The River (1951) Script

[Woman Narrating] In India, to honor guests on special occasions... women decorate the floors of their homes with rice flour and water.

With this rangoli, we welcome you to this motion picture... filmed entirely in India, in Bengal... where the story really happened.

It is the story of my first love- about growing up on the banks of a wide river.

First love must be the same anyplace... and it might have been in America, England...

New Zealand or Timbuktu.

Though they do not, of course, have rivers in Timbuktu.

But the flavor of my story would have been different in each... and the flavor of the people who live by the river... would have been different.

€€ [Singing In Indian Language]

€€[Men Chanting]

€€ [Chanting]

[Narrator] It was one of the many holy rivers.

Its waters came from the eternal snows of the Himalayas... and emptied into the Bay of Bengal.

The river had its own life- fishes and porpoise, turtles and birds... and people who were born and lived and died on it.

It flowed slowly between banks of mud and white sand... rice fields andjute fields.

Thejute grew in flat marshes... nourished by monsoon floods.

Country boats of all shapes and sizes brought thejute to the factories.

Some of them came from as far away as Assam and Chittagong... and the borders of Burma... through the winding arteries of the delta.

The workmen carried their heavy loads.

For each load, a seashell.

So many shells, so many loads.

Jute was the reason we lived in India.

Our whole life depended on it.

My father was in charge of a jute press.

He was a friendly man... and after work he always came home through the bazaar... though it was much the longer way.

He liked people, and people liked him.

[Speaking Indian Language]

I want to buy a kite. [Speaking Indian Language]

[Speaking Indian Language]

[Indian Language]

That's fine. [Speaks Indian Language]

- How much? Four anna.

[Indian Language] [Indian Language]

[Woman Narrating] The days followed one another in the even tenor of Bengal.

Along the river were villages and people living and working... content in their traditions which had not changed for thousands of years.

[Indian Language]

In the dry season, when the river was low... lazy buffalo grazed just outside our garden wall.

[Children] €Hi-ho, the derry-o The farmer's in the dell € Come on, you little frogs. Come and get 'em.

- Here, Bogey boy. That's for you. [Girls] Daddy! Daddy!

[Chattering Excitedly]

[Narrator] We were five children- four girls and my brother Bogey... the only male among us females.

Our family was very much like any other family.

Still, I think living in India gave us a special flavor.

Of course, in the family we included Nan, our nurse... a few friends, our servants and several pets.

There was always chattering, laughter, piano music, songs.

Time slipped away unnoticed.


Bogey, come back and learn your spelling like Elizabeth.

I don't like spelling. I like turtles.

One day you'll have to learn how to spell.

Imagine a man who couldn't go to office and sign letters and read the newspaper.

I don't want to be any of those men.

[Narrator] Bogey's best friend was Kanu.

They had a life separate from ours.

Bogey didn't like toys. He played with lizards and turtles.

All wrapped up in Hoppity, her rabbit, was little Victoria.

Victoria, what are you doing to Hoppity?

Hoppity is my baby. He's just been born.

But you had it born last week.

Babies can be born again and again, can't they?

[Narrator] And then there was Valerie.

But she wasn't one of us.

Her father owned thejute press.

She'd been to school in England. They were rich.

She was an only child and came every day to play with us.

Good afternoon, sir and madam. Hello.

[Father] Hello, Valerie. How are your mother and father?

Very well, thank you.

[Narrator] My sisters were much younger.

The twins, Muffy and Mouse...

- and Elizabeth, the pianist. Oh!

Good heavens!

Whose filthy little children are those?


[Narrator] Mother. She was beautiful.

She loved music.

And there was also Ram Singh, the children's friend and protector.

- He was a Sikh from the Punjab... €€[Piano]

And before being our gateman he'd been a valiant soldier.

But Nan was the bridge to life... bringing us back from dreams to reality... from reality to dreams.

Harriet! Come here.

I found your shoes in the middle of the stairs.

But, Nan, the grass tickles my toes and makes me think.

You'll get hookworm. Why can't you be obedient like Elizabeth?

It's easy for her to be good. She is good.

[Narrator] Nan-always filling our heads with tales of romance... setting the stage for the arrival oflove.

And I see myself- an ugly duckling determined to be a swan.

"Saw roses red that comforted her heart... and saw their crimson petals plop apart."

[Steam Whistle Blows]

[Harriet Narrating] Then, as the river brought everything... it brought a young man on the weekly steamer.

Harriet! Valerie!

He's come! [Valerie] Who?

The American! Mr. John's cousin.

I had a string in my cup of tea this morning.

I knew. It's always right. Come. Let's have a look at him.

Come on, Harriet. Shh. Not so loud.

[Nan] Don't leave me. Don't leave me behind.

