Breakfast with Mr. Nehru and his daughter in New Delhi
Also in the breakfast party was a manager of Tata (vast industrial firm), two Parsi ladies with short, white hair, and two little girls. When the others arrived, Indira suggested we start breakfast ahead of her father, who eats so quickly he would catch up with us at any rate. However, a few minutes later Nehru arrived, and we all sat down to breakfast together. Nehru was most affectionate with the children, but I believe he was a bit put off by my presence; he probably was looking forward to a quiet breakfast with just close friends and family. Nevertheless, it was actually he who was responsible for my presence; he had insisted to be present when I photograph his pandas. Bhimsa, the male, is at his best when Nehru is around.
The pandas are absolutely charming. Tashi, the female, is prettier and bigger, but extremely shy. They are in a large cage that can be entered. They are fond of peas in husks, which they eat out of their feeder's hand. When he feeds them, Nehru wears white gloves to avoid being scratched. They are away in the mountains for six months—to escape the heat; the rest of the time they spend in an enclosure on the Nehru grounds.
A visit to the Maharaja of Bharatpur
The Maharaja of Bharatpur is certainly one of the nicest and most charming men I have ever met, completely disarming and most cordial. He told me that he is keeping a full year's mourning for his wife—only 13 days are customary for a deceased woman. Contrary to other men in his position, he uses no perfume, eats only certain foods and only attends very special functions.
A buffet dinner was served on the lawn, attended by about 20 or so men who all sat in a half circle, far away from me. Two orchestras entertained.
A weekend at a palace
The maharaja with 16 of his guests drove to one of his palaces about an hour's drive from here. A truck-load of servants had left ahead of us. In the afternoon a tiger hunt was arranged.
Three machans were set up, two shooters were placed in each. The M, some other guests and I watched the hunt from an observation tower. Fifty beaters drove out one tiger, who was wounded, growled furiously, retreated to a bush and was found dead the next day.
In the evening, a buffet on the lawn of the palace; again an orchestra and a singer.