Sweeper, Padmanabhan Palace, South India

All over India women take up a broom, rest their left arm behind them, and sweep—the rooms in a house, sidewalks and main streets in the town, the grounds around a mansion, including the lawns of short, curly green grass. India is now cursed with cheap plastic and the inevitable litter, but some parts of the country are still as clean as in years past. The palace grounds depicted here remind the visitor that alone among Hindu kings, the maharajahs of Travancore were modest, fiscally responsible, and down-to-earth. Their mansions were merely somewhat larger versions of the standard Kerala house, recognizable to the poorest subjects.



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