Mark Twain wrote that “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!”. I have taken you all on my journey through India and have tried to share with you the passions and the people that welcomed me to their homes for two weeks. But in the end they are only words on a screen. Because the true value of what I experienced in India is in my heart.
I am slightly at a loss for words in wrapping up this trip for you all. And for those of you that know teagirl…that’s saying a lot! So let me just say thank you. Thank you to every single planter, estate manager, superintendent for the dedication and commitment you made me feel. Thank you to every smiling tea picker that patiently showed me how to properly pluck a leaf. Thank you to every factory that allowed me to experience every step of what it takes to produce this leaf – tea.
Thank you to every small producer that is keeping the traditions alive. Thank you to estates that have been operating through generations of commitment out of a duty to their past and a duty to the future.
I saw with my eyes and felt in my bones the sincerity and pride with which I was greeted everywhere I went. I felt with my hands and tasted with my mouth, the dignity in each leaf picked and processed to make its way into my cup of tea. The Chinese and Japanese speak of Teaism and Daosim and that ‘tea is a cup of humanity’. I now understand fully that short sentence. Because humanity is what was shouting as the message for me to hear, even though it is a gentle whisper that is simply a part of the fabric of existence in this vast and beautiful country.
Thank you beautiful India. In the words of Raj, our patient driver…’this is India…and in India…anything is possible’. And he was right, anything was possible…including what teagirl expected the least…India settling in a piece of my heart.