Where there is a Will, there is a Way
I once visited a road (not a destination) which is embedded in my memory. It was called the Achanak Marg (Sudden Roadway). So called because you spotted animals and birds suddenly and had unplanned experiences. The beauty of any journey is that it has a plan of its own, which is unknown even to the most organised and planned traveller.
There is something about a road which always tells you to continue moving. It can be a four-lane highway, a regular street, a by-lane or a hilly trail. Some whisper into your years while the others loudly urge you to move on. Like the pages of a calendar, it is always wise to turn the day, week and month. Although streams and rivers have a pre-determined destination of reaching the ocean, it is the traveller on the road that decides the point of disembarkation.
As we leave Calcutta before break of dawn, we leave behind all the familiar streets and roads. Yet, there is no regret. Only excitement like frogs that are jumping out of the well. We weave our way to the highway. Before that we must cross the bridge that connects the old and new worlds. The river flowing full force below seems to sing along – “follow the yellow brick road”.
Once on the highway, you are expected to maintain a certain speed. If you are unable to match it, you are bound to get run over. You do have the choice, however, to choose slower by-lanes. Every traveller is on a quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Some exceptions could be looking for a heart, brain, courage or enlightenment.
As I look out and watch people tilling the land diligently, I am reminded once again that before agriculture, human beings were essentially nomadic in nature. The advent of the wheel, considered by some to be the greatest invention of mankind, also advocates constant movement. A tyre puncture, a red light, a tea/toilet break are all commas and semi colons in the sentence of life. However, the story continues until the last full stop.
In Bengal, Ganga, with its many distributaries keeps visiting us. Like the many paths of life, it has so many different personas. The one thing in common is always the fluidity, the ability to adopt new forms. We leave the plains behind and enter the hushed forest land of the hills. The path is quieter and more serene. The trees stand guard revealing very little of themselves. As we climb upwards, the path gets steeper. There is a phrase on a constant loop in our hearts – “Will we, won’t we?”
At last, we arrive at the Dorje Junction or our Karmabhoomi. The path in front leads to Second Chance House – A place for rest, rejuvenation, thought and new ideas. The path on our right leads to the Gitanjali Section – As you climb up, you see the tea bushes in their glory, this is the place where leopards and King Cobras are spotted. Nature and her abundance urge you to take responsibility. The road on the left leads to the Selim Hill Heritage Tea Factory where idealism meets practicality and Dorje Teas is produced.
Borrowing from Harivanshrai Bacchan, all these roads lead to the same Madhushala which is to preserve the sanctity of Selim Hill Tea Garden.
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