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Voices of Deoli

The Journey continues in Burma..


It's been many days since I posted anything. We're in Calcutta now but after we left Burma, we got a terrible cough which we still have. The trip in Burma was very interesting. Yangon (Rangoon) is very much like Calcutta on smaller and far less congested scale. One of the sites we visited was the famous Shwedagan Pagoda with the golden jeweled stupa. We flew there from Yangon to Bagan and practically filled the plane with our LCD/NP alumni. Bagan is the old city of three thousand pagodas. 

On the last sightseeing day, I was given time on the bus to give a talk on my book. There were two buses so I gave a talk on one bus on the way to the lacquer market, and then on the second bus on the way back to the hotel. Everyone was intrigued by my story and, as usual, had not heard about Chinese being interned in India. Even though most of the reunion attendees attended school in Darjeeling, they had not heard about this. It was good to enlighten more people.   I also learned from a couple of the boys from North Point that at the time the war broke out, the senior class at North Point was taken to a military barrack and trained to use guns, just in case the Chinese soldiers came over the border and invaded Darjeeling. After a few practice sessions, the guns jammed. This was what really happened at the front lines, when the Indian soldiers were sent to fight the Chinese in the Himalayan Mountains. They were not given adequate clothing for the climate in the high elevation and many froze to death. They were supplied inadequate ammunition and their guns jammed while they were trying to fire. Eventually, they were defeated.  

The other thing I learned was the boys  had to use their blankets to cover the windows in the dormitories during the black out. They got so cold since it was winter and there was no heat in school.

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