“Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings” – Letitia Baldrige
Tea time has always been a period of discovery. Sometimes it’s new things about another person. At others, it’s finding a whole new side to myself. A lot happens over a cup of chai which led me to wonder about the inexplicable connection between this elixir for the body and mind, tea and
Be it office gossip over tea or catching up with friends, a cup of tea always adds a special touch to our conversations. There is something about the warmth of a full mug of tea held in our hands that makes us open up and share our thoughts, think of new perspectives and sometimes even fall in love! This unique connection is what makes the affair between tea and conversations so endearing.
We dived deep and tried decoding this love affair and came up with a few instances where we cannot absolutely separate the two.
The Political Adda: My earliest memories of a regular hangout was at the chowk in our locality where my father and his friends would sit for a couple of hours every evening. Their spot, much like most others, was in close proximity to a chai shop and over endless servings of steaming milk tea served in clay cups, they discussed everything from the communist rule to the pitfalls of the Rajeev Gandhi government. Years have passed but the premise has barely changed. Groups of middle-aged men, my father being one of them, still get their daily dose of political banter and football statistics with clay cups of tea. I am led to believe that politics, tea, and conversations are the best combination for great ideas and fruitful discussions. These conversations cannot happen without the accompanying beverage because historically, I have never been confronted with evidence otherwise!
The Brainstorming Potion: My friend from advertising would tell me how they came up with award-winning ideas through brainstorming sessions which often extended well into the wee hours of the night. The common feature in most of these meetings would be a conference room, a cluttered whiteboard and a table filled with empty cups which often just was replaced with newer cups of warm tea. He would say that tea was something none of them could function without and its presence was essential for them to come up with solid propositions that ultimately led to awards and accolades. Of all the great things our favorite warm beverage could do, tea and conversations around great ideas is always a winning combination! This revelation certainly made me believe a little more in the magic of tea in opening up our minds and activating our brain cells.
The Family Reconnection: Living in a different city, going back home for me always entails meeting my extended family, many of whom I barely meet once in a year. We catch up on months of news about each other, impending weddings, trips abroad, gossip which I had missed out on owing to my non-residential status – all over cups of chai, each aunt and cousin adding their special touch to our beverage of choice. Every such get-together starts with an initial awkwardness that gradually wanes away as we navigate through one more cup. Tea and conversations, therefore, acts as our icebreaker and facilitator for our reconnection!
The Romance Checklist: Can tea be a deciding factor for falling in love? A friend of mine once came up to me, hassled and in tears. Her woe was the terrible tea her potential suitor made. The lack of strength in his tea made her doubt the strength of their still nascent relationship. My friend’s fairy-tale met with a premature ending and she was convinced that the lack of tea-making abilities is a complete no-no for her future engagements. I would agree that a similar taste in chai is a plus for more reasons than one. Imagine all the long evenings you can spend sipping on well-made tea, talking about everything under the sun with your loved one as the clock ticks on and you don’t even notice the time. To me, that sounds like the perfect example of a great love story – two people in love, tea, and conversations!