‘Tea from Assam’ is the third story in the chapter ‘Glimpses of India. Rajvir and Pranjol are classmates. They are on a vacation tour to Assam to visit Tea gardens where Pranjol’s father is manager. The summary of the story; Tea from Assam’ is given below.
Summary: Tea from Assam (Glimpses of India)
Rajvir and Pranjol on vacation trip to Assam
Rajvir and Pranjol were classmates in a school in Delhi. As Pranjol’s father was a manager of a tea garden in Assam, Rajvir joined Pranjol to spend his summer holidays with Pranjol’s family at Assam. They were going by train. As the train stopped at a station, they took tea from a tea vendor. Rajvir informs Pranjol that eighty crores’ cups of tea are consumed daily throughout the world.
Beauty of Tea Estates
As the train moved forward, Rajvir got excited to see the scenic beauty of the tea estates from the window. At the back, they could see the dense hill forests and in the front of the hills, there were vast stretches of tea gardens. Rajvir was amazed to see the lush greenery of the tea gardens. As Pranjol had been born and brought up in those surroundings, it wasn’t anything new for him. Hence, he wasn’t as excited as Rajvir. He told Rajvir that Assam has the world’s largest concentration plantations in the world.
Legends about Origin of Tea
Rajvir tells about some legends about the origin of tea. According to one legend, a Chinese emperor discovered tea when he was boiling water for himself. While the water was boiling, some leaves from the twigs under the burning pot fell into the boiling water. It enhanced the taste of water and they were considered to be the tea leaves. Rajvir further told Pranjol that tea was first drunk in China in 2700 BC and the words like ‘tea’, ‘chai’, ‘chini’ are Chinese. He mentioned that tea came to Europe in the sixteenth century only and it was taken as a medicine rather than a beverage.
Another legend was from india. Bodhidharma, an ancient Buddhist monk, cut off his eyelids as he felt sleepy during meditations. From those eyelids, ten tea plants grew out. It was believed that when those tea plants were put into the boiling water, those banished sleep.
The Boys Reach the Destination
Train stopped at the Mariani junction. Pranjol’s parents were there to receive the boys. Pranjol’s father drove them to the Dhekiabari tea plantation where, Pranjol’s father was a manager. They saw many tea pluckers carrying bamboo baskets on their backs to pluck freshly sprouted tea leaves. Rajvir asked Pranjol’s father, Mr. Barua, if it was the second-flush or the sprouting period that lasted from May to July and gave the best yield. Mr. Barua was impressed by the knowledge of Rajvir about tea and complemented him.