Pransu Raj Kaushik

Below are listed the stoties Pransu has written Please click on the story you wish to read

Motivational Challenge

The Herbalist

Life is Beautiful

Tea Tasting

If the Tea Bush smiles

The case of the missing Dinner

A Humble Salute

The Garden Shows


Sunday 23 February 2014

Motivational Challenge

Herewith interesting and challenging idea from Pransu Raj Kaushik

We're starting a collective, constructive, and hopefully uplifting exchange. It's a one-time thing and we hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would be faithful, and make it fun. Please send an encouraging quote or verse to the person whose name is in position

1    below (even if you don't know him or her). It should be a favorite text verse/motivational poem/prayer/meditation that has lifted you when you were experiencing challenging times.
Don't agonize over it--it is one you reach for when you need it or the one that you always turn to.

After you've sent the short poem/verse/meditation/quote/etc. to the person in position 1, and only that person, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1. and put your
name in position 2. Only my name and your name should show when you email.
Send to 10 friends
BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this in five days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating. It's fun to see where they come from. Seldom does anyone drop out because we  all need new ideas and inspiration. The turnaround is fast, as there are only two names on the list, and you only have to do it once.

1. Sima Kejriwal Singhania 

2. Pransu Raj Kaushik

January 3 2014

The Herbalist

The title might have hopefully been able to draw your kind attention. Today I am penning about a living legend of Assam, or rather India, who has carried on with his mission to fight many common as well as life threatening ailments by the application of herbal medicines. Not only this, he is instrumental in systematizing and recording many traditional medicinal concoctions in a detailed manner through his life-long research. Recently been voted the most influential Assamese in the year 2013 in a poll conducted by a satellite channel DY365, his birthday on March 22 is celebrated as Medicinal Herb Day by the people of Assam.


Dr. Gunaram Khanikar was born in the district of Golaghat in the year 1949. His tryst with herbal medicine began when being injured while fishing in a village pond; he began to bleed profusely as a result. His mother then prepared some concoction from a readily available kosu thoor (Taro stem) to stop the bleeding. And as they say, he has been hitched since then.


Awarded with the National Innovation Foundation award, for his pioneering work in the development of  medicines for treating and curing diabetes,  he is an individual who is out an out a social oligarch, not a financial one. One can find almost every medicinal herb, numbering around a thousand varieties, that is common to Assam in his herbal garden. His pioneering work can be better exemplified by the case of a housewife from Guwahati who was given only 6 months to live by doctors at two premier cancer institutes of India. Losing all hope, she was brought to the herbalist by her brother, a citizen of the US. It has been a miraculous journey for the lady since then as even after more than twelve healthy and cancer free years, she is a happy soul. It is indeed awe inspiring to find that people from all strata of society- be it even conventional medical professionals- flocking to his refuge for seeking treatments against many hitherto incurable and persistent diseases. My father, as I had mentioned in my earlier article, has been suffering from lung cancer, and is rather not fit to undergo any more conventional anti cancer treatments like chemo or radiation. Since then, he has been taking the good doctor’s medicines and is leading a dignified life. I cannot vouch that he is cancer free as, imagery review of his tumors has not been undertaken as yet. But at-least he is free from the punishing after-effects of chemotherapy or radiation.


When I called him up to ask his permission to pen this article, he was kind enough in allowing me to put his mobile phone number in this page for any interested individual to contact and consult him. It may also be worth mentioning here that he exports his medicines to more than ten countries in the world, and is a complete anti ‘exaggerated profit’ activist. Unmarried and still going strong at around 65 years of age, he runs a foundation in his name and Regional Research and Training Centre on Indian Traditional Treatment and is either associated with or leads many other voluntary organizations as well. If one needs more information about him, one can do so by searching him on Google. How better can one sum up the individual, but by analyzing about the fact that he has refused millions in exchange for selling his formulations to various business powerhouses.


Readers can contact him at his mobile number: 09435191200. Please do excuse his habit of keeping the phone down in a jiffy; he is a rather busy individual.