They're looking at something. Somebody's coming.

Perhaps it's Nan's stranger.

I hope Nan's stranger plays bridge.


Hey. Get down. Get down. Don't let him see you.

Elizabeth. Elizabeth, come down.

Get down.

[Harriet Narrating] We knew very little about him... but Nan had told us he was coming from America... to visit his cousin, our neighbor, Mr. John.

His name was alsoJohn.

Captain John.

He's beautiful. Men can't be beautiful.

Yes, they can.

[Harriet Narrating] What kind destiny to have brought him all alone right to our doorstep.

Usually visitors from abroad were old and married.

Another redhead.

Harriet, one. Valerie, two. Now there's three.

That means trouble.

[Harriet Narrating] As they disappeared into Mr. John's yard... we thought that he had a slight limp.

Nan, do you know what? He's only got one leg.

He's got two legs. I saw them.

You little silly. One's a pretending one.

Valerie, if you come now, we shall stop working and start talking.

Well, let's hear from you.

Captain John was wounded in the war. Father was wounded too.

A leg's worse than an eye. An eye's worse than a leg.

I love a hero. Heroes don't have pretending legs.

Ah, with one leg he'll get double pension. And in dollars too.

It's so romantic.

I saw a spider this morning. That's lucky.

How could it be lucky? Spiders' legs - that mean riches.

But why did he want to come?


[Together] Yes, why?

Children. Captain John was so brave.

He stayed there in the battle till his leg was shot off.

Why didn't he stay there till the other leg was shot off?


If you ask me, he should be invited to your Diwali party.

I write the best. I'll write a letter for you all.

I'll ask Mr. John as well. To ask a stranger in April is very bad.

But this isn't April.

I'll sign it "Valerie and the Big House Children."

No. "The Big House Children and Valerie."

Wait. I've got to put his name.

"Captain John."

"The Little House."

Our village, Bengal, India, the Eastern Hemisphere and the world!

I'll take it. No, I will. It's my house, and it's my party.

Don't leave me out. Let's all go to the wall and have a look.

[Girls Giggling]

[Harriet Narrating] For such an important visit I had to put on my shoes.

The shortest way was over the garden wall.

I'd taken it many times to visit Mr. John.

Fascinating expeditions.

Since the death ofhis wife, a beautiful Hindu woman...

India had absorbed our neighbor completely.

His house was full of Indian friends...

Indian books and Indian music.

Often the sound of a vina came through the open windows.

- €€[Vina] And he had a daughter a little older than I.

[All Shouting] Melanie! Melanie! Melanie!

Melanie, you've come at last.

Yes. Finished, Harriet. No more school.

I am grown up now. Quick!

Father! Melanie, Melanie!

Father! Oh, Melanie, Melanie, Melanie, Melanie!

You look well - but too thin.

You look well - but too thin.

We've been starving for the sight of each other.

This is my daughter, Melanie, home from her convent. Meet your cousin.

From America. How are you?

And this is Harriet from the big house. Hello, Harriet.

Excuse me. I have to go now.

Would you come a little way with me?

Go with him, Melanie.

I like that Indian greeting more every time I see it.

It's more graceful than a handshake.

Melanie's mother was an Indian. One day she'll discover that.

I didn't even know you had a daughter.

In the West you believe we orientals expose our girl children rather than keep them.

It isn't true.

[Harriet Narrating] Anil was a devoted friend of Mr. John's... and had known Melanie since they were both children.

He had grown used to the idea that one day he would marry her... and he was anxious to give this girl without caste... his name and nobility.

Do you mean that you can't show me one man... throwing a rope into the air and climbing up to disappear?

No. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

How about the famous Indian bed of nails? My bed is very comfortable.

I'm a bad host. Hmm.

I have a letter for you.

It's to ask you to our Diwali party- all of you.

You always give a party for Diwali because it's the beginning of winter, and that's the best time.

Ram Singh has brought the lamps, and we light them before you come.

Then we have ice cream and fireworks in the garden, and we wear our new frocks... and we dance, and Mother makes us gold and silver crowns.

- Will you come? [Chuckles]

That's all very nice. But what is Diwali?

The Hindu festival of lights.

Hundreds and thousands of little lamps burning everywhere.

€€[Women Singing In Indian Language]

[Harriet Narrating] I can still see the little oil lamps.

"Diwali"means garland oflights.

They're lit in memory of a great war- the old eternal war between good and evil.

For each life given in this war, a light is lit.

On the darkest night of October, millions oflights burn all over India.

€€[Singing Continues]

€€[Men Chanting In Indian Language]

[Loud Chattering]

[Harriet Narrating] For Hindus, all the universe is God.

And since God is everywhere, it is only natural to worship a tree... a stone, a river.

