India! Down the ages, travellers of every description, monks and missionaries, traders and merchants, poets and novelists; soldiers and administrators, plenipotentiaries and proconsuls have sought to describe something of the beauty and the pity, the squalor and the splendour of this country. They have tried to capture on paper its scents and its smells; its grandeur and infinite variety; its endless contradictions; its harsh lights and shadows; its bizarreness, where savage barbarities and cruelties or overwhelming callousness to suffering coexist with extraordinary tenderness towards all sentient beings; its crushing poverty; the subtlety of its philosophy, the panoply of its gorgeously caprisoned personalities, all of which makes it the ‘most extraordinary country that the sun visits on its round’ (Mark Twain).
Through the Looking-Glass
Srinivasa Rao Adige
TRAVELLERS' INDIA: AN ANTHO¬LOGY by H.K. Kaul Oxford University Press, N. Delhi, 1979, 535 pp., 120.00
THE INVINCIBLE TRAVELLERby Raj Thapar Vikas Publishing House, N. Delhi, 1980, 216 pp., 95.00
Jan-Feb 1980, volume 4, No 1-2