Pransu Raj Kaushik.



November 20 2013

Life is beautiful…..

It has become almost a daily affair of finding the news of someone committing suicide when I go through the papers every morning. The sad part is that most of the victims are young people who commit the outrageous act for matters as trivial as not being allowed to watch a movie, or receiving a percent less in any of their academic tests. It really is a sad tale. I am at a loss to fathom as to why they do not love life... the precious gift that god has given us, it becomes more difficult for me when I see my father, all of seventy two years fighting like Alexander to live life to the fullest. His story being made difficult by cancer. But he keeps going on with a smile on his lips. My own life has been a constant struggle with fractures, surgeries and what not. But I love the fight…the adrenaline rush. Going through the most difficult time of my life in the year 2007 when just after completion of my MBA and armed with placement in a reputed bank I had little inkling of what was in store for me when a freak gym accident left me with broken vertebrae. A life saving sixteen hour long surgery by a great neurosurgeon Dr. Sajjan Sarma, back from the US, helped save my mobility and life. But, the recovery period was too long. Only god knows how I had to struggle mentally and physically for the next two years to regain strength and confidence. I will write about it later. Again just a week back I underwent another surgery for gallbladder stone removal very expertly done by an ex TATA surgeon Rupjyoti Datta, well trained in Europe and Singapore. It was good to be operated upon by a tea related physician! His father in law Mr. Kakkar was an engineer with Warrens at their erstwhile property at Mohanbari (Dibrugarh). The most important part is that I always like the feel of peace that follows a storm- after I have suffered any physical trauma. Depression did try to creep in when I was unable to move my left lower limb after spinal surgery. But I refused to give refuge to it. The most important part is that I loved my life too much to just let it be filled with tears and jerks. Even when my fiancé asked me about how much I loved her… to her possible annoyance I mentioned that I loved my life more than anyone else. So, love life, live life and enjoy it more like you would when having a  glass of vintage wine.


Pransu Raj Kaushik

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May 15 2012  

Tea Tasting

"Pransu, are you interested in tea tasting?"--- These words sounded like manna to my ears when my boss enquired if I was interested in the prestigious trade of being a trained tea taster. Yes sir, very much interested"--- was my answer to his query. So, off I went to a reputed tea broking house (name not mentioned on request of anonymity), with another executive to delve into the world of "bold, brisk, bright, cues, blooms" and hell of a lot new terminologies associated with this field.

With a dress as formal as I could lay my hands on, I along with my colleague went to the office of the broking house to kick-start our D-day. On reaching there, we got ourselves introduced to the senior executive, who in turn introduced us with the head of the Office (again, no names will be mentioned on request of anonymity), who was well built in physique and possessed a strong and firm personality--- his handshake and piercing look said it so. Next, we were taken to the general manager's office, whose demeanor too, commanded respect. Starting with an introductory advice, the general manager shared with us novices, a lot of important wisdom that would eventually help us to be good tasters.

Taking our first tentative steps into the tasting room, we saw an array of tasting cups being laid on a long table, along with the tea leaves and the infusions, in proper order. A motley group of tea boys and helpers were busy with what seemed to our inexperienced eyes, awe inspiring. Putting on his apron and prodding the tasting clerk into readiness, the general manager, who had years and years of experience behind him, asked us to follow each of his steps minutely and replicate the same. Spreading a handful of dry tea leaves on a white cardboard, he started his process of tasting. After having an intricate look at the leaves, he then pressed the infusions laid out and finally, after taking a look at the liquor, he took a sip of the same with a slurping sound, swirled it inside his mouth and then spate it out on the spittoon.  Then he rated the details as per his findings. We repeated the same process after him, without getting a clue as to what we were doing. The same processes were repeated by the other tasters as well during the later sessions. After getting ourselves acclimatized, and sensitizing our taste buds and olfactory nerve during the following days, we were slowly able to understand and get a feel of the subtle tastes that emanates from the brewed tea. What I noticed was that different tasters had their own unique style of tasting and mannerisms while doing so. For example, the head of the broking house, was a faster taster, with a faster temper and a "I don't care a s..t" attitude. "The more you f.....g taste, the more you f......g learn"! Jolted, into deep attention, I remained ever alert after this verbal bombardment. What a stylish character he was!

