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 twelve. Symphony on Two Floors
caption: visit to Calcutta with Namkia
medium: books
person: Namkia
date: 10.1940
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: (93) At the end of the same October which saw the elopement I went to Calcutta for a ten days' holiday and shopping-spree. I had been a year up-country; the cobwebs needed shaking off. I took Namkia along.
text: He had never been farther in his life than Silchar on one side and Kohima on the other, and was not in the least keen to risk more. When I happened to pass his compartment while the train was halted at Maibong he was sitting bolt upright and staring in front of him like a man heading for death. He bade farewell to the few stray Naga fruit-vendors on the platform almost with tears; he dared not look, I think, at his receding hills, lest they unman him. But at Lumding, where we caught the Down Mail, he discovered a stall which sold palatable curry and cheered up.
text: As to myself, there was a party of Europeans dining in the Lumding refreshment room. They were the first white people I had seen for four months. I stared and stared - how odd, how knobbed and craggy they were, after the smooth Mongol faces; how pallid the woman was, like a plant left in the dark ! How strange the usual seemed after the separation; I couldn't stop looking. They must have thought I was mad. Oddly enough, one only notices these things after the first spell away from one's kind; after that the gap seems to close, and one makes the transition between the two worlds, without the same shock of surprise.