They all declare the presence of the One Supreme.

- At our house we were all excited. [Giggling]

Captain John had arrived.

We played shy and ran away into the garden... screaming loudly, showing off... wildly determined to attract his attention.

Never before had Diwali seemed so wonderful.

€€[Women Singing In Indian Language]

This is a house of women.

I'm glad you've come to keep us company. Bogey and I were getting unbearably vain.

If you stay long enough, we'll arrange a camp and get you a shot at a tiger.

Oh, I should like that very much.

But would the tiger?

[Harriet Narrating] We lit the gorgeous Vishnu chakra...

Ram had chosen for us.

They burst forth into a fountain of sparks... and all our emotions burst with them.

It was a fairy tale come true.

Nan was triumphant.

Although they were too young to understand... even the little ones were caught in the spell.

Valerie and I pretended not to be aware ofhis presence... but we knew perfectly well that his eyes were on us.


Hindus believe in one god... but they worship different symbols which they regard as the embodiments... of virtues and qualities of the supreme being.

That is why there are many kinds of temples and images all over India.

Among these symbols is Kali... goddess of eternal destruction and creation- creation being impossible without destruction.

In our village on that night there were many Kali pujas.

The great, terrifying Kali held court in all her magnificence... and the villagers gathered to ask protection... from disease and famine and fire.

For through destruction of the elements of evil... good is born.


I ought to be knitting socks for my next baby... but I love making fairy crowns.

So many children have socks... so few have crowns.


Hello, Captain. How are you getting on? Fine.


Will you dance? No, no, Harriet.

You can't kidnap the captain like that.

That's all right. I shall be honored.

Little kitten. I'm not a little kitten.

Dance with me, Harriet. I can't bear to be left out.

I'll be the man. No, no, no, no. I'll be the man.


Will you dance with me?

Uh, not right now. Come on, Daddy. Let's dance.

All right. Someday you will have children.

Why don't you go and entertain Captain John?

I'm gonna dance with Muffy.


- [All Laughing] [Father] I'll wind it up.

- [Phonograph Cranking] €€[Polka]

Uh, very pleased to meet you. Captain John, you must dance.

Come on. Excuse me.

Well -Well, just one more. One more.

I! I! I! I! I! I!

Oh. Berna.


Oh. I'll put it on again.

He's going to the veranda.

Let's go.

- Won't you come, Melanie? [Children Squealing, Giggling]

Poor boy. He isn't a boy.

Antony was a soldier. He looks like Antony.

He looks like a young prince.

I'm sorry. I was just coming in. Did you want to go on dancing?

Sometimes I like to dance, sometimes I don't.

- I'd like to stay here with you. €€[Waltz]

That's funny.

Usually I hate men.

I often think- do you know what? - that I ought to be a nun.

[Chuckles] All little kittens think that.

Little kitten.

I went to a party last Christmas, and they thought I was 18.

What happens when they think you're 18?

It was very silly.

But I liked it.

You should be very careful, Valerie.


Mmm, because you're... a little beautiful.


[Captain John] Maybe I'm dreaming.

Maybe it's your hair.

Or your eyes. Angel's eyes?

Kitten's eyes. They turn into cat's.

Come on back into the other room and dance.

I don't want to dance. Give me a cigarette.

She's smoking. She's growing up.

We all have to, Harriet. Willy-nilly.

I hate willy-nilly.

€€[Drums Beating]

€€[Reed Instrument]

[Harriet Narrating] The next day, at setting of the sun... the symbols of Kali were taken to the water... in final ritual.

Made of clay taken from the river... carefully shaped and artfully painted... the goddess has accomplished her manifold tasks.

Pious worship, sweet incense... and generous offerings approach their end.

On the river and on its banks... young and old, rich and poor pay their last homage to the goddess.

- €€[Drums And Flute] €€[Men Chanting]

Arisen from the bed of the river, Kali returns to the river.

Clay goes back to clay.


€€ [Stops]

My dear. For a moment I didn't recognize you.

You like it? I do.

You look so much like your mother.

I'm glad.

I am going to wear a sari always, Father.


[Captain John] Wonderful.

Changed into a pretty little butterfly.

From a grub.

Oh, I do hope I'm loved as much as Cleopatra.

I shouldn't like to be loved out loud like Cleopatra.

I should. The louder the better.

I want everyone to know about me... and I want to be loved by hundreds of men.

One person's love is enough for one person.

What person?

What person? Tell me. [Laughing]


Anil is here. He wants particularly to see you, Melanie.

Go on, Melanie. See him.

Do you want me to see him, Father?

I? I don't know.

Now, now. Don't laugh at me. I -

I'm trying to be a practical man.

But you are not a practical man.

If you marry Anil, he can give you so much.

I've put you nowhere.

