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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Mamata Banerjee visits Makaibari tea garden in Kurseong, interacts with women workers

Draped in the traditional Nepali dress chaubandi-choli, she tried her hand at a new art — deftly picking just two leaves and a bud, which is a prerequisite for preparing the world-famous tea

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 08.12.23, 06:20 AM
Draped in traditional Nepali dress “chaubandi-choli” and carrying a “doko” (bamboo basket), chief minister Mamata Banerjee joined workers at the Makaibari tea estate in Kurseong on Thursday. The chief minister tried to perfect a new art — how to deftly pluck two leaves and a bud, the first step in the preparation of the world-famous Darjeeling brew. Mamata chatted with a team of 15-odd women pluckers. “May your family stay well, may the tea garden and the hills stay well,” she said. Mamata clapped as those assembled at the plantation sang a Nepali song. A group of local dancers performed traditional dances, following which the chief minister distributed woolens among them and other locals.

Draped in traditional Nepali dress “chaubandi-choli” and carrying a “doko” (bamboo basket), chief minister Mamata Banerjee joined workers at the Makaibari tea estate in Kurseong on Thursday. The chief minister tried to perfect a new art — how to deftly pluck two leaves and a bud, the first step in the preparation of the world-famous Darjeeling brew. Mamata chatted with a team of 15-odd women pluckers. “May your family stay well, may the tea garden and the hills stay well,” she said. Mamata clapped as those assembled at the plantation sang a Nepali song. A group of local dancers performed traditional dances, following which the chief minister distributed woolens among them and other locals. The Telegraph

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee spent her day in the world-famous Makaibari tea garden in Kurseong on Thursday, interacting with women workers and wishing their families well.

Draped in the traditional Nepali dress chaubandi-choli, she tried her hand at a new art — deftly picking just two leaves and a bud, which is a prerequisite for preparing the world-famous tea.

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The quality of Darjeeling Tea depends on the fineness of picking, a skill that has been mastered by the predominantly women workers.

Surrounded by a group of 15 women workers, Mamata carried a doko (bamboo basket) and meticulously picked the two-leaves-and-a-bud.

“May your family stay well, may the tea garden and the hills stay well,” Mamata said, trying to connect with the workers. The chief minister has always tried to connect with the local population and had in the past tried a hand at momo-making during her visit to Darjeeling.

In Makaibari, the women started singing the famous Nepali song, chiyabari ma (in the tea garden), with Mamata joining them with rhythmic clapping.

The song has always touched the hill people. Veteran musician Ranjit Gazmer, who was closely associated with R.D. Burman in Bollywood, had composed this song for Lahure (Soldier) in 1989.

The chief minister is in Kurseong to attend a family event. She is staying in the Makaibari tea garden. Many believe Mamata is going all out to consolidate her base in the tea belt of north Bengal, where the BJP won seven out of eight seats in 2019.

Darjeeling BJP MP Raju Bista said: “Mamata Banerjee today played a typical tourist in the hills and pretended to pluck tea leaves.... No one in the hills is amused, especially tea garden workers.”

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