I used my Mobile Cam to click this pic, sometime in early 2013. We lived right on Juhu Beach, in Mumbai, and enjoyed our respective morning cup of Tea and tumbler of coffee gazing at the sea.
One morning my mother realized why her plants on the windowsill near the dining table were smelling funny as they died slow deaths. Without beating around the bush she asked my younger sister and me if we would like to continue ‘watering her plants with milk or switch to something else?’
‘Tea’ we piped up together, as we had seen all the elders at home enjoying their cup of it. And that is when I got my first taste of tea, which was milky and a faint beige color.
As I grew wiser I found out that milk was being served to us with just a spoonful of the tea decoction added it. Post this discovery I insisted I wanted the same tea as the grown-ups were having, and got it too. Somewhere along the way toasted bread become an accompaniment.
To this day, ‘Chai-Toast’ is what I reach out for when I need comfort. A mug of piping hot, sweet tea, with the fumes doing a graceful dance as they escape into thin air and warm toast into which the butter melts into unyieldingly. I have suffered through innumerable bad cups to tea, to realise that I like my tea strong and preferably made by me. And no dainty cups for me, please! I like big mugs, and I cannot lie!
I got married to a coffee drinker. A staunch filter coffee in a tumbler guy. The Husband taught me to make him coffee just the way he likes it.
My morning routine starts with heating up water, which I pour into the upper compartment of the filter that has been padded up with ground coffee. When it is silent enough, I can hear the coffee decoction falling drop by drop into the container below.
As the water for my tea merrily boils away I add the tea leaves and there is a moment of calm before the water erupts into a dance of joy, differently hued this time. I wait for it to prance about a bit, before I add milk, and the tea calms down as it embraces the milk and they come together forming a gorgeous hue. As my tea gets ready, the Coffee decoction has collected in the lower compartment of the filter.
On most mornings, just when I have poured myself my mug of tea, as if on cue, the husband wakes up. And we sit together reading the morning papers and enjoying the silence and our Coffee and Tea.