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A Tale of Hindu Life in Bengal

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    A Tale of Hindu Life in Bengal

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    Fragment: On shore, herdsmen were grazing their oxen one sitting under a tree singing, another smoking, some fighting, others eating. Inland , husbandmen were driving the plough, beating the oxen, lavishing abuse upon them, in which the owner shared. The wives of the husbandmen , bearing vessels of water, some carrying a torn quilt, or a dirty mat , wearing a silver amulet round the neck, a ring in the nose, bracelets of brass on the arm, with unwashed garments, their skins blacker than ink, their hair unkempt, formed a chattering crowd. Among them one beauty was rubbing her head with mud, another beating a child, a third speaking with a neighbour in abuse of some nameless person, a fourth beating clothes on a plank. Further on, ladies from respectable villages adorned the gháts (landing steps) with their appearance the elders conversing, the middle aged worshipping Siva , the younger covering their faces and plunging into the water; the boys and girls screaming, playing with mud, stealing e flowers offered in worship, swimming, throwing water over every one, sometimes stepping up to a lady, snatching away the image of Siva from her, and running off with it. The Brahmans, good tranquil men, recited the praises of Ganga (the sacred river Ganges) and performed their worship , sometimes, as they wiped their streaming hair, casting glances at the younger women.