As kids we were strictly told not to touch tea. It was the drink meant only for adults! The only drink we could have was milk, and on certain special occasions, home made soda pops! As we grew older, we were permitted to have it (‘tasting ‘ would be more apt word to describe it). So we were given those small ceramic cups, filled to just half. And as one can imagine, it only helped in getting us more addicted to this wonderful drink which tasted comfort and warmth.
Another memory that I have of tea is preparing it as soon as we heard the factory siren go off at 5:00 pm every day. Our colony was right next to the factory where my parents worked, and it took them exactly 10 minutes to reach home. So at 5:00pm every day, me and my sister would rush to put the pot of water on stove, allow it to boil, add cardamom and ginger, boil it a little more, then add sugar, tea leaves and milk. As soon as they rang the bell, we would make sure that the tea and snacks were all presented and served to them. The smile on their faces would make everything worth it.
As I grew older, tea became the comfort drink. From being an excuse to taking break during studies to meeting with friends for long gossip sessions. The college friends were later replaced by office team members. But the choice of the tea remained the same – kadak, masaledaar chai! Sometimes it was coffee, but that was only because the tea available was not masaledaar enough!
So why am I going on and on about this masala chai and my sentiments associated with it? Well! I have decided to switch – to green tea. Boring, isn’t it? I am postponing the date of implementation as much as possible. But I realize that this is the only way how I can keep a check on my tea intake. So this post is more of a reminder of those golden days when I used to have the typical dhaba chai without any guilt or regret!