Tintin en Inde

Inde   Le Fort Rouge de Delhi dans Tintin au TibetLotus Bleu

Notre voyageur Tintin a aussi visité l’Inde, et il nous en parle dans son carnet de route sur l’Inde de casterman (1994): Tintin et l’Inde

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‘Ti-Puss (1951) by Ella Maillart

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“Her full name was Mrs Minou Wildhusband, née ‘Ti-Puss (pronounce Tea Puss) Push-i-kin.” (9)

Self-pity had made me want a pet. I had come to Tirùvannàmalai in order to live near a Sage who embodied the essence of Hindu wisdom; and whereas a course for beginners would have suited me best, I found myself stumbling about in the aridity of Vedantic lore, listening all at once to the highest metaphysical teaching. Besides, I had just ended the drudgery of writing one more book about my Central Asian journeys; and my sentimental self claimed as a reward a living toy I could fondle when I wanted to banish Reality from my preoccupations. I wanted to smile again! (10)

Mistrust has not yet been sown in her; surroundings are simply liked or disliked by her, she has no inkling that danger exists, or that evil-mindedness is to be found in people. Whether she sees smoke, water or fire, she approaches it convinced that it means a new game. Children are filled with the same confidence which wins them every heart. Oh! That a being could keep on living with such simple grace…, could be spared the recoil of its first disillusion and the ensuing poison of suspicion! How could one try, with cat or child, to prolong that powerful innocence, that spontaneous charm, that gloss which fills us with wonder? How can one stoop so low as to rouse the first fear in trusting youth? The world is theirs, since they have not yet felt separate or different from it… Theirs is the Kingdom! (24)

Yes, Minou, what is that urge to tear away and to possess… my fancy thus violating the fate of the flower? Is it not the same urge which makes me want to tame you, to bend you to my will? Always the same desire to own, this greed which can never be quenched. Wanting to appropriate the beloved thing, you kill it, while limiting yourself; and forgetting that by which all is! so says the Teaching. When shall I feel one with all… able to leave you and the flower as you are, without interfering with you? Of course, it can only be so in Paradise where there is no the “I” and the “non-I”. (130)

She was definitely proud of going far and of mastering her fear at leaving familiar surroundings; and, unless I was entirely deluded by my imagination, she also had a deep and subtle pleasure rooted in our silent understanding. I say nothing of gratefulness: that feeling implies memory if the past, whereas for cats there is only the present. For my part, thanks to her, I was tied to that present moment: no brooding over the past or the future was ever possible with her beside me. She made every minute intense; she forced me to “live” the details seen along our path, and no other walks do I remember so well as those we took together. It made me love her better; which helped me to “raise the heart” according to my Master’s teaching! (137)

Maillart, Ella (1951): Ti-Puss. Heinemann, Melbourne, London, Toronto.

Indian Summer (2007) by Alex Von Tunzelmann

Alex von Tunzelmann indian-summer

“In the beginning, there were two nations. One was a vast, mighty and magnificent empire, brilliantly organized and culturally unified, which dominated a massive swathe of the earth. The other was an undeveloped, semi-feudal realm, riven by religious factionalism and barely able to feed its illiterate, diseased and stinking masses. The first nation was India. The second was England.” (11)

Pour l’amour de l’Inde (1993) de Catherine Clément

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« Edwina n’avait plus de vraie patrie ; l’Angleterre devint son exil, et l’Inde, le pays de son intimité. Elle s’en aperçut un jour qu’elle survolait la Cornouailles à bord d’un petit avion. Un juillet d’Europe éclairait les prairies et les cottages, les haies au bord des champs sagement découpés, les jardins et les roses. Brusquement, elle se souvint du survol du Penjab, en ce terrible mois d’août de la partition des Indes, lorsque dans la poussière infinie marchaient les millions de fuyards, chassés de part et d’autre d’une frontière tracée par un Anglais. Elle se rappela les premières collines des Himalayas, broussailleuses et desséchées, et les étendues profondes des verts jardins de thé au nord du Bengale. Vue du ciel, la campagne anglaise semblait terriblement propre, briquée et nettoyée par des siècles de vie bourgeoise ; elle eut la nostalgie des plaines sans rivages, des villages aux rues de sable, des buffles au bord des étangs et du confus désordre des villes. » (565-466)

Heat and Dust – Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Merchant Ivory

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Yes the monkey was taking the lice out of the man’s hair. I looked in that man’s face – in his eyes – and I tell you I saw a soul in hell. Oh but I’ve seen some terrible sights in India. I’ve lived through a Hindu-Muslim riot, and a smallpox epidemic, and several famines, and I think I may rightly say I’ve seen everything that you can see on this earth. And through it all I’ve learned this one thing: you can’t live in India without Christ Jesus. If He’s not with you every single moment of the day and night and you praying to Him with all your might and main – if that’s not there, then you become like that poor young man with the monkey taking lice out of his hair. Because you see, dear, nothing human means anything here.

Le premier pas d’amante, par Laurence Cossé

Le premier pas d'amanteLaurence Cossé

L’été allait venir, les mois libres. Je ne voulais pas rentrer chez moi. Je ne sais plus où c’est, chez moi.

Je me mis à courir les atlas. Mais je ne feuilletais pas vraiment. J’allais toujours à la même page. Ça ne pouvait pas être ailleurs.

Je dis : « Je pars pour l’Inde. »

L’Inde d’Alexandra David-Néel

Louise_Eugenie_Alexandrine_Marie_David_19th_centuryL'Inde où j'ai vécu

Je ne me propose pas de rédiger un journal de voyage dans lequel mes mouvements à travers l’Inde et les divers épisodes qui les ont accompagnés se succéderaient par ordre chronologique. Ce que je désire offrir ici, c’est plutôt une série de tableaux présentant la vie mentale, encore plus que la vie matérielle de l’Inde; il convient donc de ne point morceler ces tableaux et de grouper en un tout les informations obtenues à divers moments sur un même sujet.