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Flash Back December 1998

Curzon Charisma

Very little is known about the visit of Lord Curzon to the remote Dilkhoosh tea estate located on the banks of river Harak and against the hill ranges, 40 kilometres away from Silchar. The Manager’s bungalow in all its beauty and tranquillity still retains a round marble table with artistically designed teak stands. Mr. RS Khandelwal, manager of the tea estate, pointing at this table said, “It was brought from Italy for Curzon who visited the garden to see his niece, married to the owner of the estate, then held by a British Company.” Mr. Khandelwal narrated the events of the stay of the Viceroy here for a night and the dinner he had on this very table.

The manager said that the Silchar – Lakhimpur road via Phulertal, which is now a national highway, was constructed to facilitate the visit of Curzon to the garden. This visit apart, the tea estate with its two out gardens – Naraindahar and Aylnee had been in the news recently when it was under abortive siege of 20 suspected NSCN (IM) militants. Prior to that, the bungalow itself was targeted by extremists when they fired upon it even a Mr. Khandelway dismisses this as the handiwork of some miscreants. For the well – built middle – aged Khandelwal who looks after the green leaves spread over 422 acres of land with an annual turnover of 5 lakh kgs of tea now owned by the Calcutta based Barak Tea Company, business goes on as usual.