Pranjol belonged to Assam. He was studying in a school in Delhi. Rajvir was his classmate. Pranjol’s father was the manager of a tea-garden in Upper Assam. Pranjol invited Rajvir to visit his home during the summer vacation. Both of them travelled to Assam on a train. When the train stopped at a station, a vendor called, ‘chai-garam garam-chai’. They took tea and started sipping it. Rajvir told Pranjol that over eighty crore cups of tea are drunk every day throughout the world.
Pranjol started reading his detective book again. But Rajvir looked out of the window of a moving train. There was beautiful scenery outside. Soon the soft green paddy fields were left behind and there were tea bushes everywhere. Rajvir was fascinated by the magnificent view of tea gardens. There were shade trees also. He was very excited. Pranjol didn’t share Rajvir’s excitement because he had been born and brought up on a plantation. He told Rajvir that Assam has the largest concentration of tea plantation in the world.
Rajvir said that no one really knows who discovered tea. He told Pranjol that there are many legends attached to tea, to the discovery of tea. According to one story, a Chinese emperor discovered tea by chance. He always boiled water before drinking it. One day a few leaves off the twigs burning under the pot fell into the water. As a result, the boiled water got a delicious flavor. It is said they were tea leaves. According to another Indian legend, Bodhidharma, an ancient Buddhist monk, fell asleep during meditations. So he cut off his eyelids. Ten tea plants grew out of the eyelids. The leaves of these plants when put in hot water and drank banished sleep.
- The emperor always boiled water before drinking it.
- One day, a few leaves fell into the boiled water from the twigs burning under the pot.
- The boiled water acquired a delicious flavor, which was believed to be from the tea leaves.
- This legend highlights the accidental discovery of tea by the Chinese emperor.
As a teacher, you can explain to the students that legends often provide interesting and imaginative explanations for the origins of certain things. This legend showcases the accidental nature of the tea discovery, adding a sense of intrigue to the story.
Rajvir told Pranjol that tea was first drunk in China in 2700 B.C. Words like ‘chai’ and ‘chini are Chinese. Tea came to Europe in the sixteenth century. At first, it was used more as a medicine than as a beverage. Both Rajvir and Pranjol reached Mariani junction. Pranjol’s parents received them on the platform they took them in a car to Dhekiabari, the tea estate managed by Pranjol’s father. On both sides of the tee, they were acres and acres of tea bushes. Women with bamboo baskets on their backs were plucking the new tea leaves, they had come there in the sprouting season. Rajvir said that this season lasts from May 10 July. The best tea is produced during this season. Pranjol’s father told Rajvir that he knew many things about tea Phauations. He said that he would learn more about tea there.
Short Summary (2)
1.Tea Very Popular: Tea is very popular in India. At every platform of railway stations, you can hear vendors saying; “Chai-Chaff garam-Chai”. You can find everyone in the compartment sipping the steam hot tea. Over eighty crore cups of tea are drunk every day throughout the world.
2. Tea Plantations: It was green, green everywhere. Rajvir had never seen so much greenery before. The green paddy fields gave way to tea bushes. Small tea bushes stretched as far as the eyes could see. Amid the tall sturdy shady trees, there were rows of tea bushes. Pranjol was born and brought up on the plantation. So he was not excited. Assam has the largest concentration of tea plantations in the world.
3. Origin of Tea: No one really knows who discovered tea One Chinese emperor had always boiled water before drinking it. A few leaves of the twigs burning under the pot fell Into the water. It gave it a delicious flavor. It is said they were tea leaves. According to an Indian legend Bodhi dharma, an ancient Buddhist ascetic cut off his eyelids because he felt sleepy during meditation. Ten tea plants grew out of his eyelids. The leaves of tea banished sleep. Tea was first drunk in China about 2700 B.C. The words like ‘Char and ‘Chini’ are from the Chinese language. Tea came to Europe in the sixteenth century. It was drunk more like medicine than a beverage.
4. New Sprouted Leaves: Acre upon acre of tea bushes were spread over the slopes. They were all pruned to the same height. Groups of tea-pluckers with bamboo baskets on their backs were plucking the newly sprouted leaves. A tractor was pulling a trailer-load of leaves. Rajvir asked if it was the second-flush or sprouting period. It lasts from May to July and yields the best tea.
Main Points of the Story
|1. What is the significance of tea in Assam?|
|2. How is tea cultivation carried out in Assam?|
|3. What are the geographical conditions favorable for tea cultivation in Assam?|
|4. How does tea contribute to the socio-economic development of Assam?|
|5. What are the challenges faced by the tea industry in Assam?|