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An elephant kissed my window: and other stories from the tea plantations of South India Paperback
This book is based largely in the Nilgiris, and is a collection of anecdotes and historical information about our blue hills, in particular the tea plantations amongst which we grew up.
Along with stories from M Ravindran, a tea planter in South India from 1969 to 2001, we were very lucky to get exceptional contributions from a range of people, including some of the British planters of the 1950s and 1960s. One of the precious pieces in the book is an excerpt from the diary of Edward Lear when he visited the Nilgiris and this was sent to me by Paran Balakrishnan (Nilgiri, 1969). (Did you know that Edward Lear was an artist? I didn’t! Some of the gorgeous silhouette icons at the end of the chapters are by him… while a few are by me ) the book also has interesting archival information about how the tea plantations came up, their ownership patterns and what life was like on them. One of the pieces is from Senthil Chengalvarayan (Aravalli, 1981) about his dad who was a planter, like mine, and about the kind of life we led back then.