Once I knew a man who grew up in Philadelphia but never visited Independence Hall located there. I know several New Yorkers who though they live in its shadow, have never visited the Statue of Liberty.
I hope it can never be said that you were in Calcutta and didn't visit the Burning Ghats, the Kalighat Temple, and some of the other - equally famous - sights which Calcutta affords.
If you come here with an open mind you will find Calcutta is "Teek-Hai" (Okay). Of course, it's just like visiting any big city back home: you can have a good time, or a bad time, depending on how well you take care of yourself.
Incidentally, the people here like us. They think we're all right. Thanks to the good behavior of the American soldiers who preceded you, a friendly welcome from these folks awaits you. If you behave equally as well, a similar welcome will await your buddies who follow you in here.
BRIG. GEN. R. R. NEYLAND
FOR USE OF MILITARY PERSONNEL ONLY
SERVICES OF SUPPLY BASE SECTION TWO
INFORMATION AND EDUCATION BRANCH
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES IN
INDIA - BURMA
The City Itself. Known by reason of its population as the "Second City of the British Empire," Calcutta is a little over 30 square miles in area, including suburbs, and extends over ten miles from north to south; the 1941 census (how they ever counted them is beyond us) established the number of people here as being 2,108,891. Now that you are here, increase that figure by one. The city crowds itself together on the left bank of the River Hooghly; and it is one of the largest shipping centers in the world. The terrain is generally flat, the height above sea level being 16 to 19 feet. You might like to know that Calcutta (and you right now) are located about as far north of the equator as is Havana, Cuba.
Government. Unless you intend running for office all you need to know is that the Municipal Administration is seated in the Corporation of Calcutta which consists of 93 Councilors and 5 Aldermen, or a total of 98 in all.
Climate. The climate here is far from perfect; although any of you who have soldiered in Louisiana won't mind it much. There are three seasons which are commonly referred to as the Hot Weather, the Monsoon, and the Cool Weather. The Hot Weather lasts from March until the latter part of June. The first part of the season is not too unpleasant since it is very dry; after the first days of May, however, the humidity increases and it is very sticky. During the Monsoon there is a small drop in temperature, with the heavy tropical rains cooling the atmosphere; this rainy season (average rainfall 67 inches) last from the latter half of June until the end of September. From the end of the Monsoon until the Cool Weather begins in November it is hot and damp. Ah, the Cool Weather, with its days that are clear and warm and its evenings that are cool enough to permit the wearing of woolen clothing. Paradise! The Cool Weather in Calcutta offers what might be termed an ideal climate; the dampness and heat of the remainder of the year have evoked many less flattering descriptions.
Extremes. The statistically inclined reader will want to know that the highest temperature ever recorded in the city was 111.3 degrees on 31 May, 1924 and the lowest was 44.4 degrees on 28 January 1899. The humidity ranges from a minimum of 75% to a maximum of 96%. Happy?
PEOPLE IN CALCUTTA
You see a number of different types of Indians on the streets of the city, and curiosity stirs in you as to who they are and what they are. The war, with the changes that it always brings, brought some of these people to Calcutta; nevertheless, most of them were always here, persons from many parts of the country drawn here by Calcutta's importance as a port and business center. Let's take a look at several of the types most prominent to the newcomer's eye.
The Local Man. Being a Bengal he usually has no headdress. Of the Bengalis only the Muslim wears a fez, and even he does not wear one all the time. The Bengali is that chap who wears a sheet-like cloth which you will see draped about his waist and legs, with the ends of the cloth tucked between the legs - sometimes winding up in a flowing, folded end that hangs in front. The shirt-like garment is worn outside the lower one. (Remember those jitterbugs back home who thought they were starting a new fad by allowing their shirttails to hang outside their trousers?)
The Man From Punjab. The man with the turban and the well-kept whiskers, he is a Punjabi, usually one of the Sikhs from Punjab. You will find him seated behind the wheel of a taxi; for he has almost succeeded in monopolizing the local taxi-cab business, a most lucrative one. Since he is probably a Sikh, don't offer him that friendly cigarette; smoking is against their custom, and your gesture of friendship may be taken amiss. Fierce-looking fellow, isn't he? As a matter of fact he is quite a warrior, as more than one Axis foe has unwillingly learned. His attitude toward you? Well, aside from the attempts to manipulate that taxi meter, he is quite willing to meet you halfway as one of your Allies.
The Laboring Man. Who is he, that somewhat dirty, ill-clothed fellow, that sweating
The Homeless Man. At some time or other while you are here you will witness the sight of a crowd of men, women, and children who seem to move together like a herd of sheep. They huddle together, or they rush across the street in a mob, or they gather in a group shouting and jabbering - they are new arrivals in the city. Driven here by the famine, by flood, drought, or other causes, they come from Bengal itself, from Bihar, Orissa, or Assam. Homeless, helpless, hopeless when they reach Calcutta, they fare as men have always fared, in that the able-bodied and the strong among them as usual survive and soon find their way into the immense labor corps around the city - the rest, they soon vanish - some die in the epidemics, others just disappear.
The Caste System. Newcomers to India are apt to refer too glibly to the caste system without actually knowing what it is. The following is a good definition to learn and to take home with you; Simply put, the caste system implies that birth determines irrevocably the whole course of a Hindu's social and domestic relations, and that he must through life eat, drink, marry, and give in marriage in accordance with the usages of the community into which he was born. And by the way, you might write home that the shackles of caste are slowly but surely falling away.
Relations With Our Allies. To heck with any more big fancy talk on this subject. Instead, how about getting right down to rock bottom? Do you want to fight another war? Or do you want your children to fight another war? Those "No's!" came fast. And it's all just as simple as that. The only way to avoid future wars, and also to end this one more quickly, is to establish good relations between nations. Good relations? Yeah, we could stray to that fancy lingo at this point, but we won't. All there is to good relations is that you think well of that fellow in the other country and that he thinks well of you. That's all. It sounds almost too easy, doesn't it? Well, it isn't - it's hard! To think well of that guy in the other country you've got to understand him; and learning to understand him requires day-after-day, year-after-year plugging. That goes for him, too. Now that we've reached the bottom, what have we got? Understanding the other fellow, which includes a willingness to understand, is the foundation on which to build good relations between nations.
You Look At The Indian. You look at the Indian daily, you pass him on the streets, his life touches yours constantly. But do you actually see him, do you get a picture of what makes him tick, or do you brush him off in your mind as "That darn native who... ?" (He is an Indian, not a native, by the way - and you, being a non-Asiatic in a country where all such visitors are for convenience classed as Europeans, you are a 'European.') You do see that the Indian is different from yourself. Granted. But - do you see that that difference between the two of you does not give you a reason to criticize the Indian? Do you try to realize that the Indian's dress is not strange for India? Rather, it fits the climate here. The Indian thinks his turban to be sacred and does not want it touched. Is that silly to you? Okay, soldier, how'd you like to be back in the States sporting a new light-gray, snap-brim felt and have some stranger come along and casually reach up to finger it? When the stranger had picked himself up ... ! Many Indian women object to their hands being touched even in a friendly handshake. Perhaps you may feel the same way about the French custom of kissing you on both cheeks. Kissing you, the nerve of the guy! Everywhere, in streams, ponds, or under public fountains, you will see Indians taking baths by pouring water on themselves; although they have their own standards and their own instincts for cleanliness, a great number of Indians consider a bathtub to be dirty. Queer of them, isn't it? Ha ha! Some of our own States once outlawed the use of bathtubs as being immoral. To repeat, yes, the Indian is different. But instead of merely noticing that difference and judging it hastily, suppose we take a good long second look and attempt to understand the fellow's customs and ways of living. Remember, it is an age-old failure to laugh at things that you do not understand.
The Indian Looks At You. For a long time India looked across the seas toward that shining example, America. And now, right here in their own country, Indians are looking at Americans, they are looking at you. And what do they see? Fine strong men wearing clothes of a general excellence, possessing am abundance of material things, equipped with countless mechanical devices - men who have everything and yet are without the normal affections of the non-Indian dealing with the Indian. Your naturalness is noticed and admired. You offer a cigarette to a rickshaw wallah, and the Indian is astonished. You bewilder him in many ways. But out of the first mist of bewilderment there comes to the Hindu the realization that the American is endowed with feelings that are very much human. You are a possible friend to him - a hope for the future. You startle him from his torpor of pessimism. You provide him with a contrast. Your kind, frank, honest behavior open up for the Hindu a new vista of optimism; and on the whole he is more than prepared to accept you as a shining example, as a true friend. That poses a problem for YOU. Are you going to tear yourself and your country down in the Indian's eyes, or are you going to conduct yourself so that the Indian can keep his shining example, his hope for the future?
