At this uplifted moment—whatever might come later—he blessed them for his double heritage; for the perfect accord between them that inspired his hope of ultimate harmony between England and India, in spite of barriers and complexities and fomenters of discord; a harmony that could never arrive by veiled condescension out of servile imitation. Intimacy with Dyan and his mother had made that quite clear. Each must honestly will to understand the other; each holding fast the essence of individuality, while respecting in the other precisely those baffling qualities that strengthen their union and make it vital to the welfare of both. Instinctively he pictured them as man and woman; and on general lines the analogy seemed to hold good. He had yet to discover that analogies are often deceptive things; peculiarly so, in this case, since India is many, not one. Yet there lurked a germ of truth in his seedling idea: and he was at the age when ideas and tremendous impulses stir in the blood like sap in spring-time; an age to be a reformer, a fanatic or a sensualist.
Too often, alas, before the years bring power of adjustment, the live spark of enthusiasm is extinct....
To-night it burned in Roy with a steady flame. If only he could enthuse his father——!
He supposed he would go in any case: but he lacked the rebel instinct of modern youth. He wanted to share, to impart his hidden treasure; not to argue the bloom off it. And his father seemed tacitly to discourage rhapsodies over Indian literature and art. You couldn’t say he was not keen: only the least little bit unresponsive to outbursts of keenness in his son; so that Roy never felt quite at ease on the subject. If only he could walk into the room now, while Roy’s brain was seething with it all, high on the upward curve of a wave....
[Footnote 2: Ancient Hindu Scriptures.]
“You could humble at your feet the proudest heads in the world. But
it is your loved ones ... whom you choose to worship. Therefore I
Roy, after due consideration, decided that he would speak first to his father—the one doubtful element in the home circle. But habit and the obsession of the moment proved too strong, when his mother came to ’tuck him up,’ as she had never failed to do since nursery days.
Seated on the edge of his bed, in the shaded light, she looked like some rare, pale moth in her moon-coloured sari flecked and bordered with gold; amber earrings and a rope of amber beads—his own gift; first fruits of poetic earnings. The years between had simply ripened and embellished her; rounded a little the oval of her cheek; lent an added dignity to her grace of bearing and enriched her wisdom of the heart.