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.
bispinosa), which is everywhere as regularly planted and cultivated in fields under a large surface of water, as wheat or barley is on the dry plains.  It is cultivated by a class of men called Dhimars, who are everywhere fishermen and palankeen bearers; and they keep boats for the planting, weeding, and gathering the ’singhara’.[10] The holdings or tenements of each cultivator are marked out carefully on the surface of the water by long bamboos stuck up in it; and they pay so much the acre for the portion they till.  The long straws of the plants reach up to the surface of the waters, upon which float their green leaves; and their pure white flowers expand beautifully among them in the latter part of the afternoon.  The nut grows under the water after the flowers decay, and is of a triangular shape, and covered with a tough brown integument adhering strongly to the kernel, which is white, esculent, and of a fine cartilaginous texture.  The people are very fond of these nuts, and they are carried often upon bullocks’ backs two or three hundred miles to market.  They ripen in the latter end of the rains, or in September, and are eatable till the end of November.  The rent paid for an ordinary tank by the cultivator is about one hundred rupees a year.  I have known two hundred rupees to be paid for a very large one, and even three hundred, or thirty pounds a year.[11] But the mud increases so rapidly from this cultivation that it soon destroys all reservoirs in which it is permitted; and, where it is thought desirable to keep up the tank for the sake of the water, it should be carefully prohibited.  This is done by stipulating with the renter of the village, at the renewal of the lease, that no ‘singhara’ shall be planted in the tank; otherwise, he will never forgo the advantage to himself of the rent for the sake of the convenience, and that only prospective, of the village community in general.

Notes: 

1.  Afterwards Captain H. A. Sleeman, He died in 1905.

2.  Of Garha, see ante, Chapter 9, prior to note 10.

3.  The real ‘kalpa’, which now stands in the garden of the god Indra in the first heaven, was one of the fourteen varieties found at the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons.  It fell to the share of Indra. [W.  H. S.] The tree referred to in the text perhaps may be the Erythrina arborescens, or coral-tree, which sheds its leaves after the hot weather.

4.  That is to say, orderlies, or ‘chaprasis’.

5.  Every Hindoo is thoroughly convinced that the names of Ram and his consort Sita are written on this tree by the hand of God, and nine-tenths of the Musalmans believe the same.

    Happy the man who sees a God employed
    In all the good and ill that chequer life,
    Resolving all events, with their effects
    And manifold results, into the will
    And arbitration wise of the Supreme.

COWPER. [W.  H. S.]

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