Scribbles

Today, I want to write something. But what should it be?

Warning: Here, I am complaining about myself

I’ve wanted to write something for a while, but lately I’ve started questioning every theme that’s dancing in my mind. I wanted to write a piece on what stops me from wearing a saree. I did put together 800 words, but I deleted the word document because I was not happy with the piece. Then I never got back to writing it again. It doesn’t start here. This goes back several months.

I went to Dharamsala in June. On the trip, I made note of pegs I could write on. This included things one should keep in mind when planning a trip to Dharamsala, places worth visiting over a weekend trip to Dharamsala, my opinion on the villages of Dharamsala versus McLeodGanj, and the last one – why my friend and I decided to trek around this pretty city in the district of Kangra. What I landed up doing was uploading all the images in the form of a photo-blog. I didn’t even caption each photograph.

Why am I writing this, anyway? Everyday, I tell myself that I need to write 500 words, but these 500 words don’t materialize. But this evening, I was spending some time with a senior colleague at work, and she asked me what I’d like to be doing in the next three years. Again, I said the same thing – I want to write. I seem to be using this line as my sword, but I don’t seem to be sharpening it at all, and everyone’s realizing it. But me.

When I moved to Delhi, I started exploring the city through churches. The idea was to eventually write on the churches in Delhi. Well, that didn’t take off either.

Now, I’m writing this because I want to ask myself why I haven’t been writing. I’m lazy, I’ve been procrastinating, I’ve had more time than ever on my plate, but I’ve been using that time to scroll down Facebook and Twitter. Oh and, I haven’t been reading either. Neither have I been watching any TV show nor movies. What have I been doing then? Sleeping. I sleep like I’m not going to be allowed to sleep for the next three days. Why am I writing this, again? I don’t know! Maybe I should stop complaining about myself and write something worth your time instead.

Tell me, what would you like to read. Let me write something for you. Maybe that’ll push me to write something worthwhile. And sorry for putting you through this 😐

ahh-procrastination

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On love: Letter to a best friend

I want to fall madly in love, Suezelle.

A very close friend of mine sent me this message on Facebook. I don’t know why she randomly sent me that thought, but I found myself caught in a puzzle. I’ve fallen in love. Deeply. And I keep falling in love with people, with things, with places. And then it goes nowhere. There’s always a problem. There’s always something that blocks the progress. And then I withdraw.

But this is not about me; it’s about this friend. She went on to say:

Doesn’t matter if it ends good or bad, but you got to feel what you got to feel, right?

I want to fall madly in love. Just once. Even if it doesn’t end well.

 

So here’s a little message to you, my darling.

It’s not easy to fall in love. There is no documented recipe or formula. Neither can it be prescribed by someone. The word love is invariably treated like a feather that floats with the breeze. And when you find yourself so madly in love with someone, little do you understand your own steps.

A strong-headed woman like you will find it all the more difficult. The boys I’ve met like such women, but not to fall in love. I don’t know why. Sometimes, I want to speak with 10 boys and ask them if they’d fall in love with me. If yes, why? And if no, why? But let me walk you through the experience.

I’ve been in this situation at least three times with every new one making it all the more difficult. It’s given that we like this one person’s company. For me, I just liked spending time with him, speaking with him about my day, sharing bits and pieces about my family, sharing my future plans only with the hope that somewhere I will get a sense of what’s going on in his head.

I think about him all day. All the time. And then you’ll find yourself smiling at yourself. You start telling yourself a story that you’ve convinced yourself with. You sing. You want to dance more than ever. You want to be happy. You ARE happy. You’re in love. And that’s when you want things to work out. You start to get greedy. I wanted him. I wanted him with me all the time.

And let me clarify, when I did fall in love, I wanted it to be smooth. So I didn’t even hold his hand, let alone a kiss. These were small realisations that drew me closer to him. And then I had to stop. And like every other time, I withdrew. Every time I spoke about him, I had friends who wanted to fall in love in a similar manner, but only I knew what they were hoping for.

While you opened up to me, I don’t think I’m the right person to guide you here. I’ve invariably failed, and I’ve failed because I still don’t get my way out of this maze. But read this what Naren shared with me.

Love isn’t just about how you feel or how someone makes you feel. Love should be an act. What are you willing to do unconditionally? Love is about clarity – stating your intentions and moving forward with purpose and conviction. Love is about vulnerability – allowing yourself to be hurt. Love is not a memory. It is an ever present source of strength.

