原国民党老兵感叹被政府承认:当年爱国没白爱

In the evening I was to dine with the officers of the Artillery mess, and in going I lost my way. Suddenly before me stood the amber palace, with blue shadows, moon-coloured, the carvings like opal in changing hues of precious gems. Half hidden by a growth of jasmine that loaded the air with fragrance, up rose the cupolas of the little mosque, like pearls reflecting the sparkle of the stars.

All alike were fevered from the deafening music of harmoniums and tom-toms performing at the back of each gambling-bootha din that drowned shouts of glee and quarrelling. And under an arcade priests were hanging the shrine with wreaths of pink and yellow flowers, in preparation for its nocturnal progress, while an old woman, all alone, was bathing in the tank, with much splashing and noise of waters.

Then, another day, the air was leaden, too heavy to breathe. The mountains of the gem-like hues had lost their glory; they were of one flat tone of dusky grey, and further away were lost to view, invisible in the dead monotony of the colourless sky. The silence was oppressive; there was not a bird in the air, and a strange uneasiness scared the beasts, all seeking a shady refuge.

Here in southern India the women wear hardly any trinkets, and their garb consists of sarongs and sarees, so thin that their shape is visible through the light stuff. In their hair, which is knotted low on the neck, they stick flowers, and occasionally light trailing sprays fall down on the throat. They all have gold studs screwed into the two upper front teeth; hideous are these two red-gold teeth among the others, sound and white under young lips! Outside, under a thatched screen, sits the punkah coolie, his legs crossed, the string in his hand; and as soon as everyone goes into the room he wakes up, rocks his body to and fro, his arm out in a fixed position, swaying all of a piece with a mechanical see-saw, utterly stupid. He will go to sleep lulled by his own rocking, and never wake unless the cord breaks, or somebody stops him. As soon as the last customer's beard was trimmed, the barber took down the cage and carried the bird to another spot whence we could hear its scream.

THE SACRED HILL

There was not a living thing in the silence and overheated airnot a bird, not a fly; and beyond the houses lay the plain once more, a monotonous stretch of dead whiteness, the unspeakable desolation of murderous nature, henceforth for ever barren.

The temples were already closed, but my servant, Abibulla, diverted the attention of the gatekeeper, and I stole unseen into the outer precincts.

Within the gateway, carved all over with foliage and rosettes, a footway, paved with bright mosaic, leads to the interior of the temple. All along a corridor, enormous prancing horses, mounted by men-at-arms, support the roof which is deeply carved all over, and at the foot of these giants a sacred tank reflects the sky. In front of us were gaps of black shadow, and far, far away, lamps, shrouded in incense, were twinkling behind the gratings.

"Pan, sahib!""Water, sir!"

Bombay, towering above the sea in a golden glorythe tall towers and minarets standing out in sharp outline against the sky, splendid in colour and glow. Far away Malabar Hill and a white speckthe Towers of Silence; Elephanta, like a transparent gem, reflected in the aqua-marine-coloured water.