With every warm breeze that blew gently, the leaves from the banana plant fluttered gracefully. Eyes closed and reclining on the bay window, I kept my ears open to the musical show in the garden. Blending in with the occasional chirping of a bird, it was a perfect afternoon view. On the table near the window my half-finished painting and a book I had been reading lay. Painting or reading by that window, while I listened to the calm flutter of the leaves was another experience altogether. Every time I lifted my head from the book or took a pause from the depths of swirling colours I would gaze at that picture perfect rectangular view.
It was almost as if I was looking out into a different world, where everything moved in some magical symphony, something that was an epitome of simplicity yet extremely hard to truly capture.
I broke out of my reverie and looked at the time. It was almost 4. I brought a kettle of water to a boil and added tea leaves. The water turned red and brown, flooding the kitchen with the aroma of chai. Crushing cardamoms, cloves and a sprig of lemon grass, right from the kitchen window, I threw them into the mix, and the gorgeous alchemy of flavours set in. My eyes were fixated on the window, because I knew she would be here soon and we’d enjoy a cup of chai as she told me all about her day and me about mine. There would always be a spread of something savoury and something sweet to go with our chai, of course. I got the tea table by the bay window ready with the delicacies, completing the setup of our little everyday ritual as the chai continued to boil. Just when I added in the milk, I heard the gate in the backyard creak open and footsteps down the path.
“Hey I smell chai.”
Pushing open the door with a big smile, she said.
“Always on time!”
We settled down at the bay window cradling in our palms the white porcelain cups of chai like we had all these years.
The banana leaves continued to flutter, sending in warm summer air to touch our faces amidst those afternoon nothings.
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(Inspired by how much me and my sister enjoyed our tea parties every evening)