The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

diaries kept by Ursula Graham Bower on visits to Manipur and North Cachar between 1937 and 1940

caption: Pangsang to Imphal; end of trip
medium: diaries
person: Rostadt/ Mr
date: 9.12.1938
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
person: private collection
text: (89) Dec. 9th. 14. Pangsang to Imphal, via Churachandpur.
text: Am writing this up at the beginning of new trip, having found I omitted to do so earlier, so this should properly be dated Bishenpur Bungalow, January 7th 1939!
text: Hamja refused to be carried, as it jolted him too much, and went off early with a coolie or two and Umaid - I think - or was it Karim (spelling now discovered) Din? Anyway, we followed, by a winding road of which I can't remember much, except that we kept looking back at the view behind us, till we came up on to a saddle and crossed it, and there was the valley, and the miles of forested hills behind us were just gone - as Celia said, "Like turning the page of a book".
text: At this point I broke a shoulder strap, and what with Celia staying behind to help me and my leaving my camera and having to go back for it, we didn't get to Churachandpur till well after (90) Jeff did, and then couldn't find the rest house. We wandered round, hot and dusty, among squadrons of Christian Kukis, till we saw a crowd round a flower-embowered building we guessed was the rest-house, but suspected might be the mission. However, Celia descended on it, molto marziale, or words to that effect, we saw dogs, and butted straight into the arms of the Rostadts - Mrs R. sitting on the bed, he in a chair. They admired our suntan, and said they were sorry we weren't staying as expected, as they had made a room ready for us, which was very kind of them. However, we had to take Hamja through to hospital, besides divers other reasons.
text: Had tiffin, and walked 2 miles to the lorry and car. Seemed about 1. Hamja looking very ill, squatting at roadside. Bridge or culvert reputed down, road very bad. Got off with Hamja and Jack and Jeff in front, Peter, Polly, driver, Celia and I in back. Very tiring, dusty, bad drive on very Katcha road. Had to get out at almost every bridge and fill up holes in the road, mostly with the driver's bedding. Saw Hamja drink from roadside ditch, which when Polly wallowed in it, smelt like 90% buffalo piss an the rest cow dung. Hamja didn't swallow it, luckily, only rinsed his mouth. He looked damned ill. Polly stank all the way home. Dust awful. Got behind Moirang lorries, too. Kabrue and the hills stood out gloriously, Kabrue like a giant. It felt as though I hadn't been away a day. I could not believe I'd been in England six months; it was like another world.
text: Got in tired and dusty, and found temporary staff, largely recruited from dak bungalow. Lorry with out stuff didn't get in till 9 p.m., being held up by breakdowns, culverts and the rest of the fun and games. Had and excellent dinner, and so to bed, not really sorry to be in comfort and a solid building for once, but regretting bitterly our hills, which Celia loves as much as I do.
text: Her box hadn't turned up, of course, to her anxiety; it wouldn't. Heard by letter (92) from Humps that Lex had sailed on the Carthage.