Falling in love comes naturally. Someone will come along and just fiddle with your mind, and then with your heart. As long as you don’t sow hope, you will be fine. But the moment you do, remember, hope grows faster than any plant. It dwarfs everything around it when it cuts through the roof.

Fall in love. It’s the best feeling. But when it doesn’t work, condition your mind to fall out of it as well. Because then it’s time to archive this and begin again.

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The Misleading Love for Delhi

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Delhi.

It’s funny.

The story of how I grew fond of a place I hadn’t even visited.

While newspapers and news channels kept screeching about how unsafe the city was turning into,

I was still coming to love our vulnerable capital.

 

I reflected.

Reflected hard on what was attracting me to Delhi.

 

The first time I stood on Delhi land,

It was at the New Delhi railway station.

My girlfriends and I were on our way to Manali

And when our train halted at the Capital,

We stepped out.

I looked around like I was taken to a park for the first time.

My eyes soaked with chaos.

My mind drowning in thoughts.

 

Within a month, I was back in Delhi.

This time, I stayed longer than the last 15 minutes.

I was there for two days.

I felt the winters.

Smiled at the peeping sun.

Got stuck in traffic. Quite like Bombay.

Sometimes it reminded me of Goa as well.

And then it reminded me of a person.

The person who spent some time in this city, and loved it too.

 

And on my way to the airport, I realized why I started liking Delhi.

I was actually in love with the storyteller and not the story.

Every lonely moment I had was filled in by thoughts of this secret love.

I began missing this almost-something-person.

Only then did it dawn upon me that I was in love with someone,

Even I didn’t know.

And since these stories were narrated,

I gradually started falling in love.

Falling in love with someone.

Falling in love with the city,

Because he was in love with it too.

 

A month later, an opportunity knocked at my door.

A new job, but it required me to relocate.

Relocate to Delhi.

I was still in love.

So I jumped and grabbed it.

I confessed my love.

No, it didn’t reciprocate.

 

Weeks later, I decided.

I decided to bid adieu to Bombay and go to Delhi.

I took up the job.

I was ready to set out on a new journey.

I was ready to write a new chapter.

And I started writing-off.

Writing-off people.

Writing-off stories.

Writing-off memories.

Writing-off the chapter where I risked falling in love.

Writing-off my orphan confession.

 

Maybe this time,

When I step on Delhi ground,

I will fall in love with the city.

And not with a person.

Not yet.

I will love the capital for its richness.

For the history.

For the heritage.

For something that can erase the last memory.

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A morning dedicated to Cycling

One Friday evening, my hostel girls decided to wake up a little too early on a Saturday only to go cycling. The idea seemed exciting, so around 10 of us didn’t mind sacrificing our Saturday morning sleep to take a tour around south Mumbai (or SoBo like we all call it). We woke up at 5 am (did I mention it was a Saturday?) and managed to take a train by 6:30 am to Churchgate. While hunger started creeping into our stomachs, we were way too excited to even stop by to grab a bite. We were also scared of the traffic crowding the roads, making us all the more nervous on the streets of Mumbai.

Quickly, we headed to the cycle rental shop, took our bikes and set out. I thought I’d forgotten how to ride a cycle. Silly thoughts! But once I started peddling, I couldn’t hide the grin on my face. Memories of my school days cycled around the winding lanes of my mind. I remembered how I used to wait till 7:58 am to leave for school. Even though my mother didn’t quite approve of  it, I loved unleashing a wild streak every time I set out. I gave myself only two minutes to reach school. It wasn’t all that far anyway.

And oh! It wasn’t just me. All my girls had their own cycle stories to narrate, and most of them were funny. One, twice, some of us lost balance and the cycle tilted a little too much, but we straightened up and started cycling again. We decided our own route and roamed around for more than an hour.

As we cycled, the people who were running, jogging, walking et cetera stared at us. Along the Marine Drive promenade, some people even stopped to watch us cycle. I was having so much fun that it did not even strike me that our uproarious laughter and mirth was attracting far more attention.

It was a good decision to ride early in the morning. Because by the time we were on our way to return the cycles, the deserted roads of south Mumbai were getting populated with traffic. And you know how each junction in SoBo is! Happily, we gave back the cycles and headed straight to Colaba Bakery to grab breakfast. While some of us gorged on scrambled eggs, a few of us couldn’t resist the tempting mutton kheema. Of course, tea and coffee brought along a bittersweet ending to the morning.

