This morning, we drove down to the Risheehat tea estate
through 14 kilometres of hills, valleys, over winding lanes –
under a clear blue sky, winds bearing scents of wild floras:
Abruptly on our car’s windshield I beheld droplets of rain.
I looked out sideward through my flank of the window pane –
dark clouds had overtaken blue spans of the sky’s landscape:
They briskly filled up every expanse in varied shades of grey –
the quantum of rain soon drenching all of our windowpanes.
We parked at the hill-entrance to the teashop lined tea estate –
that lay way below in the valley, defined by zig zag mud trails:
By the time we opened umbrellas bought at the Chowrastha,
the erratic Darjeeling rain pounded us – drenching our arms.
Appraising steep stone stairs leading to trails amid tea shrubs –
rain making the slope slushy, slippery, perhaps hard to walk:
we decided not to venture to the picturesque valley, risk a fall;
but rather sit with teacups, watch rains rinse trees and shrubs.
Over cups of Darjeeling tea, senses imbued in nature’s bounty –
we drove back on hill tracks, pouring rain enhancing its glory:
Trudging a last stretch to rooms at Kanchenjunga-View Walk,
I rushed to open front windows to grab fistfuls of magnificence.
Rains, with biting winds we braced, made us again crave for tea,
but water seemed much longer to boil, even in an electric kettle;
Awaiting to relish its warmth – I infused teabags as I glanced out:
my soul warmed instantly, with brilliance of a rainbow in the sky!
Leaving my tea cup, I hastened to gather a heartful of sunshine –
as I hadn’t seen a rainbow etched so clearly, in a fairly long time,
that stretched across the sky’s blue canvas on a backdrop of hills:
The dazzle of fresh green infused in me hope, a renewed vitality!