Friday, November 26, 2010

Tea buddies and the cuppa!

“Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting,
Favorite chairs anticipating,
No matter what I have to do,
My friend there's always time for you”
                                               ~ Anonymous

Although I am a "coffee" person, I have been surrounded by tea lovers, always somehow. And I have always drank the beverage more to give company than as a preference. First it was for my mom. She is a tea person and no one else in my family is. But then tea is something which you wouldn't want to have alone by yourself, you see. You have it over chit-chat when lots of friends are around. But what do you do if you crave a cuppa mid afternoon one day. My mother asked her teenage daughter, do you fancy a cup of tea, hon? I was more interested in the snacks that I would get as an accompaniment, so I agreed to give her company. And thus it began.

the cuppa
When I went to the university, most of my friends (SS, SM, KS, CG) would gather in the cafeteria or the hostel canteen after the day's activities, and share the happenings of the day over tea. During winters, we (DR, MM, SP and the gang) would huddle around the tea stall in the campus and try to warm our hands in the warmth of the tiny khullad* with the steaming liquid. Sometimes during examination time, we would even get it delivered to our desks by "chhotu". Projects were discussed, ideas given form and great things planned around the cuppa, those days.

Then I moved  to the US, and curiously both my flatmates PC and SV turned out to be tea lovers, as were so many of my friends and colleagues. PC introduced me to the world of green teas (which I now adore) and SV would put on the proverbial kettle as soon as I returned from work. At work, there was an invisible pull to the tea/coffee room at around 11 mid morning where SD, RM and I would quickly exchange daily news. views and wellbeing over our morning tea while taking a few seconds more to stir in the sugar (I think RM would have coffee, but SD would have only tea and nothing but tea - it was like her religion). Then when I returned home, there was another of those tea sessions with friends. Whenever GR would land at my place, I would ask if he wanted to have tea or coffee and he would invariably reply: "coffee is something I can make myself, but making tea is a hassle, so I will have tea please". I don't know if it was really the case, but I am glad he said tea.

As I was moving to the UK, one of my friends SB even threw a hat and high tea themed farewell party as a celebration of the British tradition where I sampled Twinings Lady Grey for the first time and fell in love with tea all over again.

I found many tea lovers in my husband's family, sadly he is not one of them. But when I am home, I gladly join the bandwagon and can relish my tea with my in-laws over chit-chat while he, a man of few words, buries himself in the newspaper/laptop.

I am a coffee person, if you would ask me - who has always had tea in the company of friends and family and cherishes the fond memories that are formed. For me it's the company, the chit-chat and the discussions over tea, that make me fall in love with the beverage, time and again. Now when I go down to the refreshment room every morning, I almost automatically press the button for white coffee, but if you happen to stop by my desk and ask me, "would you join me for tea or coffee?" I would probably make myself a cup of tea!

*Khullad is an earthen cup common in India.

7 comments:

Ruchira Garg said...

Very well said Katty! A cup of tea doesn't mean just what comes in it, but also what cooks around it, chats, ideas, stories and so on. Being a tea-lover myself, I could so well identify with this.

Dhanyaa said...

:) ... really love the way you express the simplest of matters in the clearest of ways... love u for this and more!

Shalmalee.... said...

Tea it is :))
Loved the short forms for all your tea-buddies! The line describing SD's love for tea is so very perfect :)

Kayjee said...

thanks, D and Shalmalee...
Ruchira, yes you are so right, not what comes in it but what comes around it and these days I am so reminded of the tea and maggi fry of PGW - peculiar combination, God knows how it worked :)!

SD said...

very nice Kayjee ...peene walon ko peene ka bahana chahiye! :D

SD said...

wo Chai ki mahak, wo Baton ki mithas, ek ghooth jo chai ki peeli, fir ho gayi yaadein taza ;)

Kattykally said...

@SD there she goes again, she has even started "shayari", didn't I mention it was like her religion?