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Interview with Aqaba Chef and Director Anuj Thappar

One fine evening, a close friend and I were invited to the new Mediterranean restaurant that’s born in the business hub of Mumbai. Situated in the opposite building to my office in Lower Parel, we headed to savour some authentic food from across the Mediterranean region at the newly-opened Aqaba. When we walked into the plush restaurant, I was reminded of a five-star hotel lobby that’s spacious and elegant. With bare walls and limited decor, Aqaba created this calm atmosphere that brought the city’s hustle-bustle to a standstill. What added to this serene evening was the soothing instrumental music that did not interrupt our conversations or gorging.

With regard to the food and drinks, Anuj Thappar, Chef and Director at Aqaba gives us an insight into the menus, and tells us why Aqaba is not just another Mediterranean restaurant in Mumbai city.

Chef Anuj (2)

There are so many restaurants in Mumbai that serve Mediterranean cuisine. What makes Aqaba special?

There are many restaurants that serve some Mediterranean dishes but very few restaurants, if any, that are dedicatedly Mediterranean.  At Aqaba, we serve food inspired from across the Mediterranean, including Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, northern Africa and the Arabian coast.

And in addition to the food, our ambience is the personification of relaxed luxury where the openness of our space is in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city.

What was the thought process you employed to come up with this menu?

The menu was designed to offer food from the Middle East, but to also incorporate eclectic dishes from regions such as Jordan, Southern Italy, Spain, and Northern Africa amongst others. We also want guests that are discerning and looking for a unique dining experience, to be able to find that experience, in their own city.  Lastly, we have tailored the dishes to the Indian palate so the sensitivity towards flavors we enjoyed is maintained, while not losing the authenticity of the cuisine.

What’s your favourite from the menu and why?

I’m very partial to the Mansaf, a traditional Jordanian dish made of lamb and fermented yoghurt and served with rice but also fancy our range of Mezze.

The Mansaf is a very simple dish and it’s because of its simplicity that the flavours are more pronounced.  There are more than 20 mezzes to choose from but what stands out as a common factor in all is that they’re light and the perfect start to the evening or perfect accompaniment with drinks!

Which recipe has been a hit among Aqaba’s patrons till date? What could be the reason?

While it’s still too early to say, our experience so far is that people are very receptive and eager to have the availability of a highly under-represented cuisine in Mumbai.

There are a few signature dishes that have received a very good response from all. For the vegetarians, the Moussaka, Paneer Shawarma and Broccoli & Mushroom casserole are a must try. For the non-vegetarians the Chicken Tagine, Lamb Moussaka and Beef Kebabs are a definite hit.

Is the aim to serve authentic Mediterranean food or will there be some tweaking to suit the Indian palate? If yes, tell us more.

This really was the million dollar question for us to answer as well!  From our initial trials and interactions we decided we need to have our food to be as authentic as possible while being attuned to the Indian palate.  I think the words you’ve chosen are very apt – authentic cuisine that’s tweaked for the Indian palate but not Indianized cuisine.

Share some insights on the drinks menu too. Which are the drinks that the Indians scout for in your drinks menu?

The cocktail and drinks menu is as important as the food menu because we find that this particular cuisine is best enjoyed when paired with wine or sangria, and have worked with a wine sommelier to curate a wine list for Aqaba.  Our Watermelon and Basil Mojito has been a regular favourite among guests as has our Burning Mandarain cocktail (orange flavoured vodka with jalapenos and soda).

As with the food, it’s important to constantly innovate on the drinks as well as people always want to try something new.

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Independent Women: Good, Bad and Nothing Ugly

People around me often talk about being nice, being good, being crazy, being weird, being this and being that. There are also these sporadic occasions when we talk about being ourselves by shedding the cloak that has ‘I am so cool’ splashed across this intangible robe.  And most of us having these conversations turn out to be independent women. And being ourselves has a lot to do with being independent. Here’s why:

Gain perspective on life: It’s understandable that we need family, friends and other supporting characters to shoot a film that we script every single day. But hey! Have you ever tried travelling alone or taking a walk by yourself to learn about what’s gone by and where you could be possibly heading? I’ve done it a lot of times, and it makes me happy because I can introspect and feel confident.

