"Here's one bowl game you didn't hear about --- played in the Mud Bowl deep in the heart of beautiful ---. The 'Chota monsoons' (little rains) prepared the fields, or shall I say, mire? But it wasn't raining at game time so a small crowd of natives, clad in native togas, were on hand at the kick-off. Twelve valiant men, myself included, splashed on to the field, dressed in everything from Jock-strap and sneakers to dungarees and sneakers. The sneakers served their purpose well and I fell on my face twice trying to get up to the ball to kick off. The rules were 'anything goes'---except throwing mud in the eyes and holding anyone's head under. Well, we slopped and splashed and plowed mud with our noses and looked like nothing human for 4 twenty-minute quarters, and every time one of the fellows on the other team, an ex-Columbia guard, hit me, I thanked God for the soft mud. The natives just laughed loud and long at the crazy and incredible spectacle, and we laughed at their laughing."
AFS Letters, 1943-1944. No. 24. Published at AFS HQ, 60 Beaver Street, New York.
On 9 August, No. 2 Company left Kalyan for Secunderabad, which they reached on the 11th. There they had to set up their own tents and camp in a cow pasture that was to be home for two months. It turned out to be less objectionable than most had suspected.
"We are sending as many as possible off on leave and are most fortunate in having an airfield near by so that most men are getting away by plane," Major Chamberlin wrote toward the end of August. "The Company is completely under canvas and prefers to remain that way. We had an opportunity to move into barracks, but everyone preferred to stay by ourselves the way we are.
"In general the morale is good---most of us so happy that the war is over that even the prospect of sitting here a good long time does not bother us too much. A soft-ball league has been organized with each Company entering 5 teams which play every afternoon. And the near-by town offers many other diversions. Most of the men are, therefore, able to keep occupied."
Most of the occupations, if sometimes rather wet, were thoroughly routine---or as routine as the AFS in India could be. All went sightseeing, some covering a really phenomenal amount of territory. Others discovered religion in a way that the West had not prepared them for.
Many took a long look at India and liked what they saw. As J. H. Brewster wrote: "In India there is an abundance of what the tourists call color---the sunsets, the dress of the people, the red jungle flowers running riot in the ruins of a Mogul fort, snake-charmers and itinerant magicians, mud and wattle villages, temples and tombs. There is filth and disease and poverty, too, but somehow these things don't seem so far out of place as they did in Italy. Here they seem to be merely neutral, neither right nor wrong, a normal part of human existence. Something you would really like are the faces you see, especially in the cities. They have a vitality and intelligence of expression not seen in such abundance even in America---a sensitivity of features and hands not seen in Europeans. The Indians I have met here, too, are just as friendly and eager to help as those we knew in Italy---a wonderful people with a great future before them."
George Rock. Chapter 17. History of the American Field Service, 1920-1955. New York 1956
George Rock. History of the American Field Service, 1920-1955.
New York 1956