You Versus The Indian. The two of you are bound to meet head-on at times. You're a guest in this country. Sometimes you get out of line by not acting like a guest, and at other times the Indian doesn't treat you like one. It's happening every day, everywhere, and it will continue to occur until someone outlaws human nature. You don't understand the Indian's objections to your own free-and-easy attitude towards the opposite sex. He thinks that your conduct is adolescent - you think that it's fun. A Hindu fails to understand your attempts to speak his language, and immediately you size up all Indians as being dopes. How many of you stopped to reflect that that Indian might be a brilliant scholar in his own language? A taxi driver cheats you, or tries to, and the salesman at the local bazaar gives you the sticky end of the stick in a bargaining deal; at once you are tempted to say that the country is filled with bandits. Sure, there are some cheats and rogues here. But do you recall visiting some city back home and having an American taxi driver ride you around twelve blocks when the direct route to your destination was only four? Or attending that convention to discover that coincidental with the arrival of you and your brother what-nots all the prices in town had taken a sudden jump? All of which leads to the conclusion that you'll run into a certain amount of friction in all your travels, whether they be into the next state back home or across the seas into a foreign country. That limitless stuff, human nature, just seems to spread itself like the oceans - all over the world. And so while you are a guest here in India it would be generous to refrain from judging the many by the few, it would be wise to remember that these are human beings in many ways less fortunate than yourself, and it would be well to consider that even when the Indian can't understand your attempts to speak to him he can understand your kindly attitude and your smile.
India After The War. You already know that India is one of the main arsenals as well as principal bases for the war against Japan. What you may not have stopped to realize is that after the war, in any permanent plan for peace that includes (and must include) Southeast Asia, India must and will assume a prominent role. You are a practical person from a practical nation. You can see that it makes common sense for anyone to cultivate a lasting friendship with India. Go to it, then. YOU - you're the one who is going to do it. It is part of YOUR JOB.
Bickering Without Bleeding. What applies to you and India, likewise holds true for you and all other nations. In regard to all of our other Allies it is safe to say that there are many little differences between them and us. But in getting down to cases we are all interested in one thing: we want the end of the war, this war and all wars. Surely then, you agree that it is foolish to spoil some of the good you are doing over here by allowing yourself to become irritated by minor differences in manners and ways of living. Find interest in those different customs. Put them away in your memory as something to tell the folks back home. Or, if you're stubborn and must be irritated, then give yourself and us a break by keeping your irritation to yourself. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO BICKER WHILE ONE SOLDIER STILL HAS TO BLEED!
TRY THESE "DO'S" FOR SIZE:
1. Avoid political discussions.
2. Act here with the same common courtesy you use at home.
3. Guide the other fellow's conduct; 'breaks' reflect on all.
4. replace "Hey you!" with "Bhai!" of "Brother!"
5. Discuss Indian customs out of their sight and hearing.
6. You're in Rome. Keep your ways; let the Romans have theirs.
7. Keep your temper; the Indian will keep his.
8. An attitude of respect leads to 'breaks' being forgiven.
9. Take pictures only of the laboring classes (and then only if they consent); upper-class Indians don't like to be photographed.
10. Look at passing British and Indian women without tossing remarks at them. Four out of five women over here are offended by "yoo-hoos."
Religion. One of the "Four Freedoms" for which the American Army is fighting is that of Religion. Public worship, one of the privileges of religion, is available for you at any of the following places:
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL
Catholic Sunday Services. 142nd General Hospital, Southern Ave. Mass 0730, 0900.
Chaplain Thomas A. Whelan.
Camp Hooghly - Garden Reach Rd. Mass 1100.
Chaplain Thomas A. Whelan.
Orphanage, Dum-Dum Rd. Mass 1215.
Chaplain Joseph J. Carroll.
Replacement Depot, Camp Kancharapara, Mass 1000.
Chaplain Father Pew.
Camp Tollygunge. Mass 0900, 1830.
Chaplain Joseph J. Carroll.
Catholic Weekday Services. 142nd General Hospital, Southern Ave. Mass 0645.
Chaplain Thomas A. Whelan.
Camp Tollygunge. Mass 0630.
Chaplain Joseph J. Carroll.
Protestant Sunday Services. 142nd General Hospital, Southern Ave. Worship 1030.
Chaplain Albert R. Colburn.
Orphanage, Dum-Dum Rd. Worship 0900.
Chaplain Thomas I. Liggett.
Replacement Depot, Camp Kancharapara, Camp No.1, Worship 1100.
Chaplain James D. Salmon. Hospital Worship 1430, Chaplain James D. Salmon; Camp No. 2, Worship 0930, Chaplain John L. Dier, Worship 1930, Chaplain John L. Dier.
Camp Tollygunge. Worship 1000, Song Service 1930.
Chaplain David W. Lowenaar.
Protestant Weekday Services.
Karnani Mansions, etc.
Jewish Services. 28th Air Depot, Barrackpore, 1830 Mondays.
Chaplain David Seligson.
Maghen David Synagogue, 109 Canning St. 1930 Fridays, 2000 Saturdays.
Chaplain David Seligson.
142nd General Hospital. 1100 Saturdays.
Service Activities at Civilian Churches. St. Paul's Cathedral, Chowringhee Rd. Social 1930 Sunday.
Carey Baptist, 31 Bow Bazar St. Young People's Meeting at 1930, Sunday.
St. Andrew's, Dalhousie Sq. Canteen open daily.
Methodist Church, Sudder St. Canteen open daily; open house after Sun. Eve. Service; "Forces Fellowship" 1900, Tuesday.
Judean Club, 3 Madge Lane. 2030, Fridays; Sabbath gathering for servicemen.
Baptist Mission Home, 44 Lower Circular Rd. Social, 1930, Thursday.
Christian Science, 30b Chowringhee Rd. Soldiers' Meeting, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 2000.
Salvation Army, 31 Park Circus Row. Social, Tuesday, 2000.
* Notes on the foregoing: All of the above listings were correct at the time of going to press; naturally, however, such times are subject to constant change, and therefore it is advised that you consult the weekly Church Calendar and the Church Notices in Saturday's "The Statesman" for the latest available data. In "The Statesman" you will also find a complete listing of civilian church services. Regarding the merit of any individual church or church function consult the Base Chaplain or his assistant; feel free to consult them either in person or by telephone at the Hindusthan Building.
Hi Rube. Trot out your sense of humor and make way for a few insults: You would not buy the Brooklyn Bridge on a visit to New York. Of course not. For you have no hayseed in your hair. What is that stuff clinging there then? Can it be that you have arrived in India with seaweed in your hair? Could be, since - GI and officer alike - you have certainly gone on one hog-wild spending spree right here in Calcutta.
Hold That Rupee. You are probably buying in such large quantities because you believe that you are getting rare merchandise extremely cheaply. Therefore, you might like to know that you will be able to purchase most of the items back in the states after the war, and probably at lower prices. And especially is Calcutta not the best place for souvenir or gift buying, inasmuch as few of the articles are produced in this region, which means the transportation has added greatly to their cost; furthermore, the large and transient military population has been purchasing in such huge quantities that price tags now come equipped with their own individual skyrockets.
The Minor Sport. In partial contradiction of foregoing advice, and advocated as a part of your adventures in India, don't neglect to try bargaining (in a small way) as the accepted minor sport east of Suez. But in doing so, avoid street peddlers and side-street stalls and instead, visit the New Market where you will find a real interest in the bazar itself as well as get a kick out of horse trading with the salesman over their great variety of wares.
A Running Start. The salesman you will meet in that stall in the New Market has been making his livelihood at bargaining for a number of years; so maybe you won't mind accepting a little advice to take along with you to in part combat his years of experience. For instance, never display anger. The Indian regards that as a sign of bad sportsmanship and is inwardly contemptuous. Anger to him is as bad as lying or stealing is to you. And so if you do not want to spend time in bargaining, merely name a price that you are willing to pay and then walk off if it is not accepted. If the salesman follows you out of the stall, then you may be fairly sure that he will sell the article at your price. On the other hand, if you are in a mood for bargaining you can start off by naming a price as ridiculously low as the salesman's was outrageously high; then the two of you can have fun working the figure up and down until it reaches a level that won't stick you too badly. Don't expect to be too successful. The best you will get out of it is that the merchant will let you have his way.
Some Left Jabs. In self defense demand cash receipts every time you make a purchase in the New Market. Asking for a cash memo sometimes serves to make the dealer lower the price immediately. If not, and if you have been too badly cheated, the receipt will come in handy to identify the transaction when you are making your complaint to the Market Inspector whose office is at the rear of the Market. There is an ordinance that controls certain
Ivory. Watch your step. Frequently it is only treated bone that will shatter or split. Real ivory has a definite grain and mellows with old age. Even experts can be fooled on it, however. Crumbled bits of bone are reaching Seventh Heaven every day instead of the alleged ivory that you sent on the way. Your girl will not be amused. Need your wife's reaction be mentioned?
Jewels. Synthetic stones are a racket everywhere. Double that and you've got the situation here. As for any real diamonds that are sold to you, a good part of them are being imported right from the States purposely to be sold to you over here. Figure out for yourself where you could buy them cheaper.
Avoid. Gold and gold ornaments are not a good buy in the present market. Rugs - stay away from them unless you're sure you know your stuff.
Textiles. Your number one buy in the Calcutta area. They're made in this vicinity, for one thing. Buy sarees, for instance. Sarees are the Indian woman's outer garment, a strip of cotton or silk some 54 inches wide and 6 to 8 yards long. Your girl can make them into dresses, coats or hangings. Or buy linens, lingerie, brocades - look over the shop's complete textile line for something that appeals to you.