As an independent woman who is self-reliant, I don’t need to depend on someone to travel with me even if it means I have a day or two to spend in a train. What are books for? It’s the only chance I get to step into the shoes of multiple characters despite living only one life.

Take control and cultivate confidence: However complex a circumstance may be, many a times, an independent woman finds it easier to take control of the situation. Why, you ask? Simply because she’s been in control of her life for quite a while now. She isn’t scared of losing anything. She reasons, takes a risk and accepts what cannot be changed.

There are times when I wish I weren’t independent at all so that someone else could tell me what to do, guide me through. But what’s most refreshing is when you know you’ve taken that decision and you’re accountable for your judgement, not your father or mother or your uncle or even your grandfather. And I can’t take control of anything if I haven’t injected confidence in myself. What do you think?

Be Yourself: Recently, I stepped out for lunch with a colleague who in a week’s time will be remembered as a former colleague. As we drank some steaming soup and indulged in a delicious Chinese meal, we also talked about us – How we grew fond of each other, how working together was so much fun and that someday, hopefully, we might get a chance to work under one roof again. He said one more thing, and that’s something I can’t come to terms with. He said, if I want to win more hearts and impress at my workplace, I should stop being myself. “While it’s good to ask questions to attain better clarity, it’s also advisable to find your own answers.” Wait… whaaa?

Ever since, I’ve looked at ‘being myself’ as an independent woman problem. This list does not end here. While this is my perception about being independent, another discussion with my gal-pals narrated another story. We are also perceived to be…

Intimidating: No matter if the walls in my room tremble with my roaring laughter, I am invariably told that I come across as an intimidating woman. But I do make it a point to smile. How then does this make me intimidating? In my defence, I find the world intimidating!

Opinionated: We (my girlfriends and I), are strong believers of having informed opinions. Here’s where extensive reading plays an important role. At least, it’s better than being indifferent to a situation. How can you take control of a situation of your unable to come to some sort of an agreement with your thoughts?

A bunch of loners: All right. I am financially independent, I take my own decisions, I don’t mind going to the movies alone, and I can sit in a coffee shop and read a book. I can also take a walk by the beach, sit by the shore and write something. I can draw up a travel plan for myself, invite others, and if they’re caught up with something important, I can set out alone. And that makes me a loner.

Like many other independent women, I live in a hostel where I socialize with other ladies belonging to various professions. At work, we mingle with each other. How then, does a woman who can stand for herself, and even you, when you betray trust, be called a loner?

Like anything under the sun, even being self-supporting has its pros and cons. But hey, can we reflect more on the pros so that we can design our destiny rather than employing destiny to take charge of our lives?

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Now Trending: #MumbaiBecause

(This column was first published in the The Goan on Saturday)

Last Thursday, when all of us were dreading the day and eagerly waiting for the weekend, @WeAreMumbai started #MumbaiBecause, a hashtag that every Mumbaikar could use in their tweets to explode the microblogging site with love for this city.

While many of us crib about how crowded Mumbai is or how it’s difficult to enter and exit a train, or how it’s a nightmare trying to hail a cab and convince the driver to be your ride, some of us took to the internet space to say why despite all this mayhem, we still love the city and can swear by it.

@bombaywaali: #MumbaiBecause the speed of life!

Oh yes! The same reason why I come back to this city every time I decide to run away from the noise, pollution, commotion, traffic jams, crowded trains. And once I experience the calm and empty streets, the city pours down a rain of boredom and finds me guilty, and handcuffs me back into the city. I’ve grown older and more mature in Mumbai only because of the speed. Last Sunday, I injured my knee and was bed-ridden for two days. The third day, I was back in office. I wonder, why?

@BombayVintage_: #MumbaiBecause: Glamour. Madness. Attraction. Beaches. Craze. Bollywood. Acceptance. Warmth. Rains. Locals. StreetFood. Friendship. Love.

This tweet is self-explanatory. This is a mad city carrying a bunch of crazy people. People who want to explore, who are not afraid of taking a risk, people who fight for what they think is right and against what’s wrong. It’s a city where people initiate friendship in a train or with the chaiwalla or even with the vegetable vendor. If you’re lost in a world of your own, stare out of your window and you will get carried away with what you see.

@ThatDarkCoffee: #MumbaiBecause Freedom.

