Glimpses of India – Tea from Assam Notes Class 10 English Literature

Notes of the Chapter ‘Tea from Assam’: This is a part of the lesson ‘Glimpses of India’ from the book ‘First Flight’ published by NCERT for Class 10 Literature. The Notes comprise a summary, theme, character sketches and literary devices.

Tea from Assam: Solutions

Tea from Assam: Summary

Summary: Tea from Assam

The story Glimpses of India – Tea from Assam is told from Rajvir’s perspective. It provides short snippets of the history of tea and its popularity around the world. Through the story, Dutta paints a vivid picture of tea plantations in Assam.

Broadly, Glimpses of India – Tea from Assam can be divided into:

  • The Popularity of Tea
  • The Journey to Assam
  • Legends about Tea
  • Facts about Tea
  • Dhekiabari Tea Estate

The Popularity of Tea

  • Pranjol and Rajvir were on their way to Pranjol’s home – a tea estate in Assam.
  • A hawker, selling hot cups of tea, came to their train compartment window.
  • Pranjol ordered two cups of tea. As they sipped their tea, Rajvir told Pranjol that about eighty crore cups of tea are consumed every day around the world.
  • Pranjol, pleasantly surprised, commented on the popularity of tea.

The Journey to Assam

  • As the train left the station, Pranjol went back to reading a detective novel.
  • Rajvir, however, was more interested in the scenery outside. As a boy from Delhi, he had never seen so much greenery before.
  • The view was magnificent, comprising hills, tall trees and green tea fields.
  • Then, a building – with smoke emitting from its chimneys – came into view. Rajvir, who had never seen a tea garden before, enthusiastically pointed it out to Pranjol.
  • Pranjol, used to such sights, informed him that they were in Assam which contained the highest number of tea plantations in the world.

Legends about Tea

  • Rajvir then narrated a few legends he had come across while reading about tea.
  • One of the stories was of a Chinese emperor who always boiled water before drinking it. One day, a few tea leaves fell into the pot and gave the water a delicious flavour.
  • An Indian legend narrates the story of a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma. He cut off his eyelids to stay awake during meditation.
  • As a result, ten tea plants emerged from his eyelids. The leaves were boiled with water to make a drink that banished sleep.

Facts about Tea

  • Rajvir then told Pranjol some facts about tea.
  • Tea was first drunk in China in 2700 B.C. In fact, the words chai and chini came from the Chinese language.
  • Europeans only discovered tea in the sixteenth century. Even then, they considered it more of a medicine than a beverage.

Dhekiabari Tea Estate

  • The train finally reached Mariani junction where Pranjol’s parents were waiting for the boys.
  • Together, they drove towards Dhekiabari Tea Estate, the estate managed by Pranjol’s father.
  • As they entered the estate, they saw neatly cut tea plants on either side of the road.
  • Tea-pluckers, with bamboo baskets and plastic aprons, were busily plucking newly grown tea leaves.
  • Rajvir asked Pranjol’s father whether this was the ‘second flush’ – the crop which bloomed from May to July and produced the best tea.
  • Pranjol’s father, surprised, commented on Rajvir’s knowledge of tea.
  • Rajvir smiled and said that he also hoped to learn a lot more during his stay.


  • In the story, the author explores the theme of the Popularity & Importance of Tea.
  • Rajvir remarks that about eighty crore cups of tea are consumed around the world daily. Almost every passenger in Rajvir and Pranjol’s train compartment was drinking tea as well.
  • Further, Rajvir narrates a few theories related to the origin of tea. These theories are from Chinese and Indian legends. This indicates that tea is a staple in several cultures.
  • Lastly, Rajvir says that Europeans in the sixteenth century used tea as a medicine rather than a beverage. This points to the multiple uses of tea.
  • In this way, the author highlights the global popularity and broad appeal of tea.

Character Sketch

The story provides a brief glimpse into the following characters:

  • Rajvir
  • Pranjol


Rajvir is a young boy from Delhi.

Knowledgeable: Rajvir is able to rattle off historical stories and facts about tea. He is also aware of the different stages of tea production. That’s why he can identify when crops are in the ‘second flush’ stage, which impresses Pranjol’s father.

Curious: At the Dhekiabari estate, Rajvir expresses a desire to learn more about tea and the process of tea production from Pranjol’s father. This reflects his eager and curious nature.

Enthusiastic: On the way to Assam, Rajvir displays great excitement over the greenery and tea fields along the railway route. He also enthusiastically points out a tea garden to Pranjol.3 of 3


Pranjol is Rajvir’s friend. The boys are travelling to Pranjol’s home in Assam.

Calm: The author uses Pranjol’s calm demeanor to contrast Rajvir’s enthusiasm. While Rajvir marvels at the scenic views during the train journey, Pranjol casually reads his detective book. Similarly, when Rajvir spots a tea garden, Pranjol simply states that Assam houses the highest number of tea plantations in the world. As Pranjol is used to the sights of Assam, these things don’t excite him like they excite a newcomer like Rajvir.

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