The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: journey back to England across India
medium: diaries
date: 14.6.1937-26.6.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.4.1937-26.6.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Shillong 14/6/1937
text: Arrival in Gauhati. Nlamo had left the train in Kohima and had taken the two cats to Major Williams. By car from Gauhati to Shillong. (223) Drive through the Gauhati bazaar, through rice fields outside Gauhati. (224) Stay with Dr Bor. Lunch with Mills. First meeting with Mills' wife. Tea at the Mills' with the Bishop of Assam. At night dinner party at Mullim's.
text: (225) Shillong 15/6/1937
text: Lunch and afternoon spent with Mills. Supper at Bor's.
text: Shillong 16/6/1937
text: Lunch at the Mills'. Afternoon talk to David Roy. Dinner with Mills at the Governor's house. New Governor is Sir Robert Reid. (226) The evening with the Reids.
text: (227) Pandu to Calcutta 17/6/1937
text: Left Shillong after lunch travelling to Gauhati. Picturesque street life in Gauhati. (228) Travelling on to Pandu, crossing the Brahmaputra and catching the train to Calcutta.
text: Calcutta 18/6/1937
text: Taking the train to Calcutta. The Bengal plains. (229) Arrival in Calcutta. Street life is surprisingly unwesternised. Lunch in the Great Eastern Hotel. Afternoon spent arranging transport of luggage to Europe. (230) Dinner with Tom Unite (Nuite?) and two girls. Afterwards dancing, the nightlife of Calcutta is disappointing.
text: Calcutta 19/6/1937
text: In the morning more travelling arrangements with Cooks. Visit to Van Manen in the afternoon, the Secretary to the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, a nice Dutch man. (231) Spent the evening with Van Manen.
text: Calcutta 20/6/1937
text: Wrote letters all morning. Had a letter from Betty yesterday which made me very happy. Shopping for a carpet and necklace in the afternoon. Sunday in Calcutta.
text: (232) Calcutta 21/6/1937
text: Back to Cooks in the morning, then to the India Museum and saw the archaeological and ethnographic collection, the latter is poor. Then to the 'Statesman' to discuss an article and photographs. Later Dr Clever from Agfa showed me colour photographs which were not very satisfactory.
text: (233) On the train from Calcutta 22/6/1937
text: Last night to Madras. In the morning watching the landscape, people working, from the train. (234) Passing through a lusher country with lots of mango trees. The people look different from Bengal. Much darker, more cheerful and cleaner. The house types also have changed. The houses of the communities are all made up of conical roofs. I would like to get out and stay. (235) Late in the afternoon an inspector objects to all my luggage in the compartment and I have to pay an additional 16rs. I am travelling in the same compartment with a Brahmin, a lawyer in Madras who is an enthusiastic supporter of Gandhi. Of course he hates the English and has sympathy for dictators like Mussolini and Hitler.
text: (236) Madras 23/6/1937
text: Arrival in Madras. Take my luggage to the hotel and go to the beach. Meet a German couple, Baron Von Oertzen and his wife, who are on a tour round the world by car. (237) Touring the city with them. (238) Spent the evening with the Von Oertzens and discovered that we have many common acquaintances in Vienna. After supper I caught the train to Tangore.
text: Tangore 24/6/1937
text: Spent the night on the train. Talked to a young Indian from East Bengal who had to flee to America because of terroristic involvement. He has a blind hatred of the English and considers them to be the worst oppressors and bloodhounds. He hopes for a revolution. (239) Arrived in Tangore in the morning after a beautiful sunrise. To the city and temple after breakfast. (240) The street life, the ox carts of Tangore. (241) To the famous temple of Tangore. (242) The main temple. (243) Through town in one of the ox carts. It is difficult to photograph as the camera attracts too many people. The market presents an overwhelming picture of colours and shapes. (244) The dress and appearance of men, the physical types. (245) The people are extremely friendly while I take photographs in the market. The afternoon is extremely hot.
text: (246) Trichinopoly 25/6/1937
text: Went to Trichinopoly early in the morning. Met the Von Oertzens again very briefly on their way to Colombo. To the centre of the town and the temple complex. The temple site is like the Acropolis. (247) The inner parts of the temple. (248) Continues as above. (249) To other temples in the vicinity. (250) Temple of Ragumataswami, a huge complex of seven concentric rectangles. A bazaar in the outer rectangle. (251) Moving closer towards the centre of the temple. The "Hall of One Thousand Pillars". I photographed a temple elephant. (252) The temple of Jambukeswa. Returned to my room and encounter with Raj Kumar, Siddart Singhji, a prince who grew up in England and also knows Vienna.
text: (253) Trichinopoly to Madura 26/6/1937
text: Went back to the temple of Srirangam and had more leisure to take photographs. (254) I watched the ferry boats across the river which had the shapes of coracles. Watching the women, their grace and passionate liveliness. (255) Continued as above. (256) Walking through the temple courts. I take the train to Madura in the afternoon. (257) Arrival in Madura.