The three weeks that we spent there, transformed us not only into wannabe tasters but, helped us develop a good attention level as well. I will write about other aspects of the Tasting genre in future articles. I will always be indebted to the revered tasters and even the tasting room clerks and tea boys for letting us to be part of a wonderful and life changing experience. A big thank you to them and a grand salute for choosing to be anonymous in this era of publicity mongering.

Pransu Raj Kaushik

Damayanti Tea Industries.

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March 25 2012


If The Tea Bush Smiles.............

Tea is perhaps the only profession, rather a passion, which demands some sort of military discipline from its employees, especially the executives. It is almost a norm to regard the Burra Sahib (The Manager) as the Mai-Baap or sole leader of the property, a father-figure, who not only leads in the professional arena, but also acts as an enforcer of discipline in the social lives of the employees under him as well. In the pleasant days gone by, the young assistants looked up to the Manager and the Burra Memsahibs for emotional succor as well. This is the reason why, the bonds that are created in tea lasts a lifetime, sometimes transcending the relations and creating newer bonds among the wards of planters as well.

I will write about the social and professional set-up existing in tea some other day.  Today, I want to pen my thoughts about an important role, often looked-over, played by the Burra Sahibs, the role of advising the newer lots with practical sermons. No planter, I am sure, will ever deny the contribution of a Manager, towards the "imbibing" of tea dastoor (culture or mannerisms), in him during his initiation years in tea life. Different Managers had different ways of communicating their thought processes, but the sole objective of the individual was almost always to help out the newer lots in their journey into ‘tea'.

"You gave a great speech that day (interview-day), now it's the time for damn action", ---- introductory advice from the top boss, the ex-Whole Time Director of Apeejay (Assam Frontier) Group, Mr. P.K. Nanda, when I sheepishly went inside his cabin at Talap Tea Estate to collect my appointment letter. Can you expect such "I want no bullshit" attitude in any other field? I really doubt.

 "Don't drink too much, you b----r", "remember to greet the ladies", "don't you dare show disrespect to anyone"-----these were some of the sermons I got from my first Manager at Hokonguri Tea Estate, Mr. Pradeep Kakati, who looks almost like any ‘Bollywood' hero, but, had a mind of his own when ruffled, on my first night-out at the Heeleakah Tea Estate club. To be honest, I blundered on my first night- introduced myself to almost all, except the Manager's wife, my Burra Memsahib! A great blunder indeed. Readers can very well imagine what happened to me on the next Kamjari day.  It is another matter that I apologized to my Manager and also conveyed the same to his wife as well and got a bonus in the form of one of the loveliest dinner that one could ever imagine to have! By the way, of all the vehicles, I took one big ambulance to the Manager's bungalow, to attend to the dinner, shocking the wits out of everyone! (Will write about this later).

These pieces stood me in good stead- disliked by me at that time, but now, I treasure those in carrying forward my professional obligations. But, the most important piece of advice that I received was when my Manager said, "Kaushik, if the tea bush smiles, you will smile"! ------ What an iconic statement, in a single sentence many things were interpreted, and I believe that all professionals associated with this lovely industry should follow this ‘thought' as it really is a fact that the happiness and growth of each and every individual - right from the top boss to the laborers, depends on the "happiness and growth" of the tea bush!

Pransu Raj Kaushik

Damayanti Tea Industries.

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 March 1 2012


The Case of the Missing "Dinner"


After joining Hokonguri Tea Estate as a Welfare Officer (Trainee), I was allotted a residence space in a very old, but beautiful bungalow, which was known in the records as Bungalow No. 18. I was to share the same with the Garden Assistant, Mr. P. Das. Though an engineer by qualification, he was able to make a niche for himself in a very short period of time, as a pretty good manufacturer of the green gold.

