INDIA: Rising Flames

First, Brahman priests bathed the dead man's body in holy Ganges water, placed a green tulsi leaf between his lips and marked his forehead with yellow sandalwood paste and red kumkum powder. Then, in the late afternoon, a gun carriage drawn by Indian soldiers, sailors and airmen carried the body through Bombay's streets while vast crowds mourned and planes overhead showered the procession with flowers. Finally, at the cemetery, the dead man's son poured incense and ghee (semifluid butter) over the body and lit the pyre. Watching the rising flames, Jawaharlal Nehru...

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