Suppose I like to be nowhere.

Then let's go out and see him.

I can't. But you see him every day.

I couldn't see him now.

I'd better give the poor young man a cup of tea.

Yes, go. Go.

Wouldn't you rather marry an American?

I don't understand them.

€€[Piano Scales]

Show me.

Mother, am I beautiful?

You have an interesting little face, full of character.

And you have nice eyes and hair.

Why should people be made some pretty and some ugly?

No one's ugly.

When you really look at them, the most surprising people are beautiful.

Look at Nan. Nan?

She is nice. Now say Hoppity.

Hoppity's delicious.

And so is Victoria.

And Bogey has such dear little bones.

You're beautiful, Mother. Of course, you're old.

And Elizabeth. Of course, she's young.

Let me look at the other hand. And Captain John.

Captain John.

Mother, I want to be outstandingly beautiful.

[Harriet Narrating] Beautiful for him.

I didn't realize that this boy was faced with bitter reality- that he had no room in his thoughts for the romantic dreams of a silly little girl.

Only now do I understand why he had traveled so far from his home.

As many other boys, he'd been uprooted by the war... and had become a stranger to his own people... partly their fault and partly his.

He'd fought bravely, and they'd glorified him- parades, waving flags, women's smiles.

He'd been caught in an exciting, unreal current.

But when a war is ended... yesterday's hero is only a man with one leg.

He was proud and had run away from pity.

[All Chattering]

Father told us that he came to see him at thejute works.

Oh, hello. I just want to see how you spend your days.

Well, this is my sweatshop.

What do they do with this stuff?

What do they use jute for anyway?

- Doormats. Vitally important.

Must teach men to wipe their feet.

It's just like beautiful flaxen hair. Why don't they keep it like that?

The world would stop. Think- no string.

[Harriet Narrating] Thejute didn't interest Captain John... which surprised Father.

Thejute works were very important to my father.

He loved the fibrous jute... and the never-ending procession of men carrying it piled on their heads.

- [Man Shouts In Indian Language] [Man Speaks Indian Language]

[Harriet Narrating] Captain John went from place to place... not knowing what to do with himself.

He wandered along the river... and on its shores he found a different life- a life new to him, although thousands of years old.

Everything was peaceful there.

Men meditating under holy trees... offering prayers to the sun.

And as everywhere and always, children at their play.

Everyone tranquil in the security of their faith.

But if Captain John thought of religion as an answer to his unrest... he did not talk about it.

He stayed within himself... asking questions, but never opening his heart.

And he seemed to be avoiding us girls and our curiosity.

Is this your place of meditation?

Meditation is hard work.

I'm too lazy for the big philosophies, so I invent little ones of my own.

Such as? Oh, digestivism.

There's a magnificent pipal tree.

I look at it and digest what I see.

Didn't you ever do any work?

Oh, I did once, but I earned too much money.

- You see, I'm rich. How rich?

Hmm, for you -

For me -

To have so much, I had to learn not to add but to subtract.

That's a bit of a paradox, isn't it?

A paradox can be true.

Listen. Once two men stood on the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge.

One jumped off, quietly swam home.

The other didn't jump and dropped dead.

You think I should learn how to jump?

I'm your cousin, not your teacher.

- [Chattering] €€[Reed Instrument]

€€ [Continues]

[Man Speaking Indian Language]

[Man Speaking Indian Language]


I want cobra! I want cobra!

[Chattering Loudly]

[Harriet Narrating] I knew the bazaar intimately.

I knew the stand where they sold paper garlands and painted cups.

I knew the cloth shops where endless yards of silk reflected the sun- the shop with baskets piled high with many varieties of grains... which the housewives grind to make curry- the vendors selling chickens and mangoes, papayas and coconut milk... candies, betel nuts and soda water- and the cows which wandered everywhere.

I caught a glimpse of Captain John... passing the stall where one could buy beauty.

Black mai for the eyes... red powder for beauty spots gracing the forehead... tiny bottles of perfumed oils andjasmine.

And I knew the fortune-teller who came every week... with his tale of good luck and riches.

[Man Speaking Indian Language]

[Metal Tapping]

€€[Woman Singing In Indian Language]

[Harriet Narrating] I wanted to break through his indifference.

I wanted to impress him... tell him that I was an author, a poet.

Silly girl. I couldn't utter a word.

€€[Singing Continues]

I wonder what the other fishes are thinking.

Oh, they just go on swimming, wiggling, thinking.

They have to. But what must it feel like right in the middle of your family?

Things do happen.

Ah, they're only fishes.

Only fishes.

[Harriet Narrating] Only fishes. Only birds. Only girls.

I would never understand men.

But I guess you have to accept them as they are... and I had decided to conquer him.

