Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.
(Bentley, 1858), It is possible that female infanticide may be still prevalent in many Native States.  Mr. Willoughby in the years preceding A.D. 1849 made great progress in stamping it out among the Jharejas of the Kathiawar States in the Bombay Presidency.  There is reason to hope that the crime will gradually disappear from all parts of India, but it is difficult to say how far it still prevails, though the general opinion is that it is now comparatively rare (Census Report, India, 1911, p. 217).

17.  A college of more pretensions now exists at Jabalpur (Jubbulpore), and is affiliated in Arts and Law to the University of Allahabad established in 1887.  The small college alluded to in the text was abolished in 1850.

18.  For description of the tedious and complicated ‘sraddh’ ceremonies see chapter 11 of Monier Williams’s Religious Thought and Life in India.

19.  This version of the story differs in some minute particulars from the version given ante, [14].

CHAPTER 5

Marriages of Trees—­The Tank and the Plantain—­Meteors—­Rainbows.

Before quitting Jubbulpore, to which place I thought it very unlikely that I should ever return, I went to visit the groves in the vicinity, which, at the time I held the civil charge of the district in 1828, had been planted by different native gentlemen upon lands assigned to them rent-free for the purpose, on condition that the holder should bind himself to plant trees at the rate of twenty-five to the acre, and keep them up at that rate; and that for each grove, however small, he should build and keep in repair a well, lined with masonry, for watering the trees, and for the benefit of travellers.[1]

Some of these groves had already begun to yield fruit, and all had been married.  Among the Hindoos, neither the man who plants a grove, nor his wife, can taste of the fruit till he has married one of the mango-trees to some other tree (commonly the tamarind-tree) that grows near it in the same grove.  The proprietor of one of these groves that stands between the cantonment and the town, old Barjor Singh, had spent so much in planting and watering the grove, and building walls and wells of pucka[2] masonry, that he could not afford to defray the expense of the marriage ceremonies till one of the trees, which was older than the rest when planted, began to bear fruit in 1833, and poor old Barjor Singh and his wife were in great distress that they dared not taste of the fruit whose flavour was so much prized by their children.  They began to think that they had neglected a serious duty, and might, in consequence, be taken off before another season could come round.  They therefore sold all their silver and gold ornaments, and borrowed all they could; and before the next season the grove was married with all due pomp and ceremony, to the great delight of the old pair, who tasted of the fruit in June 1834.

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Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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