Silver. Silver ornaments are a good buy. The designs are hard to duplicate at home, unless you happen to live down near the Mexican border. The engraving work here is especially good. If you buy silverware, watch the finish - Indian Silversmiths are apt to leave the job not quite done.
Try. Brassware is attractive and safe - if you don't mind being handed the job of polishing it when you are once more back home. Leather is not cheap - far from it in Calcutta - but some of the work is interesting in design. Teakwood items are welcome back in the States. Get the deeper carved boxes, etc. The shallow carving is a mark of a cheap veneer job.
(Note:-In the following paragraphs you will find listed some of the Military, European, or Indian stores in Calcutta that can be safely recommended; space prevents listing all of the reliable stores.)
Post Exchange. To secure an interesting and a reasonably priced gift or souvenir go to your own Post Exchange store. The PX stocks only reliable merchandise and tries to undersell most competitors by as much as 20%. Furthermore, a large staff of highly trained buyers is hard at work to buy for you directly from the manufacturers in an effort to eliminate all middleman costs. The Army has got rid of these curios shop concessionaires. You are urged to go to the PX for your full money's worth.
Department Stores - European. The stores listed immediately below are department stores much like the ones you know back in the States. Prices are often not the lowest, but the products are reliable; and here as elsewhere you pay something for that reliability. Excellent service - no bargaining. You can cool off and relax inside even if you don't really want to shop.
Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co., Ltd., 7 Chowringhee Rd., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
Army & Navy Stores, Ltd., 41 Chowringhee Rd., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
Hall & Anderson, Ltd., 31 Chowringhee Rd., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
Department Stores - Indian. These are department stores that are patronized by the Indians of the middle and upper classes. The values are good here; again, however, you pay something for reliability. Fixed prices - no bargaining. Wide selection of gifts and souvenir items. Your trade is welcome. Indian items, also imports.
Bengal Stores, Ltd., 8A Chowringhee Place, Grand Hotel Buildings, closed Thursday, open 1400-2000 Friday, 1030-2000 all other days.
Kamalalaya Stores, Ltd., 156 Dharamtalla Street, closed Thursday, open 1200-2000 Friday, 0800-2000 all other days.
Souvenir Stores - Indian.
Indian Textiles Co., Great Eastern Hotel Arcade, 0900-1830 weekdays, 0900-1430 Saturdays.
For soldiers with a well-lined wallet. Prices definitely not low. Beautiful textile line, unusual old jewelry pieces and old paintings, other Indian items of high quality. Fixed prices - no bargaining.
The Good Companions, 13C Russell St., 0900-1300 & 1500-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday. An outlet store for Indian Missions. Moderate prices. Fine lingerie and linens. Other gift items. Fixed prices - no bargaining. Profits go to good causes.
Paris Dress Makers, 7C Lindsay St., opp. the New Market. Uniforms or dresses made or altered. Good service at fair prices to American girls in the services.
Livewire Cleaners Ltd., 1 Corporation St., 0800-1800 weekdays, 0900-1400 Saturdays. Work guaranteed. 3-day service.
Films & Developing:
Bombay Photo Stores, 34 Park Mans., Park St.
Camera Exchange, 17/2A Chowringhee Road.
Kodak Ltd., 17 Park St.
Popular Pharmacy Ltd., 167 Russa Road, Bhowanipore
Quick Photo Service Co., 157B Dhurrumtolla Street
Thacker, Spink & Co., Ltd., 3 Esplanade East
Hair Dressing (Barber Shops to You):
You'll find them everywhere. Within the in-bounds area almost any of the hair dressing shops will give you reasonably good service. Take a look inside and judge for yourself according to the appearance of the place, but don't expect to see modern polished fixtures like back home. Any enlisted or officers' club usually have as good or better service.
Jewelry, Watches, Watch Repairing, Silversmiths:
Anglo-Swiss Watch Co., 6 & 7 Dalhousie Square (East) 1000-1730 weekdays, 1000-1300 Saturdays. Average repair of watches 2 wks. Swiss watches for sale.
Cooke & Kelvey, 20 Old Court House Street, 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturdays. Average watch repair 2-3 weeks. Wide selection in all types of silver items. Engraving specialists.
Hamilton & Co., Ltd., 8 Old Court House St., 0900-1300, 1500-1700 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturdays. Two months for watch repair. Expensive gifts of high quality.
Saxby's, Great Eastern Hotel Arcade, 0930-1730 weekdays, 0930-1400 Saturdays. American watches repaired 2-3 weeks. Swiss watches for sale.
West End Watch Co., 16 Old Court House St., Repair only. Service 2-4 weeks. repaired 2-3 weeks. Swiss watches for sale.
Music & Musical Instruments:
T. E. Bevan & Co. Ltd., 21 Old Court House Street, 0900-1730 weekdays, 1000-1300 Saturdays. Excellent stock of recordings, limited supply of sheet music, some musical instruments & repair.
C. C. Saha, Ltd., 170 Dharamtolla St., 1000-1900 weekdays & Sat., 1000-1400 Thurs. Recordings. Repair.
James Murray & Co., Ltd., 5 Old Court House St., 0900-1800 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
Lawrence & Mayo (India) Ltd., 11 Gov't Place, East, 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1330 Saturday.
Walter Bushnell, Ltd., 21 Old Court House St., 0900-1800 weekdays, 0900-1330 Saturday.
Bathgate & Co., 17, 18, 19 Old Court House St. 0900-1800 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday. A thoroughly reputable store. Don't expect to get that ice cream soda here.
Bourne & Shepherd, 141 Corporation St., opp. Regal Theatre, open daily except Sundays. World's oldest photographers. Competent work. The prices are definitely not low, but you get your money's worth.
Studio Nash, Ltd., 37/39 Park St., 0900-1800 weekdays, 0900-1400 Saturday.
Thacker, Spink & Co., Ltd., 3 Esplanade, East, 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1400 Saturday.
Pressing & Mending:
Enlisted men are referred to their American Red Cross clubs for free service while you wait. For officers: Any hotel can furnish this service, or you can find it everywhere in little side-street shops.
Radios & Radio Repairs:
C. C. Saha, Ltd., 170 Dharamtolla St., 1000-1400 Thurs., 1000-1900 weekdays and Sat. Will repair most makes of radios in 3-4 days.
Chicago Telephone & Radio Co., Ltd., 25 Chowringhee Rd., 0930-1830 weekdays, 0930-1500 Sat. Repair service by following day when possible. Recordings for sale.
Radio Supply Stores, Ltd., 3 Dalhousie Sq. East, 1030-1830 weekdays, 1030-1530 Sat. Repair all makes if parts available, 7-12 day service. Spare parts sold. Public Speaking equipment.
N. B. Sen, 11 Esplanade East, 1000-1900 weekdays, 1000-1400 Sat. 1 week for repair estimate, an additional several days for the work itself.
Morrison & Cottle, Chowringhee Mans., 30C Chowringhee Rd., 0800-1800 weekdays, 0800-1400 Saturday.
Cuthbertson & Harper, 10 Gov't Place, East, 0800-1800 weekdays, 0800-1430 Saturday.
Stationery & Books:
MacMillan & Co., Ltd., 294 Bow Bazar St., 0800-1800 weekdays, 0800-1430 Saturday. Excellent line of books.
Newman, W., & Co., Ltd., 3 Old Court House St., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1330 Saturday. Fairly complete line of stationery items. Fountain pen repair. Late fiction in regular and in cheap editions. Some drafting tools.
Oxford Book & Stationery Co., 17 Park St., 0900-1830 weekdays, 0900-1330 Saturday. Books only - for sale and lending library. Large stock.
Thacker, Spink & Co., Ltd., 3 Esplanade East, 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1400 Saturday. Stationery, printing, pen repair, book.
You enlisted men who have hit the city adorned with a bit of India's own, try your American Red Cross Clubs for a free shower, with soap and towel furnished.
Army & Navy Stores, Ltd., 41 Chowringhee Rd., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday. Games and sport equipment.
Pioneer Sports, Ltd., 25 Chowringhee Rd., 0900-1900 weekdays, 0900-1930 Saturday. Complete line of sporting goods except for tennis and golf balls. All item manufactured by concern itself. (Note: Do not expect Indian-made equipment to match that made back in the States.)
Tailors & Haberdashers:
(Note: Try any of the department stores previously listed.)
Bright & McIvor, Grand Hotel Entrance, 0900-1800 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
Harman & Co., 11 Gov't Place, 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1400 Saturday.
Phelps & Co., Ltd., 21 Old Court House St., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
Ranken & Co., 4 Old Court House St., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
Samuel Fitze & Co., Ltd., 26 Chowringhee Rd., 0900-1730 weekdays, 0900-1300 Saturday.
All of the stores listed above were picked because they sell at fixed prices, carry sound merchandise, and have reputations of reliability. We do not attempt to state that stores not listed are not reliable; in many cases selections were made for shopping convenience. Now and then you may buy something cheaper elsewhere, since reliability is always added overhead to the merchant who stocks it. For aid in easy shopping you might note that there are two central shopping districts in-bounds to you; One group of stores centers on or near Old Court House Street with the Great Eastern Hotel as a reference point; the other group centers on or near lower Chowringhee Road with the Grand Hotel as a reference point. Good Hunting! And don't buy any wooden Indians.
