A Chota Sahib by John Rowntree

"A Chota Sahib" by John Rowntree from Verandah Books (MIchael Hougham)

The author's comments in the Preface are as follows:

"This account of the last days of the British Raj in India was written because I felt that 

someof my experiences were worth recording and that a description of the day-to-day

life of the ordinary folk who helped to keep the wheels turning might be of interest to

my family and possibly a wider public.

The book is a miscellany of those apparently unconnected things which, nevertheless,

give a society, a country or an era its character..........If my story is sometimes serious

and sometimes frivolous that, after all, is the way of life and it is of life that I have been


Unfortunately, my readers cannot smell the wet earth or watch the sun set in a riot of

colour across the plain; fortunately they cannot hear the ping of the mosquitos or feel

the prick of their sharp probosces. Nevertheless, I hope that I have succeeded in

conveying something of theatmosphere of the Indian jungle and cantonment, and in

writing an honest and unbiased account of that unique and rather peculiar society,

the British Raj"

John Rowntree joined the Indian Forest Service in 1929 and was appointed as

an Assistant Conservator of Forests in Assam. He retired in 1947 as a Senior

Conservator of Forests in Assam at the time of Independence.