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 seven. Reconnaissance
caption: strong wind and hail storm
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: I woke. The shuttered room was so dark I looked at my watch. It was half-past one - I'd slept for less than an hour. I realized then what had woken me. A wind had risen, the doors were banging, and the bungalow had begun to creak. I got up and looked out.
text: It had clouded over blackly and the wind was rushing down through the valley behind us. I caught hold of the heavy veranda door - slung from an overhead beam, and flapping madly - and started to pull it shut. It wouldn't close. It shook and lifted in the increasing wind like canvas in a gale; and as I fought it, swearing, there was a tap and a rattle on the back wall.
text: Then the hail hit us.
text: The whole bungalow leaned over, groaning. The groan was lost in the noise of the hail on the walls. It was not now a rattle, but a roar, a continuous, shaking roar, like an express train in a tunnel. Though I was in the lee of the house, it took my full strength to force the door to, for the wind was flinging it about like a piece of paper. Inside the bungalow, (60) small hailstones, twigs and shredded leaves were blowing in through the back eaves and up over the inner partitions, and showering down over everything in the place. The half-grown dog Khamba, terrified, was dashing about. As I grappled the second door he broke out past me. I ran after him into the veranda. The whipping hail at the corner stung him; he doubled back. I caught him and dragged him in and shut the door on us both, and out of the open window I saw the hail outside.
text: The stones were the size of golf-balls. The wind was carrying them horizontally across the spur and off again into space. Only those which hit something fell; and then they rolled and lay about on the turf.
text: For perhaps ten minutes the storm blew at this strength. It was useless to worry whether the house would stand; there was nowhere to run to, and nothing could live in the hail. I slipped a lead on Khamba and stood by the front wall, where we had most chance if the house collapsed. At last I heard the roar lessen; slowly the wind-pressure decreased. The whole house above us creaked its way back to the upright, and a watery sun came out. I waited a minute or two for the last stones to fall and then ran over to the cookhouse to see what had happened there.