Let's Talk It Over. If you have just arrived in India, or if you have been up country and have come down here for a brief respite, you are equally in need of a little rest and relaxation. You want to have as much fun as possible while you're here? Surprise: that is exactly what the Army wants for you, too. Unfortunately, in comparison with American standards, there is a limited amount of recreational facilities in Calcutta; but everything that is here is yours. Enjoy it but don't abuse it. You have a date with Calcutta; treat her like a lady and you will find her to be one.
In the following paragraphs you will be told where you can go and what you can do. (Editor's Note: If you do not like our advice, have your fun trying to find us to tell us where to go and what to do.)
Getting There. It sounds silly but you are going to be told how to get there before you will be advised where to go (The old Army way of doing things.)
The G.I. Way. G.I. trucks and buses leave on schedule for nearly all military installations in the Calcutta area; they depart from the Hindusthan motor pool during the day and from the motor pool across the street from the Grand Hotel during the evening. Inquire at your own camp for the exact times of departure or ask the M.P. on duty at the motor pools in the city.
Trams and Buses. Heartily recommended as first-aid measures for your wallet. They go to all parts of the city, run often, and are quite comfortable. The trams only charge one anna between transfer points. Ride in the front car. Esplanade is the central and main terminus. From there cars can be had for all routes.
Rickshaws. Good for that short hop across town. Pay only three annas per mile, with the addition of a two anna tip if you see fit. Ride only one to a rickshaw - that chap pulling it is a human being.
Gharries. By law, rates are supposed to be posted in the carriage. Ask to see the card. Pay one rupee, eight annas per hour or approximately twelve annas per mile. Tips are optional. It is an accepted fact that gharries and rickshaws get a little more at night - BUT ONLY A LITTLE. "Out-of-bounds" with women.
Taxis. At last something as fast as prima-cord has been found: the local taxi meter. You will find taxis fast and comfortable - but expensive. If you ride one, be sure that the driver pushes the flag up and
Let's Eat. Calcutta has some fairly glamorous looking and tasting dishes, but, naturally, the present food is not up to its pre-war standards. You will want to sample some Indian food and some Chinese items - and then you will be quite ready to hurry back to that good old American style of cooking. eat only at in-bounds restaurants. Even these you will find none too clean.
Try. Christie's on Park St.
Firpo's on Chowringhee Rd., block above Grand Hotel.
O. K. Restaurant, Moti Sil St. near Dharamtolla St.
Great Eastern Hotel on Old Court House St.
American Kitchen, Humayan Pl. opp. New Empire.
Golden Dragon, Chowringhee Rd., near Park St.
American Red Cross Enlisted Men's Clubs.
Continental Services Club, Continental Hotel.
Rubbernecking. The day's young - Are you in a mood for a little sightseeing to start things off? If you are, there are a number of ways to give this city and vicinity a fast once-over. Let's take them one by one.
Strolling Through. On you own, set off up through the Maidan. It is Calcutta's large, centrally located park that is flanked by a number of interesting buildings both public and private. Victoria Memorial is at the southern end of the park. And at the northwest extremity are the Government House and the Eden Gardens. These gardens offer a cool retreat during the heat of the day. Starting from the Maidan you can set off in any direction and find points of interest near at hand. Only remember: Memorial Park, in the Maidan, is "out-of-bounds" after sundowns.
American Red Cross Daily Tours. There are a number of interesting sights to see in Calcutta that are not in-bounds except with official permission. And so, for this and for a number of other reasons, the most practical way to go sightseeing is to go on one of the daily tours arranged by the ARC E.M.'s Clubs. All reservations for these tours should be made early in the day at one of the two clubs, the Burra or the Cosmos (colored). For officers, tours are arranged at the Hindisthan Building. Red Cross guides. The following paragraphs will give you a glimpse of what you may expect to see:
ARC Tour 1 includes a stop at Gov't House, which was until 1912 the residence of the Governor General and Viceroy, and which is now the home of the Governor of Bengal. Considered the most beautiful residence in Calcutta. On to the Ochterlony Monument which is 165 feet high. Exactly 218 steps to the top. To Kalighat Temple where animals are sacrificed to the Goddess Kali whose body was alleged to have been broken into 51 pieces, and whose toe supposedly fell here at this temple. Pilgrims make offerings here. The Goddess herself is worth seeing. Also you can see the Champa Tree where Hindu women come to pray when they desire sons. And off you go to the Sikh Temple. The Sikhs are followers of the ten teachers called Gurus; they, the Sikhs, have a great reputation as fighting men; they also abolished the caste system for themselves. To the Victoria Memorial which was opened by Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1921 and which was built with funds subscribed by the princes and people of India. Building closed for the duration.
ARC Tour 2 includes a visit to the Black Hole of Calcutta whose story you already know. (You remember that in 1756 the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-dowls, attacked Calcutta and sacked the English Settlement. The story of the "Black Hole" in which was performed the amazing feat of squeezing 146 British men and women into a room in the Fort that measured only 22 feet by 14 feet, with only 23 persons surviving by the next morning, stands discredited today as a legend of the siege itself, which was real enough). On your way to the Nakhoda Mosque which is the largest Mohammedan mosque in Calcutta. (Excellent view of the city). To the Nimtalla Burning Ghats where the Hindus dispose of their dead by burning them in a sacred ceremony; the ashes are thrown into the sacred river, and the mourners go down river to purify themselves. Off to the Jain Temple which was erected in 1867. There is a lamp here which has been burning for 76 years. Then to the Temple to the Monkey God. Here you will see 24 Jain Gods. Jainism is the only one of the almost primeval monastic orders of India which has survived to the present day.
Other tours arranged by the ARC Clubs include river tours, a jute mill tour, and a visit to the Thieves Market. The Puri tour lasting for eight days and taking you to Puri, a nearby beach, is a darn good bet for E.M. and officers on furlough or leave. Recreation and sightseeing are planned for you; or you may spend the days lolling around. Suit yourself. For all particulars and for tour tickets call at, or write, the American Red Cross Burra Club, 8 Dalhousie Square.
Hello Fun. You want to have fun? You know the ways, but you don't know the places? Check. The places are listed below, and the rest is up to you:
Clubs for E. M. There are no finer places in this city to start, spend, and finish the day than in the clubs for enlisted men. You are offered rest, recreation, and food; and if you care for outside interests or pleasures, as much information as possible will be given you, and every effort will be made to find for you entries into places that might ordinarily be closed to you. See your current copy of Command Post for the weekly schedules of these clubs. The best are:
ARC Burra Club on Dalhousie Square.
ARC Cosmos Club on Dalhousie Square.
Continental Services Club, 12 Chowringhee Rd. Although not a club reserved exclusively for service men, the Y.M.C.A. at 25 Chowringhee Rd., also offers to E.M. and to officers, rest, recreation, food, snacks, and information.
The Y.W.C.A. at 1 Russell St., opp. Imperial Bank, is not a service club either; but it does offer a Saturday night Dance Social for E.M. Adequate number of "Fems" on hand. Should go, guy. Cut that rug, scrape that varnish.
Clubs for Officers. A number of private clubs in the Calcutta area have made available their facilities under various temporary-membership arrangements. They are good clubs. Respect the hospitality extended to you.
Bengal Club, Ltd., 33 Chowringhee Rd., reserved for officers with a grade of Lt. Col. or higher, details at the club.
Calcutta Club, 241 Lower Circular Rd., temporary memberships for officers with a grade of Major or higher, when introduced by a permanent member. Dues Rs. 10/- mo., deposit of Rs. 100 refundable upon termination. Bar, grill (dinner on 24 hr. notice to secretary), tennis, card rooms, library, Saturday Dinner Dance.
Calcutta Swimming Club, 1 Strand Rd., temporary memberships for all officers. Rs. 10/- mo., limited quota, apply at 0900 hrs. daily for service memberships forfeited by others at expiration of 30-day period. Two pools, indoor and outdoor, bar, grills, badminton, deck tennis, exhibition polo. A must on your list of clubs to join.
Swiss Club, 42 Theatre Rd., temporary memberships at Rs. 10/mo., Rs. 5 extra for tennis. Must be presented by old member. Deposit of Rs. 100 refundable on termination. Can bring guests. Bar, grill (Swiss-style cooking), bowling, tennis. The bowling is a game called Skittles.
British-American Club, 12 Government Place East (near Great Eastern Hotel.) Rs. 10/- entrance fee. Rs./5- quarterly. Join anytime. One member necessary as sponsor (sponsor often can be found in club). Rs. 2/- charged for each male guest; no charge for female guests. Each member asked to limit his party to six persons. Meals served 1900-2330 hours; drinks 1930-2330 hours; dancing nightly 2000-2330 hours; floor show intermittently. A "must go" on an officer's entertainment list. (A generous share of the Club's proceeds go toward war-time services and toward free entertainment for enlisted personnel on Sunday afternoon).
Tollygunge Club, 22 Russa Road (South). Swimming, golf, tennis, drinks, meals. No dancing. Cash coupons must be bought at No. 1 Club bar in main building. 24 hours notice should be given to use tennis or dining facilities.
Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Tollygunge at Golf Club Road. Daily except Sundays, from 0730 to 1640 hours. Greens fees Rs. 2/- club hire Rs. 1/-. Coupon books for purchase of drinks and use of club's facilities should be bought at the secretary's office. Persons desiring to use club's facilities without playing golf must pay greens fee nevertheless.
Three Hundred Club, 25 Theatre Road. Temporary membership Rs. 5/- month from 1st day of the month to the last day. Must be vouched for by Red Cross or local Adjutant. Dining, drinking, dancing, daily except Sundays, which day is reserved for permanent members. Temporary members may bring women guests but not men guests.
Saturday Club, 7 Wood Street, Dining, drinking, dancing, tennis, swimming. 10-day membership Rs. 10/-. Interview secretary between 1000-1730 hours.
United Service Club, 29 Chowringhee Rd. Temporary membership exclusive of quarters, Rs. 20/-, plus Rs. 2/- per month additional for use of library. Letter of introduction to secretary from your C.O. Use of library, card room, billiard room, dining room, bar and public rooms generally. Women guests not admitted to main building. The Lawn House, an annex, has public rooms for ladies and men.
Misc. Clubs and Lodges. The following clubs are open to both E.M. and to officers:
East & West Fraternity Club, Calcutta Club Annex, Gokhale Rd., promotes cultural interests. Concerts, lectures, debates, discussion. Open to all. Rs. 1/mo.
Grail Club, 15 Park St., Catholic Social Club, membership fee Rs. 5. Club dances every Sat. night, social gatherings Every Sunday Eve from 1900-2100, consisting of dancing in the hall and religious discussions in adjoining rooms. Pingpong, billiards, badminton in Rec. Hall.
Judean Club, 3 Madge Lane, for Jews only. 1900-2100 hours every evening.
Masonic Lodge, 19 Park St., open 0900-1700 hours daily, half-day Saturday, closed Sunday.
Dancing. In Calcutta you will not find night clubs of the type you knew back home. In fact - no night clubs. However, there are a number of places where you can dance.
For E.M. there are regularly scheduled dances at the ARC Burra and Cosmos Clubs on Dalhousie Square, at the Continental Service Club at 12 Chowringhee Rd., at the Y.M.C.A. on Corporation St. Gals will be on deck. You can have fun. Check at any club for scheduled nights.
Other spots where a G.I. can go - but where he should bring his own partner - are the Winter Garden and the Princes Room in the Grand Hotel (some real jive music in the Winter Gardens), Firpo's in the block above the Grand, and the Great Eastern Hotel (Wed. & Sat. only).
For officers there are weekly or nightly dances scheduled in most of the private clubs. Members and their guests only.
Firpo's, the Winter Garden, and the Great Eastern Hotel are open to officers, too.
Drinking. Bad news. You won't be too happy about the liquor situation in Calcutta; and yet the place hasn't reached the desert stage as yet. Good whisky is available on the black market, but you'd be a fool to pay the prices. Indian whisky, rum, and gin aren't too bad; but in the long run you will probably do both your mind and stomach a large-sized favor if you stick to that beer ration from the P.X. In the cabarets and restaurants you won't find the brandy-and-soda too hard to take; and you might like the gimlets (gin, lime juice & water) - or the John Collins. Some beer is available at Firpo's Services Restaurant on Old Court House St., if you get there between 1900-1930. It's a here-it-is, there-it-was proposition. For bottled goods try the Army & Navy Stores at 41 Chowringhee Rd., or Mookerjee, O. N. & Sons, 3,4,5 Lindsay St.
E.M. can get their mixed drinks at the Casanova Room, the Princes Room and bar, and the Winter Garden - all at the Grand Hotel. Also, Firpo's on Chowringhee Rd., the Bristol Hotel, and the Great Eastern Hotel lobby lounge.
Officers can drink at any private club in which they have temporary membership; also Firpo's, the Great Eastern Hotel, the Winter Garden, and the cocktail lounge at the Grand.
Libraries and Reading Rooms. Relax and read in:
Calcutta University Library, Ashutosh Building, College Sq.
Government Commercial Library, 1 Park Street.
Imperial Library, 34 Chittaranjan Avenue.
Royal Asiatic Society Library, 1 Park St. Note: Ask here for any data on Indian or Oriental life and culture.
Movies and Plays. The movies you see at the European theatres will be mostly American-made films, surprisingly recent, unless you have just arrived from the States. For American-slanted reviews on films currently showing in town consult the Command Post, or pick up a paper any morning to see what's scheduled for that day. Plays and variety entertainment are offered at 30 Park Street. Produced by BESA these shows are sometimes good, sometimes indifferent. Seats reserved. Rs. 2/8 for officers; annas 8 for E.M. and one guest. Six days a week at 2100 plus extra shows at 1800 on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. As a part of your experience in India try at least one Indian movie. You may not like them. Long, slow moving, principally made in Hindustani, based mostly on modern Indian life glamorized.
Movie Tips. All seats reserved. Buy your tickets the day before, or early in the morning; every show is a sell-out. The ARC Clubs buy up a number of tickets for each of the two later shows and hold them for resale to you. Most theatres make concessions in prices for E.M. Ask for them at the theatres if they are not forthcoming. No concessions on Saturday or Sunday; and usually no cheaper seats on these two days. In any theatre the dress circle (loges to you) is considered tops, balcony second best, and then downstairs there are rear stalls, lower stalls, and front stalls, with the price scale running right down along the line. You will find the lower stalls (middle of orchestra) to be both comfortable and cheap. Smoke anywhere in the theatre. Interval between showing of newsreels and other shorts and the showing of the feature - step out into the lounges and order yourself a cooling drink.
MOVIE HOUSES - EUROPEAN
Elite - Corporation St. - Not air conditioned.
Globe - Lindsay St. opp. New Market - Not air conditioned.
Lighthouse - 2 Humayan Pl. - Air conditioned, first-run.
New Metro - 5 Chowringhee Rd. - Air conditioned, first-run.
New Empire - Humayan Pl., behind Firpo's - Air conditioned, first-run.
Regal - 4 Corporation St. - Not air conditioned.
Tiger - Chowringhee Rd., above Firpo's - Not air conditioned.
Note: Showings subject to change. Consult newspapers for movie times.
MOVIE HOUSES - INDIAN
Roxy Theatre - 4 Chowringhee Place.
Paradise Theatre - 9 Bentnick Street.
Music. Base Section No. 2 Military Band is decidedly worth listening to - Watch for its appearances.
Boxing. Don't miss the G.I. boxing bouts scheduled fortnightly from October through June at the Calcutta Football Club. They're a must on your spectator list. And if you have that carnal urge to swap punches with other G.I.'s in the ring, see your own Special Service Officer or contact the Special Service Division, Hindusthan Building. New talent is welcome. Recommended to keep your body in shape and your fighting spirit in the chewing-nails stage.
Cycling. Try renting a bike for fun, for exercise, or for seeing something of the city. S. A. Rahman, 3 Kyd St., at annas 3 per hour or Yagub Kahmas, 7 British India St.
Golf. Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Tollygunge, on Golf Club Rd. No greens fee for E.M. May play Monday morning through Friday morning. Saturday until 1100 hours. Caddies As. 8, Ball-boy As. 5. Limited number of sets of clubs for rent at Re. 1. Officers: Rs.2 greens fee. Rs. 3 on Sat., Sun., Holidays. Old course during week, new course Sundays. Re. 1 for rental of clubs (limited number). As. 8 for caddies, As. 5 for Ball-boys. Caddies furnish a ball. For both E.M. and officers a canteen is available for cold drinks and grill items. Showers and towels.
Racing. The King of Sports, horse racing. Royal Calcutta Turf Club, actual racing at the Calcutta Race Course at the southern end of the Maidan. Racing meets start 18 Nov. and continue every Sat. (plus holiday meets) until March - 25 days of racing in all. Officers: No membership necessary; seats in Paddocks available at Rs. 5; all privileges of members except rental of boxes and member's bar - Military bar on top, however. E.M.: Seats in second enclosure at As. 8. tea and cake served free as a token of club's appreciation. (Racing at Tollygunge Race Course from July until the Calcutta Course opens.)
Riding. Ballygunge Riding School, near Ballygunge Maidan, 1 Bediadanga Rd. Rs. 3 for 1st hour, Rs. 2 for each added hour or part thereof. Call Park 1162 to reserve a horse.
Swimming. Calcutta Swimming Club, 1 Strand Rd. Officers can secure temporary memberships at Rs. 10 for 30 days. E.M. can make arrangements through the ARC Clubs to swim 0900-1200 Monday through Saturday (Sat. only 1100). Two fine pools - unusually large. Sanitary.
Skittles. The closest approach to our American indoor sport of bowling is Skittles, a different kind of bowling which lacks the challenge of our game but which is good fun. Try it, you bowlers who are lonely for those alleys, try it at the Swiss Club, 42 Theatre Rd. E.M. can go on Monday and Weds. through the ARC Clubs. Officers can go out on their own.
Tennis. Y.W.C.A. Hostel, 1 Middleton Row. Tennis courts, rackets, balls, shoes, shirts - all free to E.M. or to officers. Every day except Thursday night. Sundays closed until 1600 hours.
