So ‘tea’tillating!!!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Sep 2018 12:29:39








A lovely cup of tea in one hand and the feel of pitter patter on the other…what more can I ask of this beautiful morning but for the time to stand still! The three of us have been great friends for long. Every time the downpour starts, tea beckons me and together we embark upon a long, wordless journey of silent thoughts. Even when the sky leaves its sodden mask, the cup of tea never leaves my side. I say all friends should be like tea – stimulating, full of vigour and energy, yet silent with advices. How lovely would that be!

I am often accused of being a tea-totaler. (Not the teetotaler. For, my love has nothing to do with or against that aberration called alcohol!) It is about the totality with which I surrender to the charms of tea. It is no vile habit, nor a wile attempt to disguise intemperance, but a true friend that has been around for a great while. It stimulates me like nothing else and coaxes me into silent contemplation in a manner that only best of the best friends do.

Tea, I say, is the most lasting thing the Chinese came up with. And nothing about it is subterfuge. One sip and you find the great Confucius’ spirit calming your nerves and provoking you into deeper thought and finer actions. It is in fact such a darling word that people often associate all things they that love to do or don’t do with a cup of tea. It’s like while shopping is my cup of tea, calculating the amount is not. On such occasions, it is my husband who takes tea cup to another level – raising a storm in it!

While lot of our civilisation’s development, its history, its sciences, even its arithmetic have risen from the many storms in the tea cups, some have also maneuvered their ways through ‘over a cup of tea’. That is why perhaps my rains like my tea cups so much – because of their hidden powers to raise storms. ‘Over a cup of tea,’ is where most human intellectual development has taken place, I dare say. Had it not been for the cup of tea, interactions could never have been so wonderfully sober. Oh and that human penchant for good natured pretense gets so admirably demonstrated during the very, many ‘tea and sympathy’, sessions world over. It is such sympathies that keep humans’ faith alive in other human beings. You may feel a little guilty about giving in to the temptation of ‘spilling the tea’, but do remember that it is such simple, gossipy habits that have ensured that no story worth telling is left untold. Oh! To these simple looking sips of tranquility, humans owe so much!

No wonder Prime Minister Modi won so magnificently in the elections. Chai pe charcha is the best charcha ever I tell you! Why do you think conversations at chai ki taparis are so enchanting and eye-opening? Chai steams imagination, spreads information and fires sentiments. People on the chai ki taparis are not the ones who haste off from an accident site. They actually begin investigation much before the cops arrive. They give perfect predictions about the seasons, the government, cricket team, and fate of the national economy. They are the heart force and brain force of humanity and chai is the propelling force.

While visiting people, while entertaining guests, at homes, in offices, in corridors of power, in diplomatic circles, tea is a rather articulate expression of forward-looking interactions. A wife for nearly two decades, I know for sure that a perfect cup served first thing in the morning goes a long way in gaining calmer reflections on the list of demands that you are about to present. After a sip, the spirit of tea forces the gentleman to listen, and once that mighty feat is achieved, it only takes a little convincing. Diplomacy, even at homes, fares rather well in company of tea.

If only, Mr Donald Trump would listen, I would have suggested to him that instead of tweetering around trying to figure out who wrote the letter, he should have done a little in-camera chai pe charcha. I mean if there is a consortium of ladies and gentlemen trying to save the world from him, sitting right in the White House, why go to the world yelling about it. He can yell in his own home and ensure that they listen. And when you need your own team to listen, you should do a little tea-ming. Of course, letter writing, particularly to a newspaper office, is rather easier than plain speaking even in a democracy. Perhaps a little tea might have helped in gulping down the opposition. Even for all the tea in China, as goes the saying, why would anybody reveal to the POTUS, “Yeah, I did it.” But come to think of it, nothing from China, even the tea, is going to help Mr Trump. It would be so ‘tarrif’ied.

Back home, too I think, tea, with its guarantee of calming nerves, is what we need most. There are issues of price rise, falling rupee, preparations for polls, angry political parties, screaming political leaders, very upset journalists and tired people. Tea-ming over a cup of tea is what we need as a nation. Tea would not just relax nerves, but enhance listening skills too. And whenever that milestone is achieved one inevitably finds solution. We can, of course, continue to raise storms in the tea cups and spill the tea here and there, thereby satiating our die-hard habits, but listening to another point of view over a cup of team would indeed be redeeming, won’t it?