In this chapter, we are introduced to Rajvir and Pranjol, classmates from Delhi. Pranjol's father is the manager of a tea garden in Upper Assam, and Pranjol invites Rajvir to visit his home during the summer vacation. As they embark on their journey, they encounter a vendor selling tea on the train, highlighting the popularity of tea as a beverage worldwide.
During the train ride, Rajvir admires the beautiful scenery, overwhelmed by the lush greenery that Assam has to offer. The landscape transitions from soft green paddy fields to vast expanses of tea bushes, creating a magnificent view against the backdrop of densely wooded hills. Rajvir's excitement at spotting a tea garden is met with Pranjol's casual acknowledgement, emphasizing Assam's reputation as a tea country.
Curiosity about the origins of tea leads Rajvir to share legends. He mentions the Chinese legend of tea's discovery, involving leaves accidentally falling into boiling water and creating a delightful flavour. Rajvir also shares an Indian legend about Bodhidharma, an ancient Buddhist ascetic whose eyelids gave birth to ten tea plants that could banish sleep when their leaves were brewed.
Further conversation reveals that tea has been consumed in China since 2700 B.C., while its introduction to Europe occurred much later in the sixteenth century. Rajvir highlights that tea was initially regarded more as a medicine than a beverage in Europe. The chapter concludes as the train arrives at Mariani junction, and the boys collect their belongings to meet Pranjol's parents, who take them to Dhekiabari Tea Estate.
Upon reaching the tea estate, Rajvir demonstrates his knowledge by mentioning the second flush or sprouting period, which lasts from May to July and yields the best tea. Pranjol's father expresses surprise and acknowledges Rajvir's preparation before the visit. The chapter ends with Rajvir expressing his desire to learn more about tea during his stay in Assam.
Overall, this chapter sets the stage for Rajvir and Pranjol's exploration of Assam's tea country, showcasing the prominence of tea in the region and their growing curiosity about its history and significance.