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THE HUNGRY STONES My kinsman and myself were returning to Calcutta from our Puja trip when we met the man in a train. From his dress and bearing we took him at first for an up-country Mahomedan, but we were puzzled as we heard him talk. He discoursed upon all subjects so confidently that you might think the Disposer of All Things consulted him at all times in all that He did. Hitherto we had been perfectly happy, as we did not know that secret... more...

INDEX OF THE FIRST LINES Ah, these jasminesAh, who was it coloured that little frockBless this little heartChild, how happy you are sitting in the dustCome and hire meDay by day I float my paper boatsI am small because I am a little childIf baby only wanted to, he could flyIf I were only a little puppyIf people came to know where my king's palace isI long to go over thereImagine, motherI only said, "When in the evening"I paced aloneIt is time... more...

I am glad to have this opportunity once more of speaking to you before I leave Japan. My stay here has been so short that one may think I have not earned my right to speak to you about anything concerning your country. I feel sure that I shall be told, that I am idealising certain aspects, while leaving others unnoticed, and that there are chances of my disillusionment, if I remain here for long. For I have known foreigners, whose long experience... more...

Bimala's Story I MOTHER, today there comes back to mind the vermilion mark [1] at the parting of your hair, the __sari__ [2] which you used to wear, with its wide red border, and those wonderful eyes of yours, full of depth and peace. They came at the start of my life's journey, like the first streak of dawn, giving me golden provision to carry me on my way. The sky which gives light is blue, and my mother's face was dark, but she had the... more...

SERVANT. Have mercy upon your servant, my queen!QUEEN. The assembly is over and my servants are all gone. Whydo you come at this late hour?SERVANT. When you have finished with others, that is my time.I come to ask what remains for your last servant to do.QUEEN. What can you expect when it is too late?SERVANT. Make me the gardener of your flower garden.QUEEN. What folly is this?SERVANT. I will give up my other work.I will throw my swords and... more...


Darkly you sweep on, Eternal Fugitive, round whose bodiless rush stagnant space frets into eddying bubbles of light. Is your heart lost to the Lover calling you across his immeasurable loneliness? Is the aching urgency of your haste the sole reason why your tangled tresses break into stormy riot and pearls of fire roll along your path as from a broken necklace? Your fleeting steps kiss the dust of this world into sweetness, sweeping aside all... more...

Characters of the Prelude King, Vizier, General (Bijoy Varma) Chinese Ambassador, Pundit (Sruti-bhushan) Poet (Kabi-shekhar), Guards, Courtiers, Herald The stage is on two levels: the higher, at the back, for the Song-preludes alone, concealed by a purple curtain; the lower only being discovered when the drop goes up. Diagonally across the extreme left of the lower stage, is arranged the king's court, with various platforms, for the various... more...

1 STRAY birds of summer come to my window to sing and fly away. And yellow leaves of autumn, which have no songs, flutter and fall there with a sigh. 2 O TROUPE of little vagrants of the world, leave your footprints in my words. 3 THE world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover. It becomes small as one song, as one kiss of the eternal. 4 IT is the tears of the earth that keep her smiles in bloom. 5 THE mighty desert is... more...

ITHE CABULIWALLAH My five years' old daughter Mini cannot live without chattering. I really believe that in all her life she has not wasted a minute in silence. Her mother is often vexed at this, and would stop her prattle, but I would not. To see Mini quiet is unnatural, and I cannot bear it long. And so my own talk with her is always lively. One morning, for instance, when I was in the midst of the seventeenth chapter of my new novel, my... more...

BANDORA, BY THE SEA, October 1885. The unsheltered sea heaves and heaves and blanches into foam. It sets me thinking of some tied-up monster straining at its bonds, in front of whose gaping jaws we build our homes on the shore and watch it lashing its tail. What immense strength, with waves swelling like the muscles of a giant! From the beginning of creation there has been this feud between land and water: the dry earth slowly and silently... more...