Not Unusual For A European Novice To Shudder With Disgust At Some
Features Of Local Everyday Life; But At The Same Time These Very
Sights Attract And Fascinate The Attention Like A Horrible Nightmare.
We Had Plenty Of These Experiences Whilst Our Ecole Buissoniere
We spent these days far from railways and from any other
vestige of civilization.
Happily so, because European civilization
does not suit India any better than a fashionable bonnet would
suit a half naked Peruvian maiden, a true "daughter of Sun,"
of Cortes' time.
All the day long we wandered across rivers and jungles, passing
villages and ruins of ancient fortresses, over local-board roads
between Nassik and Jubblepore, traveling with the aid of bullock
cars, elephants, horses, and very often being carried in palks.
At nightfall we put up our tents and slept anywhere. These days
offered us an opportunity of seeing that man decidedly can surmount
trying and even dangerous conditions of climate, though, perhaps,
in a passive way, by mere force of habit. In the afternoons, when we,
white people, were very nearly fainting with the roasting heat, in
spite of thick cork topis and such shelter as we could procure,
and even our native companions had to use more than the usual
supplies of muslin round their heads - the Bengali Babu traveled
on horseback endless miles, under the vertical rays of the hot sun,
bareheaded, protected only by his thick crop of hair. The sun
has no influence whatever on Bengali skulls.
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