Thursday, August 13, 2020

Tea and Me

Dear Tea,


You made an entry into my life quite unceremoniously. I think it was sometime during the hostel years. The evening snack in the hostel mess was always laced with your aromatic presence. I started enjoying your "made for each other" combination with samosa/bread-pakora/potato-cutlet, during that time. The little chit chat with the batchmates and sometimes with others across batches after a long college day made it a classic unwinding time for us - sitting wherever one felt like - on the stairs leading to the mess, on the green lawn or on the chairs set in random arrangement. Sometimes those trivial talks turned into serious discussions on certain topics, planning for some upcoming hostel event,  or confiding in each other. There is something special about unregimented times, it even manages to open the unlocked doors and unvisited corners of one's heart.


Dear tea, during the same time, your Sunday morning appearances became very special for my mother and I at home. After five days of college, I would look forward to be with her for the weekend. Somehow Sunday got unofficially designated as the day for certain time consuming activities like - oiling and washing hair, doing laundry and finally packing the bag in the evening for the next five days in the hostel. Incidentally that was the era when TV programmes had very limited interference in people's daily routines. Rangoli (a medley of Bollywood songs presented on a certain theme) was among a few TV programmes which my mother and I enjoyed watching together. So that half an hour in the morning became our together time - head massage by my mother, tea drinking and Rangoli watching. The same picture comes to my mind whenever I feel the urge to define the word 'relaxation'.


Tea, I could see that you were slowly becoming more and more dear to me but I really appreciated that you never tried to impose yourself on me nor did you try to claim any undue favour. Your mere 4-5 sips satiated me always, never meddling with the rest of my food habits. You stayed by my side as a very understanding and dependable friend who always surfaced to give a virtual warm hug whenever I needed one.


Moving on to the next phase of life. Dear tea, you integrated beautifully in the routine of the two of us. The weekdays, with the office routine of the both of us, were a little rushed but you always brought a welcome pause on the weekends. The times, post relatively  elaborate weekend breakfasts(I should rather call them brunch) still hold a special place in my heart . It was the time to talk, to share, to watch an old Hindi movie in the foreign lands (the charm of which is something entirely different) and similar such. We both were studying for a few courses after marriage and our house at that time almost looked like a hostel room. You brought the much needed breaks when we studied late into the nights.


I think it was during this time that I realised that for me you are not just a beverage, you are a feeling, an emotion, a state of mind, a fantasy and much more. You bring me immense pleasure and joy when I share you with a person whom I love and admire. I think this is the reason, weekend tea-times are still very special to me.


Many years have passed since you made your first appearance in my life and I can say - I don't drink tea because I have to, but because I look forward to the whole picture that becomes perfect with your presence.


There are actually certain images in my mind which get more beautiful and worthy to strive for when I imagine them with you in a tiny, bright-hued cup, infusing the perception of leisure to the whole illustration.


Dear tea, I want you to know that you are a cherished companion, a friend and a very significant part of my fantasies of happy, peaceful and relaxed times.

So, thank you for being you!!!

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