of medicines that enable (or at least allege to enable) people to better cope with the conditions of an Indian summer.


Ramadan and Diwali are commemorated worldwide, along with Christmas. [Much as Christmas is in the real world, even in non-Christian countries.]

Because of the interest of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal [Dara Shikoh] in the arts of all kinds, Indian traditions in them have gone from strength to strength over the years [unlike the case in the real world, where the Emperor Aurangzeb eliminated such things from his court and destroyed many examples of representative art across the Empire]. As such artistic styles around the world have much greater Indian influences than is the case in the real world.

Even without taking into account the differences caused by increased Indian influence, the different events in this world have affected the evolution of European and other music and arts and made them very different to those of the real world.

Nautches - Indian dance displays - and other forms of Indian-derived entertainment are quite as common as European-derived opera, ballet and so on.

In the same way the sports of Polo, Kabaddi, Sepaktakraw and Bull Racing are very popular in India and have spread from there across the world. They are roughly as popular and egalitarian as things like football [soccer] and tennis in the real world. Other sports, such as football and tennis remain largely played in Europe and the European-descended nations. Indian-descended games such as Carrom are also much more popular and widespread than in the real world. In all cases the rules of these sports and games differ in varying degrees from those which exist in the real world.

The cinema industries of India as a whole are collectively larger than any of the others in the world [like a sort of 'super-Bollywood']. However, because they are divided between the mainly Persian-speaking industry of the Mughal Empire and the many industries of the Dakshina Nad which make films in all of its major languages, they are better considered to be a number of geographically adjacent film industries. Even so they are very large. There have been many films based on Indian topics such as the Hindu epics or Sikh history which have been successful around the world.

Because of the very different history of this world, most nations have very different national anthems to their equivalents in the real world.


Education systems around the world also show significant Islamic and Indian influences. In particular the Dars-i-Faridiya curriculum of Farid Khan Astarabadi, first used in 1702, forms a basis for many education systems around the world.

The world financial system is quite different to that of the real world, as much of it operates along Islamic lines and uses Islamic economic theories rather than western ones [this is not dissimilar to the Islamic banking that occurs in the real world, but has been going on in this world for much longer]. For example, Islamic banks do not given interest, although they do have ways in which customers can make money on their investments. There are sometimes clashes between Islamic and other banks when they are forced to interact in ways that clash with their operating principles.

The world as a whole is richer than the real world at the same time, due to the effects of the two parallel European and Indian industrial revolutions. India as a whole is also very much richer, more advanced and more populous than in the real world as it has avoided exploitation by the European colonial powers. Although some nations are very much richer than others, there is no equivalent of the third world as such.

There is still a great deal of trade between Europe and India in this world. However, it is not as one-way as in real world so that, in general, Europe does worse and India does better. Because India is not exploited by Europe in this world, Europe has had to make do with less profitable colonies around the world and is rather poorer than in the real world. This is reflected in the buildings and general air of its cities and so on. The populations of the European nations are somewhat smaller than in the real world, and the last European famines occurred somewhat later in this world than in the real world.

Because of the different history of this world, the techniques for the making of Damascus Steel were never lost and it is still used for some high-quality weapons, though the technique is becoming more and more cheap and widespread with time.

In most of the nations of Gurkani Âlam, Islam is seen as the inclusive religion that is tolerant of other faiths. Christianity, and in particular Russian Orthodox Christianity, is much more associated with intolerance, fundamentalism and suicide in the name of the faith.

Many Hindus consider Europeans to be of the Untouchable caste, and so Europeans can face problems in social interactions with them.

Because of the very different history of this world compared to the real world there are very many fewer people of Indian and other Asian descent in Europe and the Americas than is the case in the real world [roughly comparable to the numbers of expatriates from the USA living in India and Asia in the real world], but more people of African descent, many of them descended from slaves exported from Africa over the centuries.

Without German royalty in Britain, England and Scotland do not use Christmas trees. Likewise without a Theodore Roosevelt in this world there are no teddy bears, although soft toy animals do exist.

Due to the Synthetic Plague plastics are not used as much as in the real world. Instead items made of advanced ceramics or light metals are much more common than in the real world.

Some cities that exist in India (and elsewhere) in the real world but which were founded after the history this world diverged from the real world, such as Jaipur, do not exist in this world. Likewise cities named Aurangabad, after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, do not exist in this world.

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