The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - 'Diary of a Tour in the Naga Hills, 1922-1923' by Henry Balfour

caption: Train journey from Poona to Calcutta, long wait at Kalyan Junction
medium: diaries
date: 4.9.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Mon. 4th
text: Up at 6.15 a.m. Mr. Wilson, Col. Heathcote, Capt. Robb and I left by car for Kirkee station, to catch the 7.20 train. Major Vaux had found me a new bearer & had sacked the Bombay one, whom I finally discharged at Kalyan Junction, where we arrived at 10.40 a.m. Very fine canyon scenery passing over the Ghauts & after reversing engine at the top we dropped down into the plains. Paddy fields everywhere, the paddy about 18 inches high. Quantities of Paddy birds (Ardeola Grayi), large & small white egrets; a large flock of vultures together on the ground, small dull-coloured herons; a few wild peacocks etc. At Kalyan Wilson left for Bombay. Heathcote, Robb & I lunched together at the station, they left by 1.15 train for Deol Ali, while I had nearly 6 hours to wait for the 4.29 p.m. mail to Howrah (Calcutta). Nothing to do; raining most of the time. Watched the hooded crows which were all over the station & which thieved food from the refreshment stalls. Goats strolled about the lines; kites sailing about in numbers. An ascetic was mumbling away & changing his clothes on the platform & picking up bits of grit from the filthy platform & eating them. Unsavoury person who looked a thorough humbug. But for the birds & natives Kalyan would be a dull place, worse than Bletchley! Finally I had a doze in the waiting-room. Was summoned by my bearer when to train came in. Just as I was getting into my compartment, Miss M. Prince hailed me from the next compartment, where she & her sister & the latter's husband (married on Saturday) were, on way to Calcutta. I was also hailed by Mrs. Grevelink who was in the same train. I had her company most of the way to Howrah. Scenery fine, including ghaut scenery with canyons and waterfalls. Later in the day cotton-fields & maize were dominant. Rain continued most of the day. White Vultures, Black Vultures, Govindi Kites, Brahminy Kites, Egrets, paddy-birds, mynahs, rollers, crows, drongos, parakeets. Hot but not unbearably, little dust. Coupe to myself with shower bath.