There are some things that tug at your heart strings for no known reason. It could be a long-forgotten smell or the exact and particular taste of a titbit. The kash phool in Autumn has the uncanny ability to calm you and excite you at the same time. Even in the quiet of the countryside, you can hear the drum beats and smell the dhunuchi, while the kash phool sways from side to side. The white against the green always makes me think of how it is forever young, forever old.
We like to think that no one can be more creative than man and how we have so many variations to any product that is launched. But nature is always a few steps ahead – kash phool is a type of grass. There is a such an abundance of varieties of grass, that it could probably become a study of its own.
In our lawns, we have grass that grows wild and the special English variety grass. Both must be given a haircut time and again to keep things neat and tidy. There is something about the smell of freshly cut grass which is primal in nature and always takes you to the core of your being forcing you to ask questions such as Why? How?
The tall grass that grows untamed in forests which is tall enough to hide an elephant is in fact known as elephant grass. The ingenuity of nature is that the same grass that feeds the deer, hides the tiger that is to hunt the deer. Who is the hunter? Who is the hunted? What is fair and what is unfair?
We clear forests to plant our own grass and from these paddy fields, tasty rice is procured which fills our bellies and lulls us to sleep in the afternoon. During Navratri, the kash phool is used as decoration and dhaan is used for the puja. Our culture encouraged use of natural things which were easy to procure and were bio-degradable. Maybe it is time to rethink an rewind.
Of course, the grass used to make the pandals, bamboo, is the most important grass in Darjeeling. It is the tallest and fastest growing grass which is needed from birth to death. The child’s cradle is built with it, the house that he lives in and then his last transport is also made of bamboo. It provides shade and food. The bamboo stem is used to make the flute. It fills our life with music in more ways than one.
At Second Chance House in Selim Hill, there is a bamboo grove where we have hung a hammock. I love napping in it as the bamboo hears my unsaid thoughts and whispers advice, re-assurances and solutions till I am calmed and fall asleep. Scientifically, I later realised, it is because it absorbs a high level of Carbon Dioxide and emits a high level of Oxygen. In my non-scientific mind, it translated to absorbs a high level of negativity and emits a lot of positivity.
Emulating nature, Dorje Teas has launched its Wellness Range which has a variety of teas to suit the different taste buds.
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