The other day, we were at Jungpana Tea Estate (in Darjeeling) with the tea pluckers. It was break time. The first shift had ended. The morning’s pickings had been brought, weighed and taken away to be processed. There was a pleasant lull in the air. Conversation flowed easily.

At some point, we started discussing the weather. “Last year, the rains were bad,” they said. “Not a good harvest.”

“And this year?” we asked.

“Good,” they said. “It’s been good…”

We gazed skywards. Some worry was evident on their faces. With weather, there are no guarantees any more.

Photograph by Gautam Virprashad

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