Viewing page 10 of 73

This transcription has been completed. Contact us with corrections.

Calcutta is not a good place to live in. Really too hot and too many people around. In my room is a continuous pilgrimage, the bearer cleaning and asking for orders and desires, the coolies with the broom, the barber trying every day to offer his services, the Kashemir man offering every day [[strikethrough]] also [[/strikethrough]] for a lower price the beautiful jacket for you (I think I'll buy it some day, is really nice). Then the laundry man, the tailor and many others, is quite hard to keep them away, all is open, you can't keep closed or locked in this latitude. In the street everybody is trying to sell you something, half sellers, half beggars and then armies of professional beggars with the most fancy troubles and ellaborated distorted arms legs heads and so on. Every time I reach my pocket for cigarettes or handkerchief a milion eyes and hands are looking for a tip or "backshish" they call it. During the night all become hysterical because of the real blackout, the same crowd in the dark with milions of ricksha boys inviting you with lampions and bells, half the population sleeping in the street in the middle of the sidewalk. I stepped many times over sleeping bodies, sleeping in dust and red spit of betel (they mash betel all the time and theyr mouth is red like blood and the sidewalk is covered with the same blood red.)

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact