India. Born and brought up in a village inaccessible even for the bullock cart, and educated in village schools till
his early teens, this author’s vision of India had been often, if not always, coloured by his rustic emotions and
nostalgia. May he suggest that he be spared of any scrutiny with any yardstick of history, for this work is an
invitation to share, if you are in a leisurely mood, the author’s impressions of places and people, as his mind and
imagination recorded them over the years.
Visions could also be interspersed with one another while looking at India, as it happens in Mark
Twain’s summary of the country even though made in the nineties of the 19th century: ‘This is indeed India! The
land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and of palaces and hovels, of
famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the
country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the
human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of
Tradition,...the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that
glimpse for shows of all the rest of the globe combined.’ (More Tramps Abroad-1897)
While the first few articles, on the Andamans are factual, ‘dreams and romance’ dominate the pieces on
Rajasthan and the rest are a fusion of objective experiences and subjective reactions. As the author is a bilingual
writer, most of these pieces have their Odia versions, compiled as Antaranga Bharat.