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[Amrita Sher-Gil was one of India’s most emminent painters, a glamourous and tragic woman who died at the age of 28 under mysterious circumstances. Six years earlier she and British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge were having an affair. In the passage below from his diary entry for June 16, 1935, the magic or wonder is still present in some aspects of her person, but already he realizes that it will fade with time. Is there any value in telling the young (and even the not-so-young) that there is no earthly pleasure, sensual, emotional, or aesthetic, that can’t be made tedious by repetition, and therefore to maximize your enjoyment you must not draw too frequently from any one source?]

At a quarter to seven I took a bath, and changed into a light grey suit and put on a blue tie and bright shirt, because this was how Amrita liked me to be dressed. She came at eight, in a green sari with a gold and red border. She talked about her lovers, her terrible obsession with herself very apparent. Then, she took off her jewels and let down her hair. It was like a third performance of a marvellous play, all the fascination, the sense of wonder at it, remains; all the same, you realize that though you might like to see it ten or twenty more times, there’ll come a time when you don’t want to see it any more, when it’ll be wearisome.

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