48. Here Comes the Bride!

48. Here Comes the Bride!

Hello, all you lovely people at CFC/FOM! Friday has come around again, and I’ve been going through a lot of stories to decide on today’s pick.An enjoyable task, and for this reason a difficult one; I get lost in the stories, in the memories and in my thoughts of the friends who’ve written these stories. When my friends and I were younger, we couldn’t talk enough about our first few months as tea brides. Life changed completely for us city girls when we married our planter husbands! Now when I heard my friend…Read more
47. Back in the Day – Part II

47. Back in the Day – Part II

Greetings to all you wonderful people at CFC/FOM.Today I’m sharing a personal favourite, a lovely story that captures the atmosphere of a lost era: Shilpa Castledine’s childhood recollections of life in the tea gardens of the Dooars. Read – Back in the Day – Part II You will enjoy her description of her mother, and of the routines as they existed back then. A little excerpt: ‘ At breakfast mum and dad would chat away about all sorts, not only garden matters and bungalow matters but world politics, India’s politics, the news. We had…Read more
46. The Lord of the Garden Gypsy

46. The Lord of the Garden Gypsy

Greetings to all you lovely people at CFC/FOM!It’s that magical time of day when I sit down with a good cup of tea and lose myself in dreams of all the tea gardens we’ve lived in over the years. Life in each garden had its own flavour. My old friend Ranu Taragi tells a delightful tale. Her story is itself like life in the gardens; charming, pleasant and full of fun, and then without a warning, terror and danger! ‘Life in the wilderness can take sudden frightening turns’, says Ranu. I know you will enjoy…Read more
45. Freezing Fridays in January

45. Freezing Fridays in January

Greetings to all you lovely people at CFC/FOM! Foggy mornings and freezing nights in Delhi leave me longing for the warmth and colour of the Dooars (North Bengal). The Dooars, that beautiful green haven which was our home for three decades. As I flit back to the past, I’m also putting the calendar in fast forward to April, that magical time when it’s not too hot or cold. So dear readers, I invite you to enjoy this little taste of Dooars life with me.This is my account of a typical April storm from Moraghat…Read more
44. Indian Chai Stories: The First Friday of 2024

44. Indian Chai Stories: The First Friday of 2024

A very Happy New Year to all the lovely folks at CFC/FOM! The New Year is a time for friends old and new. More old than new today, as ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind’ plays on in my head. Memories of crawling home in the early hours from merry gatherings at the club made me think of this story by my old friend Roma Circar. I loved it when I first read it almost six years ago, and it remains one of my favourites. We’ve been reading tea…Read more
42 & 43. Friday’s here, and Christmas too!

42 & 43. Friday’s here, and Christmas too!

It’s that time of year, and I would like our dear readers to get a taste of a real tea garden Christmas. Santa was in my dreams last night, and I woke up thinking of what he said, ‘Spread some Christmas cheer, my girl! There should be at least two stories today!’ Sigh! Santa, thank you for calling me a girl! Dear readers, here you go! Gumi Malhotra brings us ‘Christmas Lunch’ for your Story Number One: Christmas Lunch Second, Niloufer Patkar, shows us an unusual giftand Sudipta Bhattacharjee takes us to the Western Dooars…Read more
41. Bungalows that became homes

41. Bungalows that became homes

Hello again, friends! It’s so joyful to go through the Indian Chai Stories blog in search of the story that I plan to share on the coming Friday. We’ve read two very different accounts of life in the tea gardens over the last two weeks; each of them from a tea planter’s wife. We’ll continue with the memsaabs today. I’m particularly fond of this story, and I won’t spoil anything for you by telling you why. Read all the comments at the end and you will understand!So here is Gumi Malhotra, with an…Read more
40. Caught in a Shootout

40. Caught in a Shootout

Hello, friends! It’s Friday, and I’m so happy to be back with another story from the tea gardens for all of you lovely people at FOM/Chai For Cancer. There’s a song that comes to mind whenever I think about our life in the tea gardens. It’s called C’est La Vie and the refrain goes, ‘You Never Can Tell’. You wake up on one of those gorgeous mornings to a world of gold and green with sunlight dancing on the tea bushes. You marvel at the deep silences, taking in lungfuls of sweet, pure…Read more
39. My World in a Teacup

39. My World in a Teacup

Hello to all the dear good people at FOM/Chai for Cancer. December begins, and suddenly everyone is longing to drink lots of tea! What is your favourite style? I like mine very fresh; brewed for exactly three and a half minutes, with just a drop of (lactose free) milk and half a teaspoon of sugar. Today I have a story by Mansi Chaturvedi, and it’s a tale in a teacup. She invites you to join her in a little gupshup over her favourtie cup of masala chai. Thank you, Mansi! Off to Mansi’s…Read more