thinkALONG! 20 September

A TUESDAY FEATURE

host: Muskaan Ahuja


“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you.”


— William Ewart Gladstone



"Chai (tea) is like a greeting to life. Every time you want to feel alive, you say chai. Chai is perhaps the only beverage that can go with anything, anytime. We have a morning chai, a pre-noon chai, noon-chai, afternoon chai, chai in rains, evening chai with snacks, just-after-office-chai, midnight-chai, no-sleep chai.


You would remember immersing a stack of biscuits in the chai, talking, forgetting about it and how chai gobbled it up in its deep recesses, never to be retrieved again. I remember how religiously my day began with chai and Parle Gs as a child, so much so that now my teeth are the color of chai.


The uses are deeply entrenched in our culture. When prospective in-laws come to see the bride, the patriarchal medium of introduction is chai served on a tray. If the bride and groom like each other, it’s the tea that is used to deepen the colour mehndi that she’d put on her hands. It’s the drink for the guests to turn into family-members, for friends to unwind and feel at home. For the family, it’s a daily ritual—as frequent, if not more, than prayers."



Before I go and get a cup of chai for myself, I urge you to share your experiences, memories associated with chai. I am certain you have a lot more in store!!

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