New Delhi: Tea has become our lifeline, isn’t it? Whether we know or don’t know, it has become a very important part of our lives. Anything, literally anything can happen over a cup of tea in India. Be it serious business discussions, family chat, or even important family gatherings, nothing is complete without a cup of tea. Even marriages are fixed over tea. Who can forget that famous Bollywood song – Shayad Meri Shadi Ka Khayal Aaya Hai Isi Liye Mummy Ne Meri Tumhe Chai Pe Bulaya Hai. We all know this famous song.
Tea also transgresses through the rural-urban divide in India. It is the hot favourite of almost everyone in India. From roadside ‘tapri’ as we say it to the five star hotels, teas can be found everywhere. Although there has been a lot of hot beverage options available in market these days, but nothing can replace the charm of tea. People love to sip that cup of tea no matter what.
The superstar beverage is also favourite among people through all seasons. However, its importance just amplifies in the rainy season. I would like to recall one of my memories. When I was in college, I went to Bushi Dam in Lonavla on a dark rainy day. The water was flowing in great force through the dam. But we friends tied our hands together and climbed the big stairs while water was flowing at great speed through our legs.
It was a thrilling experience. As we reached to the top and were still finding our breath, there was this voice coming from near – Chai Chai. We were in the middle of water but the thought of having a tea sounded a good option. We immediately asked for tea. We had it while shivering a little as there was water everywhere. On top of it, ‘kanda bhaji’ (Pyaaz Pakora) was also selling there. We complimented the tea with kanda bhaji and relished the amazing setting. That was an amazing experience that I remember till day.
Tea also used to be a big reason for a break from studies. It was so during the days and the nights both. The nights used to be incomplete with tea. Whenever, we would feel like it is getting overwhelming and needed a break, we would just hop on our bikes and rode towards the city railway station in Pune to get a cup of tea. There was also a famous tea seller there. His tea was very delicious. It used to be sweet and made with some spices. Life changed and one thing that remained constant all throughout was tea.
There is also something about the tea that people also like to judge about the quality of tea too often. You can often find people saying, “Let’s go to that Tapri, wahan achhi chai milti hai.” Whenever we hear this thing, more often than not we tend to completely agree and never mind extra walk to get that good tea. It is almost common throughout the India. There are also tea sellers who put their heart and soul in making a tasty tea.
The tea stalls in the vicinity are also one of the great spots to gather and discuss everything ranging from politics, cricket, business, neighbours and literally everything under the sun. The morning tea at such stalls tend to get into a debateful morning. People also like to carry newspapers to such stalls. Incidentally, the tea stalls can be found near offices, colleges, hospitals and everywhere. You travel in Indian Railways, and you will hear the sounds of ‘Chai Chai, Garam Chai’ way too often all throughout your journey. That is how tea has been deeply rooted in our culture.
However, even if almost everyone find a consensus on the magical ability of teas for refreshment, but there are still people who find this beverage as highly addictive. In my native place, you can also spot people taking pride while saying that their sons/daughters don’t drink tea. Hamara Ladka To Chai Bhi Nahi Pita – this is what parents would often say to put their kids in high regards. People would also ask – Jayada Chai To Nahi Peete – whenever anyone would complain about acidity. It is true while we like this beverage a lot, there should also be some restraints in having tea through the day.
However, don’t stop and make your favourite guilt-free tea on this International Tea Day (May 21) and enjoy the refreshment on the day. We wish you a Happy International Tea Day in advance!!