Why. Some is always telling you helpful stuff like how to get rid of that prickly heat by a four-day guaranteed treatment - Or Your Health Back. This book makes no pretense to be an exception; and so you are told that:
1. When it is noon by the present Indian Standard Time it is 0530 hours by Greenwich Mean Time and 0300 hours by New York Standard Time.
2. if you have misplaced yourself temporarily, you can pick up a telephone, ask for Inquiries (that's Information to you Yanks), tell where you are and where you'd like to be (no good to mention Seventh Heaven), and Inquiries will tell you where to go - pardon, how to get there.
3. Enlisted men can leave messages for one another at the ARC Clubs. You can also look up old buddies or possible home-town boys in the State Register Books. Sign it yourself.
4. In stepping off a curb over here it is wise to look immediately to you right for oncoming traffic - instead of to your left as you used to do back home.
5. Keep away from fortune tellers, and keep yourself and your country out of trouble.
6. You can't tip less than two annas without losing face as a 'European'; but that two annas is enough for the average small service. usual scale of tipping: One anna per Rupee for drink checks, two annas per rupee for meal checks.
7. You enter a mosque or a temple minus shoes. Cover you head inside a mosque. Bare your head in a temple.
8. You may not understand the Indian's many languages, nor he yours; but your smile and gentle behavior will be understood always. (All right, so soldiers aren't trained to be gentle, but you can smile, brother, smile.)
See Here, Private Colonel. Be you buck private or colonel, when you arrive at a new station you always feel like a freshly printed edition of Private Hargrove disguised by a mask of bewilderment. To get you off to a walking start (don't run - it's too hot) in Calcutta and the surrounding area, this section devotes itself to giving you those facts about the various military departments which you will need to know upon your arrival here, or soon thereafter. For more detailed information consult the department concerned.
Officers. Whether in Calcutta on leave or on duty an officer should have a written authorization to be in this city. Your best bet is to report immediately to the Billeting Officer in the Hindusthan Building in order to be steered straight to the most desirable quarters vacant. Bring copies of those orders. To telephone the Billeting Officer call Calcutta 7080, Ext. 22 between 0830-2400 hours. After 2400 hours, call Calcutta 3912.
Enlisted Men. The American Red Cross Clubs have the best accommodations (and other billeting data) for E.M. If the ARC is unable to handle you, consult the Billeting Officer, Hindusthan Building, for the names of small hotels and rooming houses that are in-bounds. E.M. on T.D. in Calcutta must report to the Billeting Officer first. If nothing is available in the city the Billeting Officer will billet you in a nearby Army camp. The Continental Services Club, the Y.M.C.A., and the Salvation Army all maintain information service on billeting in the city.
Things To Remember. 1. In all places tap water is unfit to drink. Ask your room bearer for drinking water.
2. Lock up or check those Arms and Ammunition.
3. Bearers are paid by the hotel; therefore tipping is optional. If you're well-heeled kick in with a couple of annas but don't overdo it. Other people have to live there.
4. Most hotels operate on the European Plan which means that the rate per day includes three meals.
5. Each hotel has a laundry price list. When paying for laundry insist that the dhobie show you this list.
6. If you attempt the American habit of stripping a hotel room when you leave, it may prove embarrassing; for you'd be surprised how quickly those room bearers will trot out their mental check lists as you're in the act of departing.
Pay. Transients and other individuals not assigned or attached to any organization in this area who desire pay should contact the nearest Finance Office. Others must make arrangements through their unit Personnel Officer. The Finance Office in the Hindusthan Building is ready to assist all Military Personnel in their legitimate claims for pay.
Officers' Pay Vouchers. Initial pay vouchers will be prepared at this headquarters upon arrival of an officer assigned to this Base Section. Pay Data Card and appropriate orders should be presented to the Pay Clerk in the Personnel Office. Thereafter, each officer will be responsible for the preparation of his own vouchers, which should reach the Finance Office not later than the 20th of each month.
Hallelujah - Money. You have money, lots of it! Lucky you. You have come to Calcutta to have a high time spending it. Well, the local merchants and inhabitants in general are quite cooperative; they will help you spend money - but fast. Sure, do spend enough to have a good time; only please try to avoid being a sucker. Keep Sad Sack in the cartoons only. Save a little of that dough, or send some home. Again, still another War Bond means that much more security for later on, when you will be back in Seventh Heaven where you can really enjoy security.
Finance Facilities. All Military Personnel arriving in the C.B.I. Theater must exchange all of their U.S. currency and coins for Indian currency. Only the Finance Office is authorized to do so. And, furthermore, the Finance Office offers a better rate of exchange than can be offered by any outsiders (outsiders who may be Jap agents trying to get hold of American money). Finance also offers facilities for the exchange of Travelers Checks and Money Orders of the American Express and several other prominent American Banks. Foreign currencies of some thirty-odd countries can be exchanged at the Finance Office. And at no cost to you money ranging in amounts from five dollars and up can be sent home. Buy that extra War Bond at the Finance Office and help end this mess that much sooner. Advice about money matters? A Finance Officer will be glad to assist you. Custodians of funds belonging to organizations in transit are advised to exchange cash for U.S. Treasury checks which can be obtained from the Finance Officer.
Financial Advice. Spend your money wisely. Make things that much easier for the next G.I. who may not be as up in the chips as you are. He may have a wife and children at home to help support. And, unfortunately, every time you spend too much or pay too much for an article you jack up the price for the next fellow. We Americans are reputed to be a generous people. Is it generous to spend money in a manner which disrupts the economy of a nation? How would you like to return to your home towns to find that a lot of newcomers had boomed the price of a beer to double or triple what it was before their arrival? Another subject that needs mentioning is the handling of Indian currency. The stuff tears easily. And torn or mutilated currency is not accepted in India. American personnel who have such torn currency in their possession should take it to the Currency Office of the Reserve bank of India, Dalhousie Square, one block south of the ARC Burra Club. Warning: Silver rupees are not commonly in circulation in India right now; therefore refuse to accept any, lest those which you receive turn out to be counterfeit. Insist on paper notes, but do not take ones that are torn or badly soiled. Counterfeit notes are quite easy to detect. The engraving may be good; nevertheless the paper itself will be cheap and poor, and the ink will tend to rub off.
Indian Money and Coinage.
1 Rupee - 16 Annas
1 Anna - 12 Pies (4 Pice)
1 Pice - 3 Pies
100,000 Rupees - 1 Lahk
100 Lahks - 1 Crore or 10 million rupees
Note: paper Currency Notes of Rupee 1/-, Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 50, Rs. 100 and Rs. 1,000 are in circulation.
The Rupee in Dollars:
Re. 1 is about 30 cents
Rs. 3-5-0 are equal to one dollar
Rs. 100 are about $30.26
Rs. 1,000 are about $302.62
Rs. 1,00,000 (a lahk) are about $30,262
Rs. 1,00,00,000 (a crore) are about $3,026,200
Weights and Measures.
Weights and measures in India may confuse you at first. (They won't be the only thing to do so. But it's all different, and most of it is fun). The weights and measures vary not only from district to district, but also vary with different commodities. The principal units in all the scales and weights are the maund, seer, and tola; and the standard weights for each of these are 82.28 lbs., 2,057 lbs., and 180 grains troy, respectively. The Indian tola is the same weight as the rupee, i.e. 180 grains troy. The standard or railway seer is equal to 2,057 lbs., while the standard or railway maund of 40 seers is the equivalent of 82 lbs., 4 oz., 9 drams. There are many local variations.
5 tolas - 1 chittak (2 oz. approx.)
4 chittaks - 1 pow (8 oz. approx.)
4 pows - 1 seer (2 lbs. approx.)
40 seers - 1 maund (80 lbs. approx.)
4 chittaks - 1 pow (½ pint)
2 pows - ½ seer (1 pint)
4 pows - 1 seer (1 quart)
40 seers - 1 maund (10 gallons)
Your Health. No, we're not toasting your health; though we will do so gladly. You bring the quart. Health? It's that thing you don't know you've got until you have lost it. And this city is as good as any place to lose it. Let us be kind and say no more than that sanitary conditions could be better here. In India, put up your dukes and start jabbing defensively the moment you hit any city. Calcutta - no exception.
Medical Care in the Calcutta Area. Each camp or staging area has its own dispensary. In the city itself the General Dispensary is located at 77 Park Street (Dental Clinic, too). Anyone needing medical care should first go to a dispensary where he will be seen by the Medical Officer in charge; any cases needing hospital care will then be sent to the 142nd General Hospital. Except in an emergency demanding immediate hospitalization the above routine is to be strictly adhered to. Short-cutting will only succeed in landing you back at the dispensary from which you should have started.
Sizing Things Up. You are in the city. Will those big buildings protect you from the bite of a small insect? They will not. Is the sun any less strong here than out in the open fields? It is not. Is that colored drink okay because its sold in a bottle? No. And so it is urged that you:
1. Do use mosquito repellents, do sleep under nets, do keep your sleeves rolled down after the sun starts to go down. Malaria and Dengue are both endemic in Calcutta, and both can be extremely serious as well as uncomfortable. The mosquito is small yet mighty. He's got hair on his chest.
2. Do respect the sun. Do wear sunglasses, do wear protective head covering, and - for Pete's Sake ! - do your drinking after sundown even though you strike town early in the day with a terrific thirst. If you do any amount of drinking and then walk out into the sun, you will know how concrete feels when hit with a sledge hammer.
