December 20th 1940 – Assam

Put in for 20 days leave until 6/1/41 so as I could get to Assam. Sanction never came but I was allowed to catch the plane on 18th, and so I may yet be recalled. With 44lb, a suitcase, blanket and the Winchester we leave before dawn in a Waco (aeroplane), AKI Manilal the pilot. After Jacobabad I take her over and do about 1 ½ hours to Lahore, where some other passengers get on and cramp our style. Karachi-Calcutta 373/- return. Meals on the Coy I.N.A. In Delhi stayed at the new Imperial 13/- and in the evening I walk round to the “Circle” for want of a better name to describe it, looking at the shops and wondering if this really is India or not.

The next morning off in a Beechcraft a/c via Cawnpore and Allalabad. The other two passengers get off at Allalabad, and I take her over for three hours then, after Manilal got her through a rain squall. The roof leaks on me, but the pilot reads a book and I carry on safely at 7000’. These canals are the devil for navigation as you never know which is the one on your map out of the forty on the ground.

Staying at the Grand 15/- and last night went to see “Turnabout” and laughed like a drain. Last night consolidated my objective again (JDW: a euphemism if ever I saw one…) and, knowing the ropes I got off 15/- cheaper, but is it worth it? Definitely Not.

Hope to God I’m not recalled, but I suppose it’s too much to expect. That chap Manilal used to fly Croydon-Paris and was a curious bird. You can always tell the Indian who has been to England, apart from curry servers in Indian pubs, from the Dera Dun etc product.


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