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1888

SHELIDAH, 1888.


Our house-boat is moored to a sandbank on the farther side of the river. A
vast expanse of sand stretches away out of sight on every side, with here
and there a streak, as of water, running across, though sometimes what
gleams like water is only sand.

Not a village, not a human being, not a tree, not a blade of grass--the
only breaks in the monotonous whiteness are gaping cracks which in places
show the layer of moist, black clay underneath.

Looking towards the East, there is endless blue above, endless white
beneath. Sky empty, earth empty too--the emptiness below hard and barren,
that overhead arched and ethereal--one could hardly find elsewhere such a
picture of stark desolation.

But on turning to the West, there is water, the currentless bend of the
river, fringed with its high bank, up to which spread the village groves
with cottages peeping through--all like an enchanting dream in the evening
light. I say "the evening light," because in the evening we wander out,
and so that aspect is impressed on my mind.


Rabindranath Tagore

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