My ‘Cha’ or tea has come a long way with me. It has been my best buddy, sometimes warming my cold hands, sometimes my heart. It has been with me through my smiles and through my tears, through my low days and high, ever since I can remember, my days have always begun with my ‘cha’ and sometimes ended with it  too!

My ‘Cha’ memories go back to the “thermas-wala” chai served by Dad’s army regiment bhaiyas, as soon as we stepped out of the train, the journey began from there I guess!  From there to having the high-altitude ‘masala chai’ made by the sherpas after a tough trek through the blizzard at 17,000ft in the Himalayas, to Jadavpur University’s “lebu-cha” (lemon tea), the black tea served by the forest guards in the deepest jungles of Assam (because they don’t have regular milk supply there), to the Urban Tapri ka cutting “adraki chai” (ginger tea) in Mumbai.  

Chai has never failed to cheer me up, it has never let me down!! Many a conversation has begun over it, made many a friend over a cuppa of chai, have had so many debates while sharing “cha” from a ‘khodaiye’ / “kulhad” (an earthen cup) while in college. The most memorable chai, of course, was the steaming cup served by our very own Nepali bhaiya at the adventure camp, after we bobbed out from beneath the over-turned raft at Shivpuri , 6-sets of teeth clattering a concert – ”chai” was panacea that day!  

‘Cha’… is a new beginning,
 ‘Cha’… is sharing warmth,
‘Cha’… is being friends,
‘Cha’ …. is taking time off,
 ‘Cha’ … is trying to concentrate,
 ‘Cha’… is being romantic…
 ’Cha’ is having that cuppa with someone I Iove …
need I say more!!

Story and Picture Credit : Aporajita Jain