Indian tea. Chai. Available at every street corner. Well before the sun shows up. To long after he has disappeared into the Arabian sea !
It doesn’t take much to get this going. Tea powder. Loads of milk. Plenty of sugar. Traces of ginger. And voila, theres this ‘chai’ ! And as the sugar coat courses the alimentary canal, a strange energy pervades. Usually. Placebo or otherwise. That is fact.
Many have romantically described the humble tea as some kind of a ‘least common denominator’.
For everybody has tea. From the stock broker who makes a million as he twiddles his thumb and the slum dweller who makes an inconsequential sum amount after heaving his whole body and lifting inconsequential construction equipment.
Everybody has tea. From the office goer to the street side hawker. The college professor to the cop. Thugs to theologists. The player to the proctor.
The tag of ‘least common denominator’ seems to fit in perfectly.
Of course, the tea is served in the glass tumbler ! So much part of our tea drinking routine. So much so that the flavour of the tea also seems to come from the glasses that hold the tea.
Washed many times over in a day. Refilled as many times. Perhaps more ! The tea glasses are an integral part of ‘chai’ ! Adding their own twang to the tea.
But imagine. Imagine you worked in an office some distance away. Or at some obscene height in a construction site with no lifts ! Ordering tea in a glass is impractical.
Worse ( & more probable) if the vendor knows your overdue amount on the credit card and is doubtful of the return of the tea glasses…
Tea comes in a polythene bag, with plastic cups. Home delivery !
The same tea. With Tea powder. Loads of milk. Traces of ginger. Sugar coated. But in a plastic frame ! It may not have the glassy feel. Its still tea. Offered with happiness.
The next time your taste buds take to the sugar and milk like a first time MP making his first swindled million, take a moment to savour it more !
Popularity and preference sure point to tea power. Tea brings alive any discussion. On any topic. Business and recession. Life and culture. Body and fitness. Anything and anything at all.
Like the other day. An insipid discussion was in progress. About the important part plastic has begun playing in our lives. Insipid. Until the time the tea arrived. Brought from the local corner tea store.
In some time, we sipped tea. Out of a plastic cup. Poured out of a polythene bag ! You bet, there was a different ring to the discussion.
The group ranted and raved about plastic.
My mind was elsewhere though. The flavour of human ingenuity underscored the flavour the tea! Or plastic for that matter.