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These are stories, snippets from the day to day life of tea and coffee planters. They are mainly my stories – I spent thirty three years serving in tea and coffee plantations in India and Papua New Guinea: from 1959 to 1992.
I say mainly my stories because I have also included amusing stories told at the bar in tea clubs, usually late at night, with slurred words, halting speech, and good humor – a close and genial time when the true character of a tale is revealed.
Planters lived a simple life and so the stories are simple and from the heart. They lived a hard life which too is revealed in the telling. They made their own entertainment – cut off and living in far flung estates in large plantation bungalows staffed with a retinue of servants – no TVs only radios with weak signals over-laden with static; they entertained and kept sane by visiting, partying, and dancing. “Some nights I rode to the club,” said Ome Anand, “the advantage being that if I got too sozzled I lay on the neck of my horse that unerringly, got me home.” Furtive, short, love affairs blossomed here and there – with a ground swell of well healed, healthy, young bachelors, it was only but inevitable.

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