Monday, March 14, 2016

Chai

Tea comes from a plantation, plucked and tossed to add weight on a lady in her forties. It rests in the basket, bouncing only as much to create room for a little more, till the arched back turns it over for it to be spread out and dried. But not Chai. Chai is picked as a twin leaf, like personifying the bond it hopes to develop between two souls, as if its very existence depends on the joint between the two leaves, without which it would be nothing but an ingredient for a beverage, not the essence.

Tea dries itself in granules brown, vacuum packed for freshness – ironic as that may be. It gets boxed and labeled with names imperial and fonts serif, to be bought off a shelf and identified by flavor that seems more appealing to the aural senses than it does to the being it intends to soothe. But not Chai. Chai has no care for the clothing you provide. It feels warmth in the cup of a palm that slightly twists and lets it free fall in a pot of simmering water – free from the shackles of a teabag or a classification that men dressed in white may provide. It lives through its fall and livens all that it touches, like Midas – though just as selfless as the mother whose palm it was blessed to touch.

Tea soaks itself in a pot of water, away from the milk and sugar that care for separate enclosures and questions of one spoon or two. It dresses up in a platter with saucers, biscuits and pretentiousness – with an objective to be present at the discussion of the weather. But not Chai. Chai whirlpools in the water with fervor; making milk a part of its dance. It never asks for the portions of sugar, just offers with the smile that it knows. It finds itself in tumblers, leaving circles on the newspapers it accompanies. It doesn’t speak of a flavor named after a color, but lets its color speak for itself. It brings flavors from your grandmother’s kitchen and blessings for a healthy throat. It doesn’t stop at the talk of the weather, but lives through times of care, laughter and liberation.

Tea accompanies time bought at a workplace, being an accessory to the transactions it witnesses. It follows a routine from nine-to-nine, adhering to the requirement of its presence in a meeting, with biscuits untouched and ignored. But not Chai. Chai is a culture passed on to family. It is an art, the cup of joy, a necessity. It understands the midnight oil and the sunrise, through snores, hymns and chirps galore. It permeates relations and builds more through fritters in accompaniment. It brings hope to a morning and calm to dusk. It lets a raindrop dive into itself like a blessing from the sky. It accepts all that it sees with open arms. While tea witnesses, Chai understands.


4 comments:

  1. @@@@@ I love all ur posts but this one is superb ! I am an ardent lover of chai and your descriptions touch every right chord :) 'sipping some chai as I write this comment. ;)'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your first comment on the blog! Now, I'll have to believe your sincerity in flattery. Thank you :)

      Delete
  2. This post seemed as if I just had a good refreshing cup of chai. :)

    ReplyDelete

If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D