53. In Memory of David Air

53. In Memory of David Air

Hello again, all you wonderful people at CFC/FOM! I wait for these weekly tea time sessions with all of you. Hope you are all ready to settle down with a cup of chai to enjoy this week's post. I found myself thinking of David Air today, and I have here the story of his life written by his dear friend Ali Zaman. It's a fascinating read, and I'm sure you will all love it. David Air passed away in 2022. Attached to the story is my tribute to David. Rest in peace, David.…Read more
52. The ‘Taste’ of Tea

52. The ‘Taste’ of Tea

Hello, all you lovely people at CFC/FOM. I do look forward to Fridays, when I share a story with all of you, because it gives me a chance to revisit 'Indian Chai Stories' and read some old favourites all over again. I know these well-loved stories are one way of visiting the tea gardens of our country. Who can forget the first time they ever saw a tea garden? It's a wonderful experience. I always wished I had gone there as a child.  My friend Sudipta Bhattacharjee was lucky enough to do just that.…Read more
51. The Bungalows, Baga & Sibsoo

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…Read more
50. The Face of Doyang

50. The Face of Doyang

Hello to all the lovely people at CFC/FOM. Last week I told you all about the ladies who wrote the first Indian Chai Stories. Today, I'd like to introduce another dear friend, a gentleman whose contribution to Indian Chai Stories goes beyond the written word: Alan Lane. Alan keeps a large number of people all over the world connected with their roots in India. Here is the first story Alan wrote for our readers.  This is a sample that will make you chuckle: "At that time...we used to go out in the evening, after ‘kamjari’(work) for…Read more
49. A Predator- Lost & Lovelorn

49. A Predator- Lost & Lovelorn

A very Happy Women's Day to all you lovely people at CFC/FOM!  Today, let's think about the ladies who help to bring us all our daily cups of tea. Cheers to the women who work in the tea gardens and tea factories of our country. These resilient and committed women now perform many tasks that were earlier assigned exclusively to men. They have become the mainstay of the home as well as the workplace.  I would also like to thank my old friends, the wonderful women who were the first writers to contribute…Read more
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