Christmas Day, 1935

Mac and Siewert off for a swim. Our bearer – the room boys and the bath boy brought button hole posies. Our bearer brought his in with chota hazri – a rose and also ivory cherry sticks. The other boys came in procession with pink carnations – their way of showing respect is to garland one with flowers but I always have a fear that some biting insects are lurking among the petals. As I finished breakfast there was a knock at the door and the messenger boy also handed me a small rose. These tokens of esteem have cost me 16½ rupees up to now. We are going to the Botanical Gardens this afternoon to see the giant Banyan tree – 88 feet high and 1,170 feet in circumference. This tree drops creepers from its branches which ultimately reach the ground, take root and grow into stout tree trunks. The Tea trade of India is indebted to the Botanical Gardens for its prosperity because of the number of experiments carried out there.

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