overnment House, Calcutta, is the most extraordinary building. It is perfectly vast (Knebworth House felt like a cottage when we first came home) - four separate blocks stand at the four corners, each a house in itself, and the whole of the centre comprises a vast reception area - pillars and chandeliers and marble floors
with thrones at either end. On the top floor parquet replaces
the marble flooring and the whole space
becomes a Cinderella ballroom.
An impossible house in
which to make a home, but a fine
setting for State Balls and Banquets. Mother and
father occupied one of the four blocks and
we slept in the opposite one. The
other two consisted of guests` rooms and accommodation for ADCs and staff.
communicated with each other by writing `chits` (or
notes) which were conveyed from one part of
the building to another by a `Cheprassi` (a
kind of footman).
cheprassi, dressed in scarlet with white turban
feet, would be standing outside the
door or at the end of every passage
ready to take messages.