Ganderbal, Kashmir

Sunday, June 2, 1929

Got real energetic again today and after breakfast Mort, Abdulla, and I set out for Manasbal. It was a delightful walk for the most part for the road led along under the huge Chinars, the willows growing by small canals and irrigation ditches, past shady groups of native houses where naked kids and newborn lambs, calves, and colts romped about, and lastly between fields of rice where the men were whistling at their plowing oxen wading through mud a foot deep and where the women and older children were pulling up the thickly planted rice, tying the green shoots in bundles to later be replanted thinner.

At last, coming to the top of a rise between a large mountain and a small one, we came in view of the large lake, a beautiful sheet of water rimmed on one side by the small mountain and on the others by poplars and Chinars. Abdulla had a boy dancer friend nearby whom he wanted us to take a picture of. While he was getting into his dilapidated dancing outfit, consisting of a skirt, loose shirt, and many ornaments. In the meantime Mort and I sat under a large Chinar tree eating plates and leaves full of delicious mulberries which the natives brought us. Don’t know whether the dancer was a unic or not. They called him a boy, but he certainly had lots of the attributes of a woman in his features, expressions, and liquid eyes.

Of course they all stood as stiff as ram-rods so I took a picture of the whole motley crew of about twenty for a change of scenery. Frank turned up about this time on a pony. Poor beast! First Mort and I rode him to a stream where we went in for a dip—then Abdulla and Frank rode him double for a few miles and Frank rode most of the skin off of Abdulla by making the animal trot—try to trot, for the nag had such a heavy load that he could hardly lift his hind feet off the ground. Then Mort hopped on and the thing had to carry three.

We stopped at all the mulberry trees on the way back and stuffed. Lussoo had a big chicken dinner waiting for us—spuds, turnips, creamed peas, gravy, soup, and apricots. Not so bad. Yesterday we had a whole stuffed duck—costing all of 50¢. All went fine till this evening just before dinner when Frank discovered he had visited a few too many mulberry trees and I, what with molasses on the pancakes this morning, rich apricots, a million sugar-sweet mulberries, and tonight a mulberry cake concoction.

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