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loveday on kashmiries

loveday on kashmiries

just see what venom is reserved for what she does not like. talking about the kashmiries, loveday prior writes in her book 'punjab prelude' (publishers john murray, london 1952),

" he tries to sell you mushrooms for a rupee a basket: they are worth six annas and as likely as not, he parts with them for three annas. he enlarges a gold ring, when he has agreed to cut it and put in more gold, by scrapping it out till it is paper thin; then he hope to sell the ring, save the gold, and make you pay for more – of course he loses the sale. he makes wonderful carved furniture: but of green wood, so when it has stood in his shop six months, it yaws at the seams and becomes worthless. he makes lovely rugs: but the dye in the wool, guaranteed fadeless, goes off in six months, so if does not sell soon, he loses the sale. he sells you the famous kashmir honey, but it is immature: you eat it, fall ill, and do not deal with him again. withal, shameless, as they are, they are a good humoured lot, and if you can forget the unpleasantness and concentrate on the scenery only, take your rogues as rogues, and rejoice in the rare honest men, kashmir may be enjoyed.

the dishonesty plagues kashmir from top to bottom. at the bottom is the guileless shepherd of the hills, who tries to make out that your dog has killed a yearling lamb that certainly looks rigid and its eyes are shut: he says the lamb is worth fifty rupees: it is worth fifteen: and his story is only spoiled by the lamb's ill timed return to life". (page 89)

(note - loveday prior was a teacher in lahore. she was christian. she had spent her childhood in india and returned later to be a teacher in the years 1943-49) 

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