Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tea - her first love.

One spoon of memory, stirred well with two spoons of imagination and three spoons of  nostalgia..........

A cup of tea has always been her weakness.
Anyone can win her heart with a cup.
She loves to take the first few sips quick and hot, then the cup becomes her companion as she takes it along from room to room doing her daily chores. Few more sips. She places it on the corner table and completely forgets about it for a while.After some time she suddenly misses her cup, looks around and her face beams as she locates it. Last few sips. (yeah, cold and tasteless).
She hates to throw away a single drop of that liquid she loves!

This love has its roots in the saying, "Forbidden fruit is sweetest".
Ma did not allow her tea when she was young. Asking for it, crying for it, begging for it--nothing helped.
Ma was very strict about it. "Choto chele meyera cha khaye na (small children do not drink tea)". Full stop.
She did not lose hope. She started planning her mission, carefully looking for the loose ends in the daily home routine. There has to be a gap, somewhere...
She found one.
Ma woke up very early, went to the kitchen, made the tea , left it to brew and went to brush her teeth. She came out, sieved it, served it hot and steaming to Baba. This was really the daily routine. EVERYDAY, the same. "Mission Impossible" started. Careful monitoring of Mas routine, keeping track of the EXACT time that she spent in brushing, planning each single move of her next was not so easy but it was four whole minutes!
She woke up when Ma's alarm went off but stayed still and pretended to be asleep. As soon as the toilet door closed behind Ma, she jumped from her bed, ran to the kitchen , took a small bowl, poured out some tea, drank it steaming hot (sieving the leaves with her teeth), washed the bowl, placed it back on the utensils rack, ran back to the bed and just pretended to be asleep again. Yes, in four minutes. First few days were tense, will Ma recognize "some" thing funny?[Mothers have some super skills, as we all know ]
Gradually the confidence level went up, time management became almost perfect. She could even manage to stir in some sugar in her tea....
She did this for YEARS.....was never caught!
[Thankfully, My Ma is not a computer person and hence my blog is safe for such confessions]
The other opportunity came later. Actually, it was always there but she never recognized it as an opportunity. Back home , evening guests were quite common. Friends stopped by for a cup of tea , some snacks and some "adda (chatting)" anytime. We did not have agendas or fancy mobiles or microsoft outlooks to make appointments for simple things like a "cup of tea".
When they left, it was a custom to see them out not only till the door but till the gate (most houses had a front garden with a gate). Somehow (thankfully), even at the gate there were still some last minute topics to discuss. There were a few minutes at the gate before the final bye was said.
She grabbed this opportunity. She rushed to the living room, looked at the "almost" empty tea cups left by the guests, poured the tea from each of them into one cup and gulped it down.
I know, you all think "Uggggggghhhhh"...but she is  not ashamed at all....these memories make life worth living......
[this story is a from a  fellow tea lover]

This article is written for this month's edition of  "Of Chalks and Chopsticks" started by Aqua., this time hosted  at "".