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If you meet Nikesh inside a tea factory during the production season, you’ll seldom find him smiling. Tea making is a job that he takes with an intensity that contrasts his young age. At just 22, Nikesh has found a passion for tea leaves that seems to have granted him wisdom beyond his youth.
With swift movement and a spring to his step, Gurung takes several trips up and down the insides of Kanchanjangha Tea Estate and Research Center. He stops by different sections every now and then to observe the state of production and leaves a word or two for the worker to consider while handling the fresh batch. Making tea is an art and Neekesh is an artist .
It’s clear as day that Nikesh talks to the tea or rather that the tea talks to Nikesh. This secret conversation seemed to have been an inheritance from his parents. Born and raised in Fikkal, Ilam Nikesh learned to recognize tea leaves quite quickly watching his parents work the tea gardens. His first tea related task was to help his father prune the tea bushes, making it ready for the upcoming years' first flushes.
At 16, when he was only dabbling in and out of the tea world, he says he had an inkling his life would converge with tea. Today, he leads and produces almost all the tea from the 40 years old tea factory