Today I am going to tell about an incident involving Mangal, the night baburchi (cook) cum chowkidaar. Mr. Das, after a hard day's work loved to enjoy his drinks pretty strong and in the end as a result, sometimes became a bit tizzy. I being a teetotaler, used to sometimes sit with him discussing about the many interesting philosophies that he had to offer. But, must admit here that, I generally would sneak out when he was not in his proper senses and have my dinner and then go to bed on the sly. Mangal used to carry Mr. Das's dinner to his bedroom as per prior instruction and wait on him.

Almost every morning Mr. Das would wake up pretty early and suffer from pangs of extreme hunger. A bit lost for an explanation for such feelings, he used to ask Mangal and sometimes me as well, as to whether he had his dinner the previous evening or not. Feeling guilty for not having cared to wait and see if indeed he had his dinner, I must admit here that I without proper confirmation said that he did have his food and that I was a witness to him eating a hearty supper. As for Mangal, he vehemently stated that he himself waited on him the whole evening until Chota Sahib i.e., Mr. Das not only had his dinner but also had praised him for cooking a good platter indeed.

Flummoxed at such earnest declarations from both of us, Mr. Das had a hearty breakfast and carried on for the day. I, for once, was a bit doubtful as to the explanations of Mangal and to redeem myself of my guilt and faults; I decided to spy on him one evening.

On D Day, as usual, after Mr. Das was caught in the quagmire of his pegs too many, I had my dinner on the sly, went to my bedroom on the ground-floor and pretended going to sleep.

After about an hour or so, I stealthily walked up the connecting stairs till I reached the bedroom door of Mr. Das. Slowly pushing the door open, I saw the great cook Mangal eating away from the finest dinner plates, and washing down the food with a glass of leftover ‘hard drink'! What a way to serve his much beloved Chota Sahib!

What followed next is not what you learned readers are expecting. No, I did not scold Mangal, I could not. This was because he was also witness to my lies to The Chota Sahib as well. But I did warn him and made it a point from that day onwards that dinner indeed was served and also made sure that Mr. Das had his dinner, however frugal it was.

Pransu Raj kaushik

HR cum PR Officer,

Damayanti Tea Industries.

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January 24 2012

A Humble Salute to the

Grand Koi Hais of Yore!


As I sit here in my office cubicle at Damayanti Tea Industries, going through the ‘fairy-tale like' postings of senior ex-planters like Mr. Roy Church, Mr. Ali Zaman, Mr. Phil Bayley etc., my heart and mind is filled with awe and admiration for the way they led their lives in grand old style, experiencing the best of lives that tea has to offer-working hard, partying hard, playing hard and God knows what not! My thoughts are also coated with a tinge of admired jealousy, lamenting about those beautiful days, made superlative by the beautiful people who lived those days. Tea still attracts the best in business; it retains the one who believes in the fact that tea is not only a profession but a passion, and a way of life. But sadly, the days of the past can never be experienced again. I am a dreamer, and my dreams are given a direction and a channel by the postings of the many senior planters in this beautiful site.

Almost every day, sparing a moment of free time out of my work schedule, I make it a point to go through the website, to relax my clogged mind and for a moment, transform myself to the ‘60s and ‘70s, going on duck shoots with Roy Church, fishing with the late Smudge watching the late Joe Lys playing with his false eye and what not! The photographs posted act as an icing on the cake. I watch those, not see them! What were they thinking at that time, what games were they playing, what were they talking, what were they eating or drinking, the grass on the soles of their shoes, the smell of sweat on their bodies after a hard, and well fought game.  Ah! It drives me crazy with emotions, with excitement. Why did I not walk the Earth during those golden times? Why wasn't I born then?

