My right hand was in blisters and it was painful but it also hardened my hand as it healed. There is always a silver lining to whatever problem if you consciously look at it with a positive mind and many incidents like this helped inculcate in me a positive attitude .I was the eternal optimist always looking for the positive even in extremely negative situations and this has stood me in good stead during the latter part of my life.
The pruning work went without a hitch after my heroic effort. And my boss was also appreciative of my efforts. I also had fun picking up interesting shapes from the pruned branches which were polished and made interesting home decor. This made interesting and unique gifts ,shaped ny nature ,each one an original.
The next major work was pollarding. The Tea plant needs a bit of shade and the best shade
tree for tea was found to be the Silver Oak .Grevillia Robusta in botanical terms. This tree has leaves which are serrated and therefore gives filtered sunlight to the tea bushes below. The underside of the leaves is silver colored and this is very visible at nights when light from a car headlight shines on it. The tree is a native of Australia.
Just before the monsoons these trees are regulated to regulate its growth and shade. This is also done as if the shade is thick the fog tends to settle in such areas giving rise to the disease called blister blight.
And so we choose workers who are expert tree climbers to climb these trees and cut off or lop off the branches. The tree trunk is quite slippery with the initial monsoon showers and its quite common for workers to fall and fracture their hand , in spite of taking all precautions.
So what do they do? They make a paste of the common weed in tea plantations , Lantana Camara and they plaster the hand with this paste and tie it up with banana sheaths and the banana Strands and believe it or not .The guy is back climbing the tree within a week. I was pretty fascinated with this native way of treating fractures but when it is so effective ,why not?
The cut branches are taken to the factory for firewood and the leaves go back to the earth as mulch and fertilizes the soil which is natures way of recycling.
I belonged to the Nadar ,traditional palmarah tree climbing community .
I found tree climbing came naturally to me!