Today, I'm quoting from my own blog. There are two paragraphs from 'The Dooars: A World' below.
1.The Dooars is a world that abounds in natural beauty, with its forests, rivers and mountains. There are more than two hundred tea gardens here. We call them gardens and not estates. It makes the place sound idyllic, maybe like a Garden of Eden, and in some respects that isn’t too far off the mark. Many people who have seen the Dooars have described it as Paradise.
2.North Bengal began to grow into the multi ethnic region it has become today. Most people speak Hindi, Bengali, Nepalese and three or four aadivasi dialects like Oraon, Munda and Saadri with ease. For non linguists, it is enough to know Hindi. Anyone from any part of India can come here to live and soon start feeling at home. The provision shop in the town nearby will start supplying him with a magazine in his language and some foodstuff or other which is a specialty of his region!
There are two truths here about the Dooars. It is a place of great natural beauty, and it is a place of ethnic diversity. I didn’t mention how all the different communities lived together harmoniously when I wrote the above piece. It was a given, it was the way we were.
I'm not pretending that life as a tea planter's wife has been idyllic. There's loneliness, the lack of intelligent occupation, and no chance to build a career. Sometimes they are enough to crush the spirit.
The dangers in this world range from snakes, elephants, storms and floods to highway dacoity, labour agitations, and sometimes physical assaults on tea garden executives. These are the hazards we live with. They may be slightly unfamiliar to city people, who live with an entirely different set of problems and dangers. This is a kind of jungle, while the city, maybe, is another.
This blog has never been a place where I write about our problems, but today, things are different. We are all watching and listening as violence rages between two ethnic groups all over the Dooars. The Dooars was inclusive and welcoming. We used to call it a ‘Mini India’ very proudly. We have caught up with the rest of India. Our small towns have Section 144 imposed on them, and the names Banarhat, Birpara, Mal Bazaar and Nagrakata have made headlines. For all the wrong reasons.