The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter one. The Beginning
caption: European community in Imphal
medium: books
location: Imphal
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: A European community of less than a dozen lived in the neat Imphal cantonments. Bougainvillea sprawled over their tiled bungalows and beds of snapdragon and lupin edged the lawns. At the lip of the Manipur River, which ran shallow and brown in a deep cutting through its own past sediment stood the brick walls of the old fort, with the ruined Palace and Coronation Hall beside them - relics of '91. The new Palace, white and crisp as icing-sugar, stood on a grassy level outside the town. Beyond cantonments sprawled a dusty bazaar, all rickety balconies and peeling paint; and from that spread out the native Imphal, a vast conglomeration of bamboo-cloaked villages, hut upon hidden hut, pond after pond, a green, dank, feathery labyrinth which overflowed far on to the surrounding plain.
text: Life turned over pleasantly, with leisure. There were shaded lawns to sit on. There was golf at the Club and tennis at the Residency; there was duck-shooting on the lakes at the south of the valley. We womenfolk idled comfortably. We shopped at the Canteen, we dined; we visited the Arts and Crafts showroom; and twice a week we went to watch the polo. But above everything there was one daily spectacle (6) which took the eye.