Indian Memories

Cover of book Indian Memories
Categories: Nonfiction

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OLK: A MEMORY OF THE BUNGALOW. Though out here in this ' land of regrets we miss 'The whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, Whistling aloud to keep his courage up," and likewise the ' maiden of bashful fifteen,' ' Standing with reluctant feet Where the brook and river meet, Womanhood and childhood fleet,' the children we have always with us, both white?too white?and brown. The latter infest that corner of the compound where stands the row of mud dog- kennels yclept servants' houses, emitting towards sundown such an unpleasant smoke, and into whose dim, unsavoury recesses we never pry, though thence emerge our domestics in rustling starched raiment, and our own linen issues in spotless whiteness. Sometimes the brown babies stray into our veranda, quaint little naked mortals, clad chiefly in an embroidered cotton skull-cap, and a piece of string round their protuberant 'lower chests,' and who stare with round black eyes awe- stricken at the Sahib. I happened once on one, however, attired in a complete garment made out of my English checked dusters, purloined for the purpose by his nefarious parent, my washerman. They go to school a little, the boys to out-of- door seminaries under some shady tree, where they squat in the dust, repeating their lessons aloud after their pedagoguein a queer nasal chant, accompanied by a monotonous waving of their bodies. When a little older they do odd jobs about the place, and get married, a solemn and lengthened performance, extending over many days, to which we contribute by an advance of pay, and by enduring weary days and nights of the monotonous tom-toming which marks the progress of the festivities. When my ayah married her daughter of eight, I was invited to witness the sitting ...

Indian Memories
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