0Friday. 29th [December 1905]—Delhi
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29 December 1905 — Delhi
Friday. 29th [December 1905]. We engaged the hotel guide to go with us to see Indrapath “the place of tombs” & the site of one of the old cities at Delhi. On the way we went to the “Lat” of Asoke raised on a platform overlooking the Jumma from where we had a good view over the country. We stood to watch a Hindu funeral winding down to the river in the distance. A white shrouded figure carried on an open bier on 4 men’s shoulders & a few men following. We saw them stop when they got to the river & lift the corpse off the bier onto the pyre—& presently blue smoke began to curl upwards & we went away. There was some red cloth visible on the pyre at wh our guide said the body must be that of a woman—as that was the colour dedicated to their funeral. There is something simple and good in such a way of disposing of the dead wh appeals to me. “What do you believe as to the soul of that man” I said to the guide? “That he has gone to God” & I pointed up. The man’s face softened, his eyes glistened & he answered “I think”– We went on to Humayun’s tomb & Ferozabad & saw a wonderful Musulman Shrine where there was a great tank into wh some natives offered to dive from a height for a small backshish—wh I declined, having a dislike to such exhibitions. The people who lived there were tiresome & importunate but the lattice work of white marble was beautiful & the whole place very picturesque– The extent of ruins in that direction is very curious—walls, houses, tombs, forts all crumbling away—as far as one could see all round one. We drove back to the Hotel to lunch & rest—& later went out into the city to look at the shops & went to a jeweller who has S.P.Q.R. for his sign (i.e. Small Profits & Quick Returns) where we met Sir Hubert & all made small purchases. Shopping in this place is anything but pleasant. As you drive up the principal street you are constantly beset by touters offering you cards & begging you “to come to my place.” Nor will they take a simple refusal, but follow you as you drive along deafening you with their entreaties. Sir Hubert afterwards conducted us to a small silversmith’s in the bazaar where we tried to buy silver bangles but were so worried by a commissioner who intruded himself between the owner of the shop & us that we had to give it up. The owner sitting crosslegged on his little platform raised above the street seemed powerless to remedy the trouble so we left it Ajoo to complete the bargain later on & returned to the Hotel.

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