Tea gardens fabricate the simple joys of our lives. If you crave for a cup of tea in the morning and in the lull of an afternoon, you will understand what I am talking about. I headed to Darjeeling with a pining desire to sample the Darjeeling Tea – the fresh and authentic tea straight from the tea gardens, which is not yet packed or sealed, but still has fragrances of its origin.
Yes, of course, I did sip quite a lot of Darjeeling tea, which is typically savoured without milk and sugar. More than the taste, it has a delicious aroma, which makes you want more of it. But, the joy doesn’t end here. It divulges as you explore the many tea gardens of Darjeeling, which narrate many untold stories.
That’s the bud and the two small leaves that are picked.
Do you see a different shade of green festooning the tea plantations? That’s lemongrass. The aromatic grass is planted to protect the tea shrubs from insects. However, the locals were not aware that it’s also an exotic ingredient in our metropolitan kitchens.
Tea pluckers use this iron cable to slide down the tea baskets for further processing.
Do you see the little bags hung on the wall? Those are lunch-boxes of tea pluckers.
The new tea plantations look scattered and much smaller.
She’s picking ‘happiness’ for you and me, but is she really happy? We won’t be able to answer that question…
These women who toil hard for ‘a great cup of tea’ are paid only INR 90 per day.
…And yet they don’t fail to smile at travelers like me, who take their pictures, but give nothing in return.
Do you enjoy tea? Have you toured a tea garden yet?