Life... Predictably Unpredictable

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Location: Alexandria, VA, United States

Friday, December 16, 2005

Chaai - Paani

Water, Sugar, Tea leaves.... guess thats it! I guess you don't need anything more than that to make me. Of course, depending on the flavors, you can add ginger,lemon etc but for just a cuppa plain chai, thats all that is needed. I was named Tea but I prefer introducing myself as Chai (total desi you see) though...mainly cos of the thrill associated with that word. From a reader's point, i am sure you guys feel its just another drink which millions of people have on a daily basis. I am sure to most of you all its second nature. The day just doesn't start without a cup of tea. But before i go ahead, i do wana say hi to all the fans of my best pal Monsieur Coffee. I guess together we complete the morning drink for millions of folks across the world.

Life has been interesting for me. I have taken so many forms you see...I am Tea at an elegant restaurant/hotel, 'cutting' outside a local bombay railway station, chai at every second household across India. Man, its fun to take so many forms and see and touch the life of so many people. I may be priced at 2 bucks as a 'cutting' and 50 bucks as 'Tea'. But what some people don't realize is just because I am served in a cup which is made of opulent chinaware in a 5-star hotel, my value doesn't go up by that number. I still prefer bringing a smile to the face of my person who enjoys me. Its so amazing to be the morning drink for someone - The way they look forward to me, the smell emanating from the cup, wow!!! trust me me a completely different kinda high! Its something which I can just express but surely you guys can't even relate. The pleasure of making someone's morning and through him/her influencing a zillion others directly or indirectly is bliss..

I am sure everyone of you at some point of time must have had me with hot and spicy pakodas/bhajias. I remember when I was being made and served to a few people sitting in the balcony of a multi storey building in bombay, in an apartment facing the sea... i could see the tension ease off their faces. They all had different worries and thoughts which were related, unrelated, sensible, stupid, unnecessary, good,evil, productive...every type and kind. But with each sip of me and bite of pakodas blending beautifully with the cool and serene weather and the smell of wet mud acting as the perfect catalyst to the aromas of the green/spicy chutney,at that point all one can think of is..What more do I want in life!!! . I am sure you are imagining this in your mind right now...if you aren't then I suggest you try it once and it would be an experience which gets sealed in your hearts forever.

But before I end, I love to see myself as the Cutting. Especially at 8 AM outside most railway stations in Bombay, you can see everyone from a hawker to a municipal sweeper to even executives relishing me with my other best pal Mr. Vada Pav. I can see everything from movies, actors, conspiracies to business dealings being discussed with every sentence being interrupted to take a sip of me from the cup! They don't realise the tea thats going in and the way their mood is getting better because it is an involuntary action for them. But I just love the importance,attention and the fact that I am an inseperable part of their life.

Before I sign off, I remember a guy discussing with his friends as he relished his cutting and vada pav during a heavy downpour. He said, "Yaar..this is life. All I want is Chai..Vada Pav and a Ferrari!!". I don't exactly know what the last one was but am sure seeing the affection I get , Mr.Ferrari must be in the same league too. I better go now..i can see this guy opening a packet of Marie Biscuit. I am sure I know what he plans to drink with it...I guess you might have done it sometime too right???


Blogger the shiva said...

well written da...ya i remember those cuttings at the station and in fact the only thing that kept me goin in bvcoe was the cuttin every other lecture....

imagine gettin a cuttin for 2 rupees sure was a lot simpler those days....

anyway keep takin pages outta ure past and write man, makes life that much more fuller..

11:58 PM  
Blogger In verse said...

Yes dude, the khara chamach(when you put so much sugar in those small serrated glasses that it doesn't dissolve into the tea and hence the spoon can stand straight when planted into the bed of sugar)cutting chai....ahhh heavenly, heavenly... it like 3 cents or something if you convert...but even if you convert whre is that damn chai hear in this war mongering country.

You have nice way to tell simple stories, please keep blogging. This piece was real fun.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This piece was real good - i am now off to get a chai to pull me thru this sleepy period after lunch! but nothing to beat our canteen ka 2 bucks chai!

Your good friend

11:41 PM  
Blogger In verse said...

where is your blog? whay are not you posating. post something on the marine drive, do you have a good picture of marine drive?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Simba said...

hey man.sorry for the late reply. jsut been held up with a couple of things but will put up soemthign soon. great idea to discuss..marine drive!!! thanks man..take care and enjoy.


11:26 PM  

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