3. Do eat and drink the right things in the right places. Stick to the in-bounds restaurants and ice cream stores. Eat only at those places which prominently display the "In Bounds" signs. Even these will be none too good - that is, compared with the sanitary standards you grew to accept as normal back home. You can buy ice cream, soda water, and native candy from sidewalk peddlers - you can, but it's cheaper to cut your throat. Eat only cooked fruits and vegetables - that goes for in-bounds places, too. Uncooked fruit is all right only if you peel it yourself.
4. Do drink safe water. The only safe water is that which has been chlorinated or boiled. Cholera and all the various types of dysentery are present in the city in endemic form. Be careful - unless you want to be Number One in the Throne Parade. Water used for brushing the teeth should be of the same standard as drinking water.
5. Do think twice, and then a third time, before petting any type of animals in India, including your favorite, the dog. Our old friend Rabies is prevalent in this area. And see that diseased-appearing beggar over there? Well, he may have petted that animal last.
6. Do avoid local ice in your drinks - unless you know that the ice has been checked for drinking water standards of safety. And who's going to show you the certificate?
7. Do take those salt tablets during the hot season. Three to four a day - an item of issue by the Q.M. Avoid decreased efficiency, fatigue, heat cramps, and heat prostration.
Women. (Whoops, here we go again! But we don't mind knocking ourselves out if you guys don't mind listening.) Those of you who have already made up your minds to abstain, kindly turn to the movie section and decide what show you want to go to tonight. That eliminates part of the audience - we hope. To go on: As in any port city in the Orient, Calcutta is riddled with venereal diseases. Studies show that professional prostitutes are 150% infected (half have one and the other half have two). Even in the native population the rate is well over 50%. That good-looking amateur whom you think you convinced by your personal charm may be just the baby to hand you a gift package - unwrapped.
Prophylaxis. So we didn't convince you - or you got sort of tight and forget that you were convinced. Then do remember that there are Prophylactic Stations located at:
77c Park Street
6 Lindsay Street
14 Watgunge Street
Each camp dispensary in the Calcutta area.
Hello. This is your local APO saying hello and wishing you "Quick mailing service!" Expect our cooperation. You will get it. However, casuals at this APO for only a short time should neither attempt no expect to receive mail. Anyone remaining at this APO for a sufficient length of time to receive mail should contact the local Postal Officer. Use only the facilities of the APO for mailing and for money orders. You will find complete postal services on the ground floor of the Hindusthan Building. Packages are now limited to a weight of ten pounds - one per month. Watch the weight of that gift you purchase.
New Service on V-Mail. V-mail may now be speeded up by using a 6 or .06 air-mail stamp. V-mail bearing air-mail postage is transmitted on a separate roll. After developing it goes by air in the States. Remember: All V-mail has to be properly addressed inside and outside, censored inside and outside, and then sealed before posting.
Local APO Postal Hours.
1. Stamps, parcel post, registry service:
Daily 0815-1200, 1315-1545, Sundays 0900-1300
2. Money Orders:
Daily 0815-1200, 1315-1545, Sundays 0900-1200
Cables. U.S. Military personnel and civilians who are authorized by the War Dept to use the APO can send a cable to the U.S., either E.F.M or Sender's Composition Cable, at the office of the Base Censor, Fourth Floor, Hindusthan Building. Have it censored, pay for it, and have it filed - all right on the spot.
Orders for Flowers. Anyone desiring to send flowers to someone in the U.S. can do so through the American Express Co., 28 Dalhousie Sq.; or they can send a Money Order to a home-town florist and give him the necessary address and instructions.
Censorship. Censorship is a necessary evil that actually amounts to be a blessing in disguise; the general idea is to keep you safe so that one day you can return to Seventh Heaven. Cooperate - give yourself a break. Help your censor instead of hindering him. He, in turn, wants to make those letters interesting (after all, the guy has to read 'em); therefore he offers instead of the usual list of "Don'ts," a list of "Do-write-home's."
1. Do write about India and about Indians in a general way. Write your frank opinions on everything save the war and local politics.
2. Do write that you were in an air raid. Write it, "We had an air raid awhile back." Facts aren't allowed; nor are they necessary to impress the folks back home.
3. Do write with common sense about what you see and hear in this Theater. Ask yourself, "Would my telling this hinder the war effort in even the slightest way?" Your own good judgment will cause the censor's razor blade to grow rusty from lack of use.
4. Do send picture postcards, making sure to include scenes from several different cities so as to avoid identifying any certain location.
5. Do send home both notes and coins in small amounts.
6. Do send home postage stamps up to 10 in number, however, not disclosing your geographical location at the time.
7. Do send home menus, etc., after cutting out location and name.
You want to leave us so soon? Oh, your leave expires in thirty minutes and you have 300 miles to go? In that case you need some transportation advice:
1. Any military reservation or travel warrant in the Calcutta area has to be made through the Rail Reservation Office, Ground Floor, Hindusthan Building. (A warrant is that old acquaintance the T.R. or Transportation Request).
2. Concession tickets for officers or enlisted men on leave or furlough are now available. Contact the Rail Reservation Office. In payment for a single fare one way the E.M. gets a round-trip ticket. The officer pays for a second-class accommodation both ways and receives first-class accommodations.
3. In the case of personnel travel you pick up a concession ticket plus your reservation at the Rail Reservation Office and then pay for your fare at the ticket office at the Railway Station. With the travel warrant, you present same at the ticket office at the Railway Station and receive a ticket.
4. If you know in advance that you are definitely traveling on a certain date, make reservations as soon as possible at the Rail Reservation Office.
Location. Post Exchange facilities are available in the Calcutta area wherever there is a sufficient concentration of troops to warrant one. Each camp or replacement depot has its own P.X. The Main Exchange is located on the ground floor of the Hindusthan Building. The ARC Burra Club on Dalhousie Square has its own branch, as has the 142nd General Hospital.
Rationing. A certain number of items such as beer, candy, gum, etc., are rationed because of limited quantities. To secure any rationed item you must present a ration card. Ration cards are readily available upon arrival in this area, and they may and should be used throughout the entire I-B Theater. Troops going to any part of the Theater will find P.X. facilities available.
Souvenirs. You will find many interesting and necessary items at the P.X. besides those few which are on the rationed list. A recent ruling has ousted all curios concessionaires from Army installations; and the Army has organized its own staff of highly trained buyers to secure for you at as low a cost as possible a complete line of souvenirs and gifts. These buyers go directly to the manufacturer whenever possible and thus eliminate any middleman costs. Try the P.X. for that gift to send home. Why pay higher prices elsewhere? Moreover, the reliability of every product in the P.X. has been tested and established.
Sales Commissary. A new and improved Quartermaster Sales Commissary is located at 16 Sooterkin Street (Aben Court), less than one block from the Hindusthan Building.
As complete a line as is possible is maintained; also, there are few restrictions on the sale of the items themselves as is possible. However, the sale of clothing must be restricted to officers, and certain of the food items have to be put on a rationed list from time to time. If you're hungry for some good American canned goods, pay a visit to the Commissary occasionally to see what they have available for you.
Travel Rations. Personnel authorized to draw rations for traveling may contact the office of the Base Quartermaster, Hindusthan Building, with copies of the orders. A small quantity of "C", "D", and "K" rations are kept on hand, with rail and road rations being available on short notice.
Newspapers. To keep yourself orientated on the latest news from the war fronts try The Statesman, The Amrita Bazar Patrika, and The Hindusthan Standard newspapers in the morning and The Star of India in the evening.
The Roundup. The Roundup is the weekly newspaper published by and for the Military Personnel in India-Burma Theater - distributed free of charge to all installations in the Base Section. If it's news you want (excellent maps and new analysis), if it is information you seek, or if you merely desire some good reading material to pass away the time, the Roundup is your Number One bet. It appears every Thursday morning; and with unfailing regularity its small yet highly efficient staff gives you a newspaper that you can be proud to call your own. It is published for you, it is yours. Get your copy at your own camp, or see one in town at one of the clubs you visit. Pre-censored for mailing home.
VU2ZU Calling. VU2ZU calling at 1355 on the dial! You Yanks in Base Section No. 2 not only have a great newspaper of your own, but you also have a modern and complete radio station serving you and the Allied Forces in the I-B Theater. With two small, well-equipped studios and a large auditorium for producing live shows, and now operating on 1000 watts, VU2ZU is now Big Time. Sound-proofed walls, indirect lighting, heavily carpeted floors - it's worth anyone's visiting just to take a look.
Listening In. Much of the broadcasting time is and will continue to be devoted to transcribed programs fresh from the States. But live shows featuring you and your buddy are one of the main factors in entertaining you. Daily summaries of the news will be augmented by important news flashes that will be broadcast throughout the day. Sports events, important ceremonies, etc., will continue to receive spot covering. Consult the Radio Station for weekly radio programs, keep tuned in for late happenings, or when in Command town visit the studios to look them over and, if you wish, to participate with the audience in live shows. For any program requests, write or telephone to the Station Director, Station VU2ZU, located in Rest Camp No. 1 of Base Section No. 2.
Take A Look Ahead.