Name a Mumbaikar who disagrees with this one word that describes this city so beautifully. Can’t find? Neither can I. A couple of weeks ago, I’d written about how this metro teaches us to be independent. We taste independence only because we’re given the freedom. The city doesn’t stop you from taking a walk or dancing in the rain. No one will stare at you if you start singing on the road. They might give you the look and keep walking. Even if they think you’re crazy, the passerby will laugh it off. Freedom. Do what you want because you are the master.

 @Advaitn: #MumbaiBecause Where else is distance measured in minutes?

So true! You want to go from Bandra to Churchgate, we don’t know how many kilometres it is, but we do know that it’s going to take 30 minutes by train and by cab, some 45-50 minutes depending on the amount of traffic that’s clogging the roads. If someone asks me how far I’m from office, there are high chances I might reply saying “da-da-da minutes away”. Because we don’t know the distance.

 @_AmitSawant: #MumbaiBecause everyday is like carnival out here.

We’re always dancing to the tunes of traffic. Three colours that matter are Green, Orange and Red. Everyone hides their troubles behind a mask because life is too short, and we rather laugh till we’re here.

And within 45 minutes, #MumbaiBecause was trending in Mumbai. Ask someone to talk about Mumbai and you’re in for some inspiration.

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Hostel Life: The good, the bad and the not-so-ugly

(This column first appeared in The Goan on Saturday)

By now, through my writing, I’ve established that I live in a hostel. Last week, I shared some stories that are related to the millennials and how the GenY is perceived to be vis-à-vis what we actually are. If given a chance, I could go on and on filling pages with information about my generation and how we aren’t all that appalling. But dear reader, that’s not what I’m planning to share with you today.

This very day, I will give you a sneak-peek into a hostel. Let’s start with the good, followed by the bad and then the not-so-ugly.

The Good
Do you know what happens when you put more than 100 women under the same roof? No! It’s not what you’re thinking. Let me shed some light on that. We try to have our meals together, bond over the latest trends, go out shopping together, keep our Sundays aside to watch a movie or two or even four (which means we’re entering and exiting auditoriums back-to-back), keep aside dinner for each other before the timings are up, bully the warden, watch movies after the lights are turned off at night, and read and exchange books.

We also learn the practice of obeying rules and various codes of behaviour — in short, discipline. Apart from the bubbly social atmosphere, there are certain responsibilities that stay put on our shoulders. Like what? We wash our own clothes, clean our rooms and clean our own plates. At times, we do have some Good Samaritans who help us now and then. For me, it happens all the time. If you have seniors, you’re bound to get pampered. And no, we…no, we don’t practice ragging.

We learn how to be independent. Besides time management, we also learn money management. Hostel like gives us the exposure we’ve always looked forward to, which in turn moulds us for the best or worst.

The Bad
The first thing that comes to my mind is hostel meetings. Why? They’re unending! Meetings can go on for two hours even when we’re yawning, fidgeting with our mobile phones, or murmuring. Actually, there is something worse — limited power sockets. Oh yes! Try asking us about a gift preference on our birthday and we will say it in a chorus that “we want more plug points”. In a time when we’re going through a digital revolution, limited power sockets can be a serious problem.

One evening, I went to a friend’s place and ran out of the bathroom after I spotted two power sockets! My reaction to this just added to the awkwardness and everyone stared at my happy face like I’d just blabbered something in a language the evil ones speak. I wanted to adopt at least one of these plug points, but let’s end it at, I wish…

The not-so-ugly
Timings! We’re so tired of people asking us about our curfew time. No, no, that’s not what we like to call it. If I want to take a night out, I can. If I want to return to the hostel, I need to do it before 10:30pm. It’s that simple. And the various timings within the hostel make life so much easier. Discipline, remember? Who said we don’t party? Hostel parties aren’t all that bad, you know.

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Oh Velim, where’s all the fun of yore?

(This column was first published in The Goan on Saturday on January 14, 2013)

11 days into the New Year and how many resolutions have already suffered a breakdown? I’m sure, not many. Surprisingly, (unlike every year that has passed by) I’ve made only one solid resolution this year. And I didn’t think of it until I visited Velim, a village in Salcete, where I was born and partially raised.

On January 2, 2014, I went to visit my grandmother and other relatives in Velim to offer my good wishes for the New Year. As I walked through the empty lanes I felt as if I was strolling through a graveyard. My brother Luke accompanied me, and didn’t seem to be as flabbergasted as I was while we ambled through the streets. Luke was only a year old when we relocated to Cuncolim, which in turn has resulted to a limited memory about the calm village.

