Past couple of days have been windy and not just any but chilly windy. For most of the world, this kind of weather means pleasant but for those of us residing in Dubai, it’s winters and we love it.
Now here is something about Indians that you may not know. We are the largest and most emotional tea (Chai or mostly adapted in Dubai as Karak Tea) drinkers in the world or at least we like to believe so. We equate tea to emotions, relationships, events, music and weather.
For instance, winters call for hot samosas / kachoris + masala chai and monsoon is literally defined by pakodas + tea. In the mornings, the famous Indian glucose biscuits take a dip (and drown most of the time) into the overfilled tea mug while evening gully gathering are never complete without omelet / maggie noodles + tea. These marriages were not made in heaven but are heavenly and widely loved.
Railway stations to roadside dhabas to shopping centers, our eyes desperately seeking some tea love. Our excuses to have tea are equally amusing. From Gupta Ji losing a kilo of body fat after a month of morning walks, Raj manning up to propose his school crush to Sheena accidentally clearing her math exam or my mom giving it back to the nosy neighborhood Pinky aunt, tea has been the ultimate climax & we proudly say “Chai Tou Banti Hai” (It calls for a tea).
I’ve had a wavering relationship with tea unlike most of my 1.5 billion people. I guess the