MARCH 20, 1952
NEW DELHI, Wednesday—One morning last week we visited a palace in which there was a very beautiful collection of paintings which are 300 or 400 years old and are in Persian style. They deal with scenes of life in that day and I thought they were extremely interesting. We also saw a sample of the way elephants, horses and camels used to be arrayed in processions that were held two or three times a year when India had its separate princely dominions. Every animal looked gorgeous, but the elephants had the most marvelous regalia and its weight was astonishing.
I also had a chance to walk around the gardens of a maharaja's home—some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. I asked an old Indian gardener how he raised such strong hollyhock stalks, which did not bend over, what he did to his carnations, which were blooming outdoors as they used to bloom in the greenhouse in Hyde Park. He told me he had special fertilizer to strengthen the hollyhock stalks and I shall certainly make a search for it when I get home.
There was a lovely sunken circular garden, with petunias in great masses and other perennials. There were also beautiful roses, imported from many parts of the world and flourishing in their new climate. One could see this gardener loved every flower and that praise of his work was a joy to his soul.
We also visited one of the places to see how inlaid copper and silver work is done and then we drove out a considerable distance to an old temple to see the monkeys being fed. There were many more monkeys than we would see in any zoo at home.
Our luncheon was served in a charming little summer house with a lovely pool in the middle of the garden. There was one big tree at the end of the lawn, next to which was a grill much as one might see it in a very elaborate Hollywood garden. But the Maharani told me it did not work too well!
We returned to New Delhi again about three o'clock and at four-thirty we had the pleasure of having tea with the President of India, Dr. Rajenrad Prasad. We had missed him on our last visit and I was glad of this opportunity for a quiet talk.
At five-thirty I went to a meeting called under the auspices of the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Asia Institute. Sir Benegal N. Rau presided and made an excellent speech which I tried very hard to hear but, as I was almost completely deaf from the air trip, I only caught part of it and had to read it in the papers the next morning.
The constant flying which we have been doing has had a funny effect on my hearing. Though I try to clear my ears before coming down, I don't succeed, and it takes several hours before my hearing returns to normal, which is none too good at best.
We had a quiet dinner on the porch, looking out over a lovely garden and [originally: at] nine-fifteen Ambassador and Mrs. Chester Bowles called for us and we all attended a real Hollywood premier of "The River." The proceeds were donated to the Health Minister for her child welfare work, and Kenneth McEldowney, producer of the picture, told me that all the seats were sold.
We saw people there who had come from different parts of India, including our kind host and hostess, Governor and Her Excellency Rani Maharaj Singh, and the Jamsaheb and Maharani of Navnagar.