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 thirty-five. Finale
caption: final departure
medium: books
person: NamdeLungchiwongKhutuingNamkia
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: There was all Laisong camp to pack. While we hammered cases shut, Khutuing, discovering we had no picnic-basket, sat down in a corner and made us one, working the cane as calmly and with the same detachment from confusion round him as he had the bridge. He said he would like to come down to the railway with us and see us on the train - he wanted to shake hands with us when we left. There was a special significance in that gesture. We were not just two white people who called him " Father " for fun, but were linked to him in a relationship of much greater emotional depth. The handshake was the public expression of this.
text: At the last moment two Magulong boys joined us. One was young Namde, the other his friend Lungchiwong, the pick of a dozen applicants. Dogs, boys, baggage, we reached the station. The worn and grubby train came clanking in. The boys and servants scrambled for seats, we loaded the luggage. Stepping out, we shook hands soberly with Khutuing.
text: " Go well, son-in law. Go well, my daughter. Bring my grandchild to show me if you can."
text: " Remain well, my father."
text: Namkia, who was going one station up the line, climbed into the train. Khutuing and the porters turned and left. I watched them going down the bazaar path. Khutuing's head was bent. He was crying.
text: The train pulled out of the station and rumbled away to the north.