Nisthabhda (Soundless), Nirjan (Without People) - The most tranquil part of the day at Selim Hill is probably early in the morning when no one is around and it gives me a few minutes to gather my thoughts in silence. My favourite area in the Second Chance House is near the bamboo grove, under the Magnolia tree. The Magnolia is an indigenous variety which is peculiar to Selim Hill tea garden and its adjoining Darjeeling areas. As the tree blooms, you actually feel like the lotus flower has left the pond and decided to climb up the tree.
Shh, be quiet, you are watching the earth reach out to the clouds. The clouds, in turn, embrace and envelope the blushing tree. Like the sun’s journey lends the day its many colours, so you see the flower changing its colour from light pink to bright pink which morphs into an ascetic white before giving up to the earthly brown.
The life cycle of the flower is fascinating. At a point, these aerial lotus buds start resembling small birds with a beak and an eye. Can we fly out of this life painlessly and attain Nirvana? The crescendo is building up to the climax. And the climax arrives in the after-bloom. The bud opens out resembling a flower with 5-6 large white petals. Folks from Bengal would immediately identify them with their hand made, dried sola flowers.
My story is not yet complete. The truly observant must look for the treasures carpeted at the feet of the tree. You can pick up the acorn to plant in your garden or be amazed at these fantastic spoons made by the mystical forces of nature. The one I found had a concoction of fairy dew and mythical herbs. Have they inspired the puja spoons used so commonly?
Recipe for a perfect day during Springtime, when Dorje First Flush Tea is being made at the Selim Hill Tea Garden:
2 spoons full of sunlight.
1 1/2 spoons full of rainfall
3 spoons full of mist
Mix till you see the flowers blooming. Once done, enjoy with the sound of the birds.
This simple recipe is easy to follow only when you have found the perfect spoon. Believe it or not, they exist in abundance, especially at Second Chance House, at Selim Hill Tea Garden!
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