One of these days, you are going to be "Joe Civilian" instead of "G.I. Joe." (Is that bad? Ha!) Seriously though, how about taking a gander at that future of yours? It will pay. The purpose of the institute is to provide educational opportunities for personnel of the United States Armed Forces. Information and assistance in planning off-duty education can be secured by writing, or visiting, the CBI Branch, which is located at 6 Draper Lane, directly in back of 12 Government Place East (the British-American Club), and within two blocks of the Great Eastern Hotel.
The ARC in Calcutta. The C.B.I. Headquarters for the American Red Cross is located in this city. Here the Theater-wide program of the Red Cross is planned and administered. The ARC club personnel, field directors, and hospital workers in the Calcutta area stand ready to aid you with everything from a friendly lift for your morale to a financial lift in an emergency. A staff of field directors are over here to help you with your personal problems. They can tell you about gov't insurance, allowances, allotments, and other benefits. They can get in direct touch with your family through the home Red Cross Chapter for a health and welfare report. They can handle Prisoner of War inquiries.
Local Red Cross Facilities. Call on the Red Cross at:
ARC Hq. Offices - 12 Old Court House St.
ARC Field Director's Office - 17 Stephen House, Dalhousie Square
ARC Burra Club - 8 Dalhousie Square
ARC Cosmos Club - Dalhousie Institute, Dalhousie Square
ARC Chota Club - Puri
Howrah Canteen and Information Desk - Howrah Station
Inquire At. U.S. Military Hq. at 6 Lindsay Street
Calcutta Police Hq. at Lal Bazar
Advertise In. The Daily Bulletin.
The Local Newspaper.
Broadcast. If you have lost something extremely valuable, such as important documents, get in touch with the Station Director of the All-India Radio Station.
Information Channels. Do as you would in any strange city at home: ASK QUESTIONS. Ask that M.P. coming along the sidewalk. Or go into any store and you will find a manager or a salesman who can speak English well enough to direct you. Ask any fellow American soldier that you chance to meet. For officers, a special information service has been set up in the Maidan Camp Headquarters, opposite Grand Hotel. For the best available information on almost any question try:
ARC Cosmos Club - Dalhousie Square
ARC Burra Club - 8 Dalhousie Square ARC Rest Camp 1 - Lady Brabourne College Continental Services Club - 12 Chowringhee Rd. Y.M.C.A. - 25 Chowringhee Rd. Information Desk, Hindusthan Building.
Pilfering. Yes, pilfering is part of YOUR PERSONAL SECURITY.
Security. You are at the end of the longest supply route in the war. To maintain that route takes BLOOD! Every article, no matter how small, reaches the end of this route only as a result of a colossal, united effort that staggers the pre-war geared imagination. And any piece of equipment (again, no matter how small) that travels this route and arrives here only to be stolen, sold or given away - that becomes a misstep in the whole war scheme. To replace the lost item delays the ending of the war. It allows the blood to flow that much longer. Perhaps, YOUR BLOOD! Yes, it may well be yours. When needed, that piece of equipment will not be there for your defense; and meanwhile, it may, and probably will, have reached the enemy and have become a part of the very offense being pressed against YOU! You lack the war materiel! Why?! Because some DIRTY RAT, someone unfit to wear the American uniform, has stolen that materiel and sold it!
Military Police. Sure the M.P.'s are part of YOUR PERSONAL SECURITY. Let's get the M.P.'s straight for once. They are YOU in a different branch of service. That's all. Believe it or not, their primary purpose is to help you, to protect you - protect you from others, and even from yourself if necessary. They want to answer all of your questions, they want to aid you in having a good time, they are on your side. Of course, they do have to maintain discipline and good order; that is simply a necessary part of their job. Nevertheless you will find that the M.P.'s in the Calcutta area will give you every possible break and will only as a final resort subject you to arrest or confinement. Revise your attitude: look upon the M.P. as a friend, as a source of guidance and protection, and as a walking information booth. Cooperate.
In-bounds. Forget the term, "Out of Bounds." "In Bounds" are the words to remember. Pay attention to the "Do's" and you will never have to worry about the "Don'ts." And so it is urged that you DO:
1. Stay within that area which, in general, lies south of Bow Bazar Street and west of Lower Circular Road up to its intersection with Bow Bazar Street. Consult the map in this booklet for detailed data, including in-bounds thoroughfares through the rest of the city.
2. Do protect your money. Stay in-bounds and you will not be molested. Robbery with violence is practically unknown here. On the other hand, there are many thieves, pickpockets, and swindlers operating in the in-bounds area. So carry your wallet buttoned up in your shirt or blouse pocket. Flashing your roll in public is like waving your red flannels at a bull - some pickpockets will immediately put you on his "must" list. All of you know that a soldier full of this Indian cane juice is easy to roll or to swindle - act accordingly. And remember that Indians are friendly, peaceful people but don't forget that there are unscrupulous petty dealers who will attempt to get a large part of your roll for the least possible return. In a friendly and peaceful manner, just plain refuse to be swindled.
3. Take care of your health if you want it to take care of you. You will not find a brothel in-bounds either according to the M.P.'s, according to your present health and the future health of your children, or according to your pocketbook. There are "easy" girls, the so-called amateurs, in the in-bounds area. Sure, there are. But you didn't persuade he with your charm. Some other fellow made the road easy for you. And he, that last customer in this free bread line, might have left a present with her to be relayed to you. Over 50% of these kind-hearted amateurs have V.D. And if you forget all else, for remember the "Pro" stations listed in the Health section of this booklet.
4. Give a fast, "Scram!" to all tattoo artists and fortune tellers. That goes for street vendors also. They are all definite nuisances and may very well be Jap spies. The high rate of skin infections following tattooing quickly removed them from the in-bounds status for American Military Personnel.
5. Remember your American belief in fair play. And ask yourself if it's fair to barge into some private compound or other place of private residence uninvited.
6. Look for the "In Bounds to Members of the Allied Forces" sign that has to be prominently displayed near the entrance of all cafes, restaurants, milk bars, ice cream parlors, soft drink, and liquor selling establishments.
7. Drink if you like. You should have as good a time here as is commensurate with your duties. Do, however, keep your Indian liquor separated from its two quarrelsome partners, woman and song.
Military Conduct. You have had proper military conduct drummed into you a hundred times by now. Some of it should have stuck to most of you. And all of it holds good here, just as it did back in the States. A brief refresher:
Act, dress, and feel like an American soldier - and remember that the American soldier is the finest on Earth. Obey the curfew law which requires you to be back in your quarters by 0100. carry your pass, furlough, or leave papers. Wear those dog tags. Check any arms, knives, clubs, or other weapons at the M.P. Headquarters - or at any other safe place. Drink only indoors. Restrain the impulse to strike anyone. Keep that uniform spruced up. You are on constant dress parade in this area. BE THE BEST. YOU ARE.
Keep saluting. Be ready. Remember: saluting is a daily exercise in keeping eye-alert.
The following paragraph is well worth quoting here, and well worth your reading and consideration.
"Have you ever stopped to consider just what is our best source of protection in this country: If you've been in India as much as a week, you probably know that it would be practically impossible for American or British Intelligence to cope with alone any sabotage plot of other underhand doings in this section. It is the Indian policeman and the Indian civilian who can keep our Intelligence informed as to what is going on, or who can ignore us completely, depending, in the final analysis, upon how much they like us . . . . ."
No one can argue successfully against the truth of the foregoing statements. We do need Indian civilian and police co-operation. Whether we continue to get it or not depends on how they feel about us - on how you cause them to feel about us. It comes right down to you!
And what are you doing to help? Most of you are okay. But - there are an unfortunate number of you who mistreat Indian civilians and who disobey Indian police and flaunt their authority. Does that make sense? Can you reasonably expect to kick an Indian civilian around or to thumb your nose at an Indian cop - to do these things one minute and the next minute expect these people to be 100% on your side? How could you, yourself, react to such treatment? Well, that's exactly the way the Indian responds. And rightly so, too.
Give good treatment, and you'll get it. Show respect, and you'll earn it for yourself. The Indian's friendship is worth having. If you do something against an Indian, the harm is possibly small to yourself; but it is a great harm to your country, and to the Allied cause. As men, as Americans, you were brought up to be respectful of the law and kind to those around you. The fact that your environment has been changed is all the more reason why you shouldn't change. Remember the old proverb:
"Man who stands behind mule is wise to remain on friendly terms with said animal."
In Calcutta prior to the outbreak of war there were approximately 250 Americans, including men, women, and children. Shortly after the hostilities began in the Pacific the majority of American women and children left for the United States acting on the advice of the State Department.
The present Main Streeters in Calcutta, excluding members of the Armed Forces and the American Red Cross, number about 350 persons, of whom less than 30 are women. Over 35 Americans are civilian government officials attached to the American Consulate General, the Foreign Economic Administration, War Shipping Administration, Lend-Lease Administration, and Office of War Information. The remainder of these men, the majority, are engaged in some sort of activities connected with the war effort. These men are employed by large concerns such as the China National Aviation Corporation, General Motors, Standard-Vacuum Oil Company, Ludlow Jute Company, National Carbon Company, Caltex, and a few other American firms.
Main Street in Calcutta salutes YOU!