51. The Bungalows, Baga & Sibsoo

Hello to all of you lovely folks at CFC/FOM. When summer begins, my mind goes back to that day around four decades ago when I first set foot in a tea garden bungalow. Today I started reading Aloke Mookerjee’s story, ‘The Bungalows, Baga & Sibsoo’ all over again because I wanted to revisit the gardens. 

Aloke has written 16 pieces for Indian Chai Stories, and most of them are about the Dooars. 

The Dooars, a land to fall in love with at first sight; with its forests, rivers and mountains. Aloke lived there over fifty years ago, and yet his writing brings it all alive. Planters make great storytellers with their sense of recall.”In the wide, open spaces of the plantations, silence descended quickly after sundown. The hush of the evenings amplified a medley of strange nocturnal sounds from far and near. In the dim bungalow lights, the rhythmic groan of a slow turning DC ‘punkha’ and the clanging of the roofing sheets mingled with the full-throated honking of bull frogs…. In the still of the deep night air, the distant sound of tribal drums…would often waft in, sometimes accompanied by the eerie hoots of an owl or the riotous howls of jackals in a delirious chorus, loud enough to wake me up from my slumber.”

Thank you, Aloke, for refreshing the memories of those of us who have lived in the Dooars, and for introducing this land to those who are going to read about it here.

Don’t lose any time before you head off on your travels, my friends. All you need before you start reading is that cup of garam chai!

I’ll serve up another story for you next Friday. Yeh vaada raha!!
Cheers to the spirit of Indian Tea!

- Gowri Mohanakrishnan,

Indian Chai Stories

This segment is a result of our fruitful collaboration with Indian Chai Stories, a blog by Gowri Mohanakrishnan, a planter's wife who's been writing tea stories for many years and is also an active supporter of Chai for Cancer.
Her stories come straight from the tea gardens of India and are best enjoyed with a cup of garam chai.

So go ahead #raiseyourcup #DrinkToACause
Visit www.chaiforcancer.org to donate towards our cause.

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