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Treat this as a Dispatch from Darjeeling. Here you will find tales about your teas, fables about the tea estate, legends about its birds, trees, and animals, and stories about the people who work so hard to prepare it.
It was at Second Chance, Selim Hill, on one of our nightly walks, that these miraculous creatures, the fireflies, visited us and re-introduced themselves to us. It was almost as if an unforgotten memory had floated to the surface.
TheHornbillis so complete and confident in its beauty that it does not aim to please anyone else - It does not fight to fit size zero, it has not practised its pout for the paparazzi, steeped in family values and loyalty, it does not feature on the scandal sheet, in fact it does not deign to touch the ground at all. It belongs to the skies.
What or who can preserve something as dynamic and magnificent as the Selim Hill Tea Estate from becoming a thing of nostalgia? A lot of passion, patience and commitment is required - a collection of people from different fields have 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗺 𝗛𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲. Headed by Mr. Rajah Banerjee, in collaboration with Dorje, we hope to provide Selim Hill Tea Estate with a stable and sustainable future.
TheMeadow Crocusis exactly like that. It is a pink flower that heralds the beginning of Spring. At theSecond Chance House, seemingly out of nowhere, these dainty heads pop up all over the garden. They defy and deny help from the over-zealous, well meaning gardener. It is quite a treat to see your entire lawn blush coquettishly.
As wildlife enthusiasts, we have often visited sanctuaries and seen big cats whose whereabouts were scoured aforehand by forest rangers. Visiting a forest as a tourist and living in the forest as an inhabitant are two entirely different things. There is no aphrodisiac which gives you a high such as a chance and surprise sighting of a wild animal and that too a big cat!
The vast expanse of nothingness way up on the hills, brings to surface self-doubt and apprehension. However, Captain Kirk (from yester-years Star Trek) saves the day and whispers into my ear - “You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown — only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”
The mist at Second Chance, Selim Hill reminds me - Don’t take reality too seriously! As I sit back to enjoy a cup of Dorje Tea with some caramel custard, I am forced to wonder - Am I in a dream or have I just woken up from one?
Who or what is a spider really? A spider is nature’s method of keeping pests in control. The web is a giant sieve or filter, on which small insects and pests automatically get stuck. It is quite like the imaginary super hero - Spiderman, the one that cleans up by getting rid of the bad guys.
For centuries, man has hunted the pot of gold hidden at the end of the rainbow. The wealth of theDarjeeling Hillslies in its richness of biodiversity. AtSelim Hill, when tears mix with warm sunshine and happiness, the multicoloured bridge in heaven appears. Believe me when I say you can almost touch it and climb the steps upwards if you think your work on Earth is over.
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