I'd like to show you something. It's a secret.

Bogey knows it, and Mother knows it too, and Valerie and Nan and Ram Singh.

It's a secret. Will you come?


- Hey, I'm a fairy! I'm a fairy! €€[Piano Scales]

[Growls Playfully] There. Come on.

Play with Nan. Go on.

€€[Piano Continues]

This is my secret place.

These are my poems.

Don't - Don't breathe all over it.

"Big river, big river.

And in my river there are pearls."

Did you write this all by yourself?

Nobody helped you?

Beautiful, Harriet. It is, isn't it?

[Hoofbeats Approaching]

Uh, I'll finish reading them some other time, huh?

[Ship Horn Blowing]

[Whispering] I hate her.

I hate her. I hate her.

He's helping her off as if she were a grown-up person.


€€[Classical On Piano]

Valerie, Captain John likes you best. You can have him.

What? A man with one leg?

Oh, Valerie, you are cruel.

I like to be cruel.

No, I don't, Harriet. I like him.

[Harriet Narrating] I sought seclusion from my inward despair on the roof of the house... and comforted myselfflying kites.

But one day, he suddenly appeared beside me and helped me to fly the kite.

He was close to me. It was wonderful.

The kite and Captain John.

What mingled emotions.

€€[Man Vocalizing]


[Children Squealing]


I'm going to give you all my turtles, Muffy.

I'm Mouse.

[Harriet Narrating] There was a pipal tree in the midst of our garden wall.

From its branches grew tentacles deep into the ground.

The tree was like a dwelling... a labyrinth where many mysteries were hidden.

There is one there. I'm sure there is.

The other side. That's where they put the milk.

- [Kanu Speaks Indian Language] [Animals Squawking]

[Harriet Narrating] The pipal tree is sacred to Hindus for many reasons.

It was under such a tree that Prince Gautama sat in meditation... and rose to the highest heights of enlightenment... to become the Lord Buddha.

Hindu women come to the tree to worship... and to pray for the blessing of a son.

€€[Man Singing In Indian Language In Distance]

€€[Singing Continues]

[Speaks Indian Language]

[Indian Language]

[Speaking Indian Language]

[Animals Squawking]

[Speaking Indian Language]

[Speaking Indian Language]

[Speaking Indian Language]

No, it's not very good. But I like to do it.

It's part of your inheritance from your mother... and your grandmother... and her mother's mother's mother.

Why did you send me to a Western school?

Because you've a Western inheritance too.

It's a puzzle. I don't know where you belong.

Sometimes I think I've put you in a frightful position.

Perhaps you never should have been born.

But I am born.

Someday I shall find out where I belong.

[Harriet Narrating] "The river runs, the round world spins.

"Dawn and lamplight, midnight, noon.

"Sun follows day, . Night, stars and moon.

The day ends, the end begins. "

I had written this poem for Captain John.

It didn't sound like any poem I'd ever read, and I was afraid he wouldn't like it.

But I felt alive and curiously powerful... unconcerned if it were good or bad.

I wanted to write more and more- everything about the river.

I wanted to tell Captain John... how people depended on the river spiritually as well as physically- river people and village people- howjute workers cooled off in the river after a hard day... and men washed their clothes- about old men warming themselves in the sun... children swimming, splashing in the water... and others wondering and meditating... learning the wisdom of India on the banks of the river.

I wanted to tell about the endless, humble daily chores... and about the skillful movements of the men in their frail floating huts... about the market boats filled with fruit and vegetable... and about fishermen leaving towards the south, down to the Sundarbans... and boats looking like igloos... where people sleep and cook and live in little holes... dug in the mountains of rice straw- and about the hurried flight ofbirds... and the slow movements ofboats and the slow life on them.

I thought about the magic of the innumerable ghats... steps leading from a noisy, harassed world... to the calm, purifying waters of the river.

I loved those steps.

Some proud and new- so new that they were left alone- and the age-worn steps from which people didn't want to part- rich steps dedicated to the people by the rich... and poor steps given them by long-forgotten men.

Lovely slender steps... and steps leading to temples.

And as the steps were punctuating the banks of the river... so were the Hindu festivals punctuating the days of the year.

The time came for the image man to put color on the statue of Sarasvati... goddess of wisdom and arts.

I asked her to give me words to charm Captain John.

As Scheherazade of The Arabian Nights... won her life with a thousand tales...

I decided to win his heart with tales about India.

I'll write a song in praise of the Lord Krishna.

You don't know anything about Krishna.

I know everything about him.

How do you spell him?


K-R-I -

S- H-N-A.

Once upon a time in a small village... a young wife went with her mother to the river... to ask for the blessing of a child.

They offered prayers and flowers.

After the right number of months, they had a little girl.

