Friday, July 1st, 2022 13:57:32

Rediscovering Bharat’s Bravehearts

By Uday India Bureau
Updated: July 5, 2021 7:09 am

Invisible Piper, by Deepak Rikhye, portrays an engaging narrative in which he has blended various spheres of what a tea planter experiences. However, this 212 page novel does not only confine itself to Rikhye’s biographical odyssey. In an unusual manner he has also combined tea’s fascinating history, some of which may not have been read before. This riveting book is replete with a Prologue and Epilogue and both narrations evoke an almost dramatic tale of tea thousands of years ago, to the Epilogue where Rikhye articulates a future well within the realms of possibility. After the Prologue where he presents ‘A Lunar Introduction,’ his comprehension of the relevance of the moonlight, in tea cultivation, leaves one amazed.

How did the early British planter, in Assam, endure life in those  ‘far away’ tea plantations? He relates  the incredible role of the Dakota aircraft which served as a lifeline to planters and their families, living in isolated regions of Assam’s  tea plantations.  If we tread  tea’s history, we wonder  where exactly does China fit in? How did the Chinese discover tea?  Rikhye  interacted with the cultural department in the Chinese Embassy. As a special favour, they showed him ancient paintings and manuscripts, of cultivation of tea. Rikhye asserts that “no one from the Tea Industry has ever been enlightened in this manner,  by the Chinese before.”

His engrossing story as a 2nd generation tea planter moves along and he highlights changes, from archaic machines, the century old line shaft which drove machinery, to motors we now see. Oh yes! He does not overlook the  introduction of computers, in the 1980’s, into tea estates, when paperwork and a lot of calculations with calculators, were replaced by computerization, thus saving time.  He takes his story to the final line which he ends with those heart rending words- ‘Au revoir.’

The back cover has comments by two International Scholars, from Yale and Cambridge and their thoughts tell us all about this narrative, where the title is a quote from Albert Einstein, which captures-Destiny. Indeed, Rikhye has outlined his own destiny because Einstein’s words, The Invisible Piper, has had such an inspiring impact on the author.

Mera Bharat Mahan   By:- by M.G. Vaidya

published by Prabhat Prakashan

Price: `350

pages: 154

 

By Uday India Bureau

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