One of the most fascinating phenomena of this exotic blue planet is the watercycle. Darjeeling is a land of abundance and the heavens shower the mountains with blessings. It does not just rain water, it rains flowers, leaves, fruits and tea. The mountains and clouds have an everlasting love affair complete with courtship, lover’s tiffs and thunderous quarrels. But what does one do if the beloved gets upset and refuses to see your face?
Waiting for the celestial nectar to kiss our beloved tea bushes is a lesson in patience and humility. The darkened clouds hover over us building hope, some streaks of lightening light up our eyes, but the wind entices them away to another land. We are left stranded outside the circle of love and fulfilment.
This year, the parched mountains are looking searchingly towards the vast and endless skies. Where are the clouds? Why have we been dropped from the list of most wanted? Spring has arrived, the time for slumber is over. The blue skies are supposed to send down blue manna to encourage new green growth, but they seemed to have taken up a job elsewhere. The dry earth does not even have a tear drop to spare.
At Selim Hill, we experience a temperate climate and need no fans. However, the slow warming of the earth has compelled us to buy a few standing fans. The other day we were startled to hear the loud, harsh cawing of the crow. So far, this bird avoided the hills because it likes warm weather!
The snow-capped mountains are melting, sand dunes are vanishing, wildlife has already disappeared from the forests, rivers are drying up leaving river beds exposed and naked. Will it be the turn of the tea estates to disappear and become a part of nostalgia?
They say, it is the El Nino effect due to which the air becomes cooler instead of warmer and thus there is complete confusion in the evaporation and condensation process. Sadly, the army of trees that could have saved us have been cut away to make brick and mortar houses to shelter us from rain. What an irony! We seemed to have killed the goose to get all the golden eggs at once.
The brainfever bird is crying itself hoarse – ‘pure pour, pure pour’, but all that we have got are some poor drops. The dry Autumn Leaves are lined up along the roads. The shades are still brown, yellow, red, ochre and orange. The entire scenario brings to mind a favourite hymn –
“Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead”
At Dorje Teas, we never give up hope. A true farmer knows that grace of rain has to be earned and cherished. We await the descent of the heavens on Selim Hill Tea Estate.
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