They were disappointed because she was not a boy.

They were disappointed because she was not a boy.

Oh, that's nice, Harriet. Go on.

They had to think about getting a dowry for the baby.

Do we have to have them?

What? Babies?

No, dowries. I mean really, not in the story.

They had to work harder and harder every day to get this dowry.

[Speaks Indian Language, Clicks Tongue]

They loved the baby, and she was very well looked after.

€€[Woman Humming]

She was indeed a lovely child.

And soon she began to help her parents.

€€[Woman Humming]

Every day, she grew bigger and bigger.


She also had her river... and like the river, her life flowed on and on... until she was a grown-up person.

She was not only beautiful on the outside... but on the inside as well.

Better be careful, Harriet. If she's as good as all that, you won't be able to find a husband for her.

Yes, she will. What's he like? Like Anil.

- What's she like? [Harriet] Melanie.

Melanie and Anil.

Of course.

[Harriet] One day near an old temple she saw a young man.

He was so beautiful she thought he was the Lord Krishna come down to Earth.

Then her father told her she had to marry a man ofhis choice.

That's the ancient custom.

She was terribly unhappy... because she could not help remembering the young man she had seen at the temple.

But an Indian girl never contradicts her father.

She made herself ready for the wedding... and worked hard to make it really beautiful.

The courtyard was painted with rice flour.

The house was decorated.

The guests came.

The bridegroom arrived.

€€[Reed Instrument]

The bride's mother welcomed him.

She was very unhappy.

€€ [Gourds Blowing]


She was carried around the bridegroom to tie the knot for life.

He was hidden by a veil.

Then the veil was lifted.

And when she removed the mango leaves covering her eyes... she saw his face.

Lo and behold, he was the young man she loved.

She was very happy.

He was transformed into the Lord Krishna.

She was transformed into the Lady Radha.

The real Radha, who lived thousands and thousands of years ago... was also a country girl.

The love of the god made her a goddess.

She danced to express her love for him.

€€ [Singing In Indian Language]

With her hands and her eyes she says to him...

"O Krishna...

"you are as beautiful as a monsoon cloud.

"Your eyes are like the lotus in bloom...

"O Krishna.

I want to be always in your presence, O Krishna. "


The Lady Radha became the village bride again.

The Lord Krishna again became the bridegroom.

And the young wife went with her mother to the river... to ask for the blessing of a child.

I thought you said it was about Krishna.

It's about any little girl.

How do you spell "conclusion"?

Γιατί να μην θέσει απλά "το τέλος"; 717

Δεν είναι το τέλος. Είναι ατελείωτες.

Ξεκινά ξανά με το νέο μωρό.

Valerie, not that side. That's my private diary.

[Giggling] Valerie!

"Captain John's face is like Antony... who made Cleopatra die. " [Laughs]

Not only Antony-

Antinous the beautiful god.

Listen to this. "His face is like a sensitive plant."

Oh, Harry. A sensitive flower. Please.

Harry, gently, gently.

I'll never forgive you! Never!

I could kill you both.

You shouldn't have done that, Valerie. It was her secret book.

I didn't think that of you.

I don't care.

I don't care what you think of me.

Wouldn't you like to play with me?

No. No, thanks. Why not?

I just don't feel like it.

Can you play? Of course.


[Bird Squawking]

Leave me alone.

Get away from me, I said!

Leave me alone.

Don't touch me.

Valerie. Valerie, what did you do?

He wouldn't let me touch him.

He wouldn't let me come near.



[Indian Language]

[Indian Language]

[Chanting In Indian Language]

[Ship Horn Blows]

Ashes on the head for mourning, Harriet. Not bare feet.

You will get hookworm.

I don't care. I don't care what I get.

Now I know why Cleopatra killed herself.

Hello, vixen.

Hello, darling.

Who's that?

Captain John.

Well, give it to Nan to frame as a keepsake.

We've a pretty collection of females in this house, I must say.

And they look half-dead with misery.

Not all of them. Victoria's all right.

There. Now you're a princess.

The little one's for Hoppity. You take it and give it to him. He can be the prince.

Harriet, Elizabeth.

Nan's the ringleader, of course.

Captain John is going away.

Why the fuss?

Boys are easy.

If anything goes wrong, you paste their bottoms for them.

Girls. They're behaving like tragedy queens in love.

They are in love. They've all of them fallen head over heels in love with Captain John.

I know, but it's ridiculous, absurd, horrible. John?

- Why, they're babies. [Mother] They're not babies.

And it may be absurd, but it's not horrible. It's lucky.


Lucky that it is Captain John. He's so nice and so handy.

You make him sound like a gadget for the kitchen.

Did you ever behave like this?

I did. When I was Harriet's age, it was Byron.

