It began on the 24th of October 1950 when I arrived
in India...finally the time had come. India! With its delightful droning,
a reliable old Lockheed Constellation brought me to Karachi and from there
- after a cool shower and a few hours of sleep - further on to Bombay. What
a strange world. What a unique welcome...We had hardly landed, when a troop
of Indian health officials stormed the aeroplane and enveloped everything
in a suffocating fog of insecticide. Coughing, I fought my way outside through
the mist...(I almost wrote "into the fresh air". That would have been
sheer mockery!) I was flabbergasted.
Diary 24 October 1950
1950 November 1950
24. | 25.
| 26. | 27.
| 29. | 30.
So that is what 90% humidity feels like in more
than 40 degrees in the shade...the air is hot and as heavy as water, and
I struggle for breath like a fish. Well, this is a bright outlook indeed!
Fortunately, a car from the "Taj Mahal" luxury hotel where I had already
booked, picked me up. People wherever one looks, everywhere nothing but
people. A slow moving stream of dark bodies, light-coloured garments, turbans
and luminous saris. And where a path opened up before my limousine, one
could see red stains on the street and the sidewalks - endless rows of blood
red and dried splashes, which collected as little pools at the crossroads;
wherever one looked - one saw dried blood...