If anyone walked through these lanes some 15 years ago, they would have been welcomed by children running around playing a game or cycling and some simply watching their friends play. Parents would be sitting in their veranda, sipping tea and passing a comment or a chain of comments while they still had their eyes on their little ones. But this is not what I saw during my last visit. All I saw was tall houses, coconut tress swaying to a tune the breeze was playing, rustle of leaves, and cars and bikes parked in front of houses. No cycles.

As my eyes observed, my ears didn’t have to strain to grasp any kind of noise. Behind closed doors, I could hear televisions sets screech something coupled with mild laughter of women. Birds chirruped as though they had been commissioned to cover up for the kids who weren’t playing outdoors.

After walking past a dozen houses, I arrived at a distant relative’s house. Once upon a time, this particular balcony used to create the most amount of noise in the locality. For many years, Aunty Mercy would take tuitions and you can imagine the noise! As soon as we got permission to leave, we would go home; gulp down the cuppa tea and off we went to create brouhaha!

On this day, Aunty Mercy sat with a neighbour discussing the days that went by. Gradually, even I got roped into the conversation. And I couldn’t stop myself from expressing how much I am repelled by technology that’s breeding such consequences. Taking turns, these elderly women began complaining about how kids don’t play football anymore because they are glued to those little gadgets and how no kids go around wishing the elders on important feasts. I couldn’t help, but believe every word they said.

As they talked, thoughts about my generation and the younger generations started cycling in my head. I imagined what would happen if there were no mobile phones, tablets, laptops or desktops. And my imagination concluded that life would be tougher, but nicer if gadgets didn’t do a dance around us. Everyone would perhaps be more concerned about their neighbour and kids would be doing what I did when I was a kid.

This 25-minute conversation convinced me to make a resolution – to be grateful for technology, without blurring the lines between the digital world and real world.

On this note, I wish you a happy, prosperous and fun-filled 2014.

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Cutting chai and the good ol’ Memories

#Replug from The Goan on Saturday.

Cutting Chai Memories

I once read, coffee is about taste and aroma and chai (tea) is about relationships and conversations. I couldn’t agree more! Come to think of it, I drink coffee because I like the aroma and the bittersweet taste. But chai, is more than this. It’s a beverage that’s a step ahead of coffee. It’s more than simply stepping out once in two hours for a quick sip.

If you associate Mumbai with vada pao, you cannot overlook cutting chai from the invisible menu that’s served by the street side. There’s a reason why it’s called ‘cutting’. The portion is divided into two halves to serve two different people so that they can take a quick sip and hit the road again. Suggests a lot about the city, doesn’t it?

Over the last five years, I didn’t realise how much I love chai, until last week when I was in Goa. My day follows a pattern — a pattern including four to five chai breaks every day. Sipping chai is not about killing drowsiness or a way of procrastinating. It’s about taking a swift break from work and having a nippy chat with a colleague or two. It’s not only about refreshment, but also about building healthy relationships. When I was in Goa, my mum served me a mug of coffee. The moment I sipped it, I realised I wanted tea — my regular masala chai. And I wanted it at least once in every two hours. I missed chai.

Chai ties back a lot of memories. Those good ol’ memories! As a student, I completed an internship with a national newspaper and used to cover crime related stories in Mumbai. Every time I entered a police station to ask a cop a couple of questions, I was greeted with chai. It used to always appear on my table in a tiny glass. Over chai, the cop (at times more than one) and I would discuss the crime scene, progress of the investigation, anything and everything so I could flesh out a good story. And chai at every police station came in different flavours.

Be it masala, adrak (ginger) or elaichi (cardamom) flavoured chai, every tapri (stall) has a unique recipe. No chai will taste the same at any given street stall in Mumbai. The best way to judge if you’re around a tapri is to sense the strong aroma of Indian spices, hear the hiss of a stove and the clanking of vessels. And voila! You’ve followed your senses to find yourself a cuppa chai. Sometimes, the chai is very sweet and otherwise, just perfect. But no one complains.

Before I conclude, cutting chai has nothing to do with class, race, gender or anything else that might pop up into your head right now. It’s a sip of relief for everyone. Cutting chai is a way of bonding. And once you’ve taken your first sip, you are already lured into becoming an addict.

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