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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: n AJANTA A Dusty road running through an avenue across the great plateau of the Deccan; scanty crops of maize and cotton; here and there low hills, their reddish soil sparsely clothed with trees; to the north, a receding line of mountains; elsewhere infinite space and blazing light. Our "tonga," its pair of wheels and its white awning rolling and jolting behind two good horses, passes long lines of bullock-carts. Indians, walking beside them with their inimitable gait, make exquisite gestures of abjection to the clumsy white Sahibs huddled uncomfortably on the back seat. Their robes of vivid colour, always harmoniously blent, leave bare the slender brown legs and often the breast and back. Children stark naked ride on their mothers' hips or their fathers' shoulders. Now and again the oxen are unyoked at a dribble of water, and a party rests and eats in the shade. Otherwise it is one long march with bare feet over the burning soil. We are approaching a market. The mud walls of a village appear. And outside, by a stream shrunk now into muddy pools, shimmers and wimmers a many- coloured crowd, buzzing among their wagons andawnings and improvised stalls. We ford the shallow stream, where women are washing clothes, cleaning their teeth, and drinking from the same water, and pass among the bags of corn, the sugar-cane, and sweetmeats, saluted gravely but unsolicited. Then on again for hours, the road now solitary, till as day closes we reach Fardapur. A cluster of mud-walled compounds and beehive huts lies about a fortified enclosure, where the children sprawl and scream, and a Brahmin intones to silent auditors. Outside they are drawing water from the puddles of the stream. And gradually over the low hills and the stretches of yellow grass the after-glow spreads a transfigu...
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