Is there a broom in this wretched country that doesn’t come with a solid plastic handle, and clothed disgustingly in a plastic bag? I have tried shops from the smallest villages to the metros, and this is what has replaced the good, biodegradable broom of old.
I have been trying to get the grass that these brooms are made of – tiger grass, thysanolaena latifolia. I’ve asked every person from the Northeast that I’ve ever met, pestered nurseries in Bangalore, called nurseries in far flung places from the yellow pages, stalked agriculture university people in Tezpur, and whatnot. But not a seed have I got so far.
Meanwhile, I make do with these brooms made of our local (and very vicious) grass. The women gather and dry the grass, beat off the fluff, and then tie them in bunches.
They look very interesting, like streaked, fluffy hair. But the stems are short, thin and very brittle. Non violent sweeping is recommended! I’ve also tried palmyra brooms, bought on the roadside in Jayanagar (handsome, but not long-lasting enough to tempt me), and vetiver flowers (my own brilliant idea, but a sad failure). Oh thysanolaena, come to me!