At any moment I am ready to trade my modern gadgets, my days at the ultra modern factory, for the muddy roads, for the pony I could only think about, the camaraderie and friendly banter at the clubs, the adventures, the smell of charcoal at the factory, the list goes on.......   But that is a myth which I know will never come true. Pinching my way back to reality, I am atleast proud to be associated with this lovely industry-the grand old industry of tea, and trying my best in whatever little way I can to carry forward the legacy of the Grand Koi Hais of Yore! My humble Salute to You All "For Making Our Nostalgias Beautiful" & For "All Your Sacrifices and Courage". Thanks hon'ble Koi Hais!

You all were the real Pathbreakers!!

"Mera Saalaam"!! (My Salute).

Pransu Raj Kaushik

Damayanti Tea Industries,


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Thanks to Pransu Raj Kaushik  we have a verbal picture of the arrival
of the 'movie' shows on a Tea Garden with descriptions of the garden
employees attitudes and enjoyment and in some cases involvement

 January 18 2012 

The Garden Shows


One unique feature of tea life in the recent past was the garden-shows which were organized for the labourers in most of the plantations. The rising law and order problems in the state of Assam in the 90's led to the decline of such shows and at present it is almost nil.

The organization of the garden shows was a very unique recreational activity devised by the planters of yore to enable the labourers to relax and have something for their entertainment. I still remember watching slyly from my bedroom window at the passing projector van alongwith kids of all hues and sizes shouting and whistling along, "Cinema Gari Aai Gele"! meaning, (The cinema van has arrived), at the arrival of the projector van (mostly of Ford make). The van itself was quite unique- almost all wore a greenish-grey tinge and emanating a gurgling sound from the engine. It really was a fine nostalgic picture.

The whole garden wore a festive look on that day. The womenfolk doing their cooking quickly, the men attending to their chores with an unusual spirit, almost all discussing with excitement about what the movie would be like, who the actors and actresses were and so on and so forth. In the meantime, the projector van driver, who almost always performed the multiple roles of the driver, projectionist, electrician etc., with a little help from his ruffian helper (if the driver was lucky enough to hire some), quickly put out the screen in the middle of the garden playground, with bamboo poles holding the screen to its place. The garden vagrants chewing their characteristic tobacco mixture loitered around the van and the screen with a look of awe on their faces. The driver quickly having prepared his evening meal on a kerosene stove inside the van itself, readied himself for the evening show. One or two chanawallahs (people who sold snacks made from chanas or mixtures of various grams and lentils), set up shop waiting in eagerness to earn a few bucks.

As darkness engulfed the horizon, the labourers began their great journey to the open air theatre, carrying along jute sacks, piras (flat wooden stools), their pouch of tobacco-lime mixture and some even carrying their cooked food along to eat at the open fields itself. The commotion was grand- labourers even from other gardens and non garden local people also flocked to the free display of the movies. "Cinema chaloo Kor", (start the cinema), shouts like this resounded the whole atmosphere, prodding, sometimes even threatening the driver to get on with the show. As soon as the movie reflected on the white unsteady screen, shrill yihoos and yahoos, with garden slangs echoed the whole playground. What an atmosphere!

Nobody knew who was sitting with whom, whose wife was making out with whom, who was having a drunken binge, all in the same arena. It seemed like a place of one for all and all for one. Chaotic, but enjoyable to the hilt for the ‘players'!

So, engrossed did they become in the movie that whenever there was a fight between the goons and the hero in the movie, almost all the audience used to shout, "Maar d_ _ _ _ ta ke maar"! (Hit that bastard). In the excitement, sometimes fights even broke out between long rivals in the field itself. Such was the inspiration! When the movie reels sometimes broke in the middle, it was a scene in itself, with the hapless projectionist, frightened to the bones at the tremendous swearing and scolding from hundreds of men, women and children trying hard to repair the reels and get on with the show.

Finally, when the movie ended, the huge gathering began their journey back home to the line, with all their carryings, ruminating what they just saw on the screen and preparing for another day ahead in the tea gardens.

Pransu Raj Kaushik     

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