Tea has travelled a journey of several centuries, taking different forms, used as a drink of aristocracy rights, as a medicinal herb, for divination and more until today it is a vital beverage found in every household in almost every part of the world- Whether it is Taj Mahal, Brooke Bond, Wagh Bakri, the sought after Darjeeling tea or the variety of green teas, strange flowering teas (not tea according to me) or classy Earl Greys, they all have some magic to them.
It is said that a cup of tea fixes everything. Well, almost everything. You’ve got to fix that broken vase yourself though! Chai is an emotion, they say- an inexplicable emotion that you feel and experience. I have a sauce pan that I prepare tea in. It is pretty old with a shaky handle but it is the best for my chai. When the water starts to boil, I add in the tea leaves giving out an earthy aromatic fragrance. Sometimes a sprig of lemon grass, tulsi, some chai masala or ground cloves and cardamom are thrown in too. The flavours blend and turn into a swirling orange colour once a dash of milk is added. I then sit to relish each sip, the warmth of joy down my throat.
Chai adds beauty to mundane everyday things- be it relaxing on the patio jhula (swing) while you watch birds or that brief break you take from work, stepping away from the laptop screen. After a long day out, we are always home in time for chai, because anytime can be chai time, right? A cup of steaming chai washes down the day’s stress. When I spent one and a half year in a hospital for my treatment, I only had a trusty electric kettle I made chai in. It wasn’t as great as the chai at home, but chalta hai. It was still chai.
Recently I’ve been thinking about how chai brings people together. Chai and maggi are a student’s precious. During exams, or sleepovers in a hostel room they steal the show. Parle-G and chai bring a wave of nostalgia nobody can deny! Cutting chai on a rainy day in that little glass chai cup is like a comforting cardigan in the icy cold weather. Chai is a perfect conversation starter with your neighbour. One ‘Chai piyoge?’ leads to everyday balcony chit chats and sharing stories. People bloom over a cup of chai. Offering them ek cup chai brings a twinkle in their eyes. You get to know them better. Call them mundane conversations, but they are little sprinkles of bliss on a regular day.
From ‘beta make chai’ to a bunch of guests drowning in laughter as tea cups tinkle or muma reassuring that her chai will make everything alright, ek cup chai always comes with a slice of life.
This post is part of Blogchatter Half Marathon