Then it was Valentino, I think. Then I fell in love with the milkman.

ButJohn's here, almost one of the family. A friend.

So was the milkman.

What I like about it most is that it's doing the captain good too.

It's giving him a private revolution... besides breaking the children in.

Breaking them in? I'd like to -

I never knew I was so primitive. If I feel like this now... what shall I do when it's Tom, Dick and Harry?

You'll hold my hand... and let them marry Tom, Dick and Harry.

We shall have boys buzzing round them like mosquitoes. I can't bear it.

I shall never know what they'll be up to next.

If I were in love with a man and he was sick...

I should at least take him some flowers.

[Both Speaking Indian Language]


Bogey. Bogey!

What are you doing?

What are you looking at?


You mean there really is one?

We must tell Father. We must always tell when we see snakes in the garden.

Bogey. I'm talking to you.

Do you see it? Do you touch it?

Only poke it.

You go straight back to the house and tell.

I can't come now. I'm busy.

Go straight now to Nan.

I didn't like Nan. I like cobra.

Go now.


€€[Man Singing In Indian Language In Distance]

€€[Singing Continues]

Gopal. Yes?

You don't want to talk to me.

You are always at the big house.

Well, I'm here now. I barely even catch a glimpse of you.

You and your father are so happy together.

Sometimes I feel that I've spoiled it.

Never mind. I - I'm going anyway.

Where will you go?

Anywhere from... China to Peru.

It makes no difference? No. It's the same story anywhere I go.

I spoil everything.

I can't seem to help it.

I'm a stranger. You know what that means?

A stranger.

Valerie thinks she taught me a lesson.

Well, I don't accept it.

I refuse to be bound by this!

I'm a normal man in any country.

Where will you find a country of one-legged men?

Don't tell me I -

Please forgive me.

I - I didn't mean it.

It's not only this.

I can't seem to keep my thoughts steady. They-

I ask and I ask and -

l- I'm sorry.

I don't know what I'm saying. I have a stupid headache.

Can I help you?

Can anyone?

I thought you disliked me.

Do you?

It is not you I dislike.

Who is it?

Who is it?


[Harriet Narrating] I was caught in an unexpected intrigue... but my adolescent pride would not let me turn back.

The magic of the moment absorbed Valerie too.

Only Melanie resisted... for an Indian girl knows better the seriousness oflove.

When she gives her heart, it is forever.

The enchantment began and ended in the grove.

Suddenly we were running away from childhood... rushing toward love.


[Harriet Narrating] Melanie, like a doe-hesitant, bewildered.

Was she sorry she had run away?

Captain John, moody and disturbed... back in his whirl of doubt.

I, with my elaborate bouquet... awaiting my chance.

Valerie, so impetuous.

You didn't want to see me anymore... but I came.

I was rude to you.


I shouted at you.


And still you come.



[Harriet Narrating] The kiss on her lips- terrifying and fascinating- burned into my heart and hurt.

It was my first kiss... but received by another.

I couldn't bear it.

Don't cry.

Ah, you mustn't cry.

I am going, but -

I'm not crying because you're going.

I'm crying because it is going.


What "it"?

This... being together... in the garden.

All of us happy, and you with us here.

I didn't want it to change... and it's changed.

I didn't want it to end... and it's gone.

It was like something in a dream.

Now you've made it real.

I didn't want to be real.

[Children Chattering]

[Yelling Playfully]


[Rhythmic Rattling]

[Speaking Indian Language]

[Indian Language]



Come here.

Ever since Diwali everything's been different.

I've been so funny, as if I were being stretched.

Nan says they're growing pains.

Perhaps Nan's right.

I didn't know it hurt to grow.

Harriet, how much do you know about life?

Life? Oh, you mean babies being born and growing up?


But there are so many different kinds oflove.

No. Only one. From Cleopatra right down to you.

Did Cleopatra have a baby?

I'm sure she did. Dozens.

I never thought of that.

Having a baby hurts you terribly.

No more than it ought.

It's meant to make you think and feel.

Just like love.

In a few weeks' time, Harriet, I shall be having our baby.

When Snowball had her foal, her eyes looked scared, and she screamed.

I don't know how you can bear it, Mother.

I love Father.

Come here.

Having children for the man you love... is a precious, sanctified work.

It's the meaning of a woman.

And as you know, Harriet, as you grow older... your body changes to get ready for it.

I think that's what's happening to you.

To me? Yes, Harriet.

I wish I were a cabin boy and could run away to sea.

I wanted to be an explorer.

I hate bodies.

If I were you, Harriet, I'd go and have a good play with Bogey.

Play? I shall never play again.



Kanu. Kanu.



Kanu! Kanu!

[Birds Squawking]


Bogey. Bogey.

Bogey, Bogey, Bogey.

€€ [Singing In Indian Language]

[Ram Singh Speaking Indian Language]

€€ [Singing Continues]

€€[Man #2 Singing in Indian Language]

€€[Singing Continues]

€€[Singing Continues]

€€[Singing Continues]

[No Audible Dialogue]


I drink to the children.

We should celebrate that a child died a child.

That one escaped.

We lock them in our schools.

We teach them our stupid taboos.

We catch them in our wars... and they can't resist.

They've no armor, and so we kill them.

We massacre the innocents.

And the world is for children - the real world.

They climb trees and roll in the grass.

They're close to the ants... and as free as the birds.

They're like animals. They're not ashamed.

They know what is important.

A mouse is born... or a leaf drops in a pond.

If the world could be made of children -

Try and eat a little, Harriet.

What are you hiding?

We can't keep that.

We don't need to keep things, Harriet.

It's so horrid, so cruel.

Roast potatoes and peas.

As if we had wiped Bogey away.

We go on as if nothing had happened.

No, we don't.

All we do is to go on.

I knew about the cobra, Mother.

I know you did.

It's not her fault. It's the captain's.

If she hadn't had her head full of him, she would have told.

As soon as I set eyes on him, I knew there would be trouble.

Dear Nan. Please.

I can't!

[Sobbing] I can't.

I can't.

Yes, you can.

[Victoria] Bogey, Bogey, Bogey, Bogey, Bogey.

Where did Bogey go?

Bogey is in heaven.

He's a little angel. I lent him my wings.

€€[Men Chanting In Indian Language In Distance]

€€ [Men Chanting In Indian Language]



Yes. Bogey.

Melanie, what do we do?


To what? To everything.

You don't like being a man with one leg... but you have only one leg.

I don't like-

You don't like?

Never mind.

Why do we quarrel with things all the time?

In my case, it was not a quarrel.

It was a rebellion.

So, I thought, was mine.

Now I know it was only a quarrel.

Melanie, I'm not a stranger anymore.

[People Speaking Indian Language]

[Indian Language]

Harriet's gone.

[Harriet Narrating] There were so many unsaid things I'd forgotten to tell Bogey... and now I would never tell him.

The fishermen saw me swept down with the current.

Later, in their boat, I came back to life.

They warmed me and offered to take me home... but I refused.

€€[Men Singing In Indian Language]

People like me ought to die.

Ah, I can't reach it.

Hand me a light like a good girl, will ya, Harry?

I don't think you're the type.

People like you just don't lie down and die.

What will I do, then?

You'll begin again.

You know what I think?

I think with everything that happens to you... with every person you meet who is important to you... you either die a little bit or are born.

Someone said something like that to me once.

It must have been someone very wise.

Oh, I remember. It was little Victoria.

Did you ever die? Two or three times.

You won't tell anybody. Promise?


Just think, Harry.

One of your poems might still be alive in, say, 4000 A.D.

Captain John, I love you.

Now you've kissed me, as well as Valerie.

Come on. I'll take you home now.

Hey. Gonna have to help me. You know I've only got one leg.

Who's important to you, Captain John?


[Horn Blowing]

[Harriet Narrating] The new wind came, and it was spring.

Thejoyful, unchanged rites, symbolic of the temptation of man.

Hindus celebrate the new season.

[Speaking Indian Language]

[Men Respond In Indian Language]

- €€[Drums Beating] €€ [Singing]

- €€[Drums Continue] €€[Singing Continues]

[Children Shouting]

[All Yelling]

[All Shouting]


[Shouting In Indian Language]

[Indian Language]


[No Audible Dialogue]


Melanie and Valerie.

Where's Nan? In the summer house.

- Nan. [Father] Nan. Quick.

[Children] Our baby, our baby, our baby, our baby!

You're wanted, Nan. In there.

[Children] Our baby, our baby!

Letters from America.

Captain John! Captain John.

Semper fidelis. He still keeps the apple.

[Elizabeth] What apple?

The same old apple. Paris's, Eve's.

Once you've tasted it, you're never the same.

It'll be your turn next.

- [Elizabeth] Does it taste nice? [Chuckles] Too nice.

Now you run along and play in the summer house.

Go on, darling.

[Baby Crying]

[Crying Continues]

It's a girl.


No, no, no, no. You must wait.

Ten minutes ago she wasn't born... and tomorrow we'll be used to her.

And yesterday we - Bother yesterday.

This is today. And today.

Here is the baby. The baby and us... the big river, the whole world and everything.

[Baby Crying]

€€ [Men Chanting In Indian Language]

[Harriet Narrating] The river runs, the round world spins.

Dawn and lamplight, midnight, noon.

Sun follows day, . Night, stars and moon.

The day ends. The end begins.

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