Himalayas, Pt. I: On the Way to Darjeeling

I had never known this about the Tea, even the hints about the situation. I can easily believe it, except that they would not go to Starvation levels.

Like all slave drivers, I do suppose they keep them on subsistence level diets.

I have heard that they keep the workers ‘drugged,’ in Punjab, for instance, though I might get a lot of flak about this.

A Very good line that, wondering whether the Animals have it better. I would say that they definitely do.

Many Indian workers work like machines, for 12 hours at a stretch, for between Rs. 5,000 and 12,000.

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Vendor on Indian train

I give You the picture of a Vendor selling Water bottles, – many others sell different items, under the Same conditions, – walking at least 10 or 12 times up and down the articulated coaches from end to end. When We consider that modern Indian trains reach nearly 800 metres in length, We get an idea of the distance he covers. That, holding a near 15 kilogram weight in the crook of his arm – the weight ending up in a 8 mm rod. He has to use that towel to cushion it. It can be No fun. And at the end of the day, he averages Rs. 500 by way of ‘commission.’ This from my recent ‘holiday trip.’

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Kudos to Monica on her Excellent write-up.

Postcards from Polebridge

Getting to a place like this isn’t easy. When you look at a map of India, Sikkim is a tiny dot along the northeast edge. Bordering Nepal to the west, Tibet to the north, and Bhutan to the east, it’s the country’s second smallest state. And the least populated.

From Delhi we flew into Bagdogra, where we bit our fingernails as all the other passengers from our plane grabbed their luggage from the conveyor belt. We stood there as everything was taken except for a lone cardboard box wrapped in what must have been a mile of clear packaging tape. As the box went round and round the carousel, we wondered what to do next.

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