Chandra. The Journey of a Star

(Giuseppe Mussardo, with Enrico Agapito)

On the morning of 1st August 1930 in Bombay, the wharf of the P&O -- Peninsular and Oriental Lines -- was fully crowded and there was the usual confusion of any departure: porters were loading luggages and big crates, officers were busy in giving the last orders and sailors were climbing up and down from the decks among ropes and shrouds. Foreigners walked around looking with open admiration at the Gateway of India, considered the quintessence of  colonial India, a monument erected by England in the Twenties  to be the symbol of its entry in the Raj, but that was going to become soon the sad witness of its leaving.

Till a few hours before, the rain carried by the monsoon had swept the docks with strong gusts, but after a brief pause of relief , a suffocating heat had reappeared; the heavy humidity soaked the dresses that, almost transparent, stuck to the bodies. Near the pier of the steamer Pilsna, a liner of Lloyd Triestino travelling from Bombay to Venice, a small crowd was gathering: there were friends and relatives come to

bid farewell to a young man heading for Europe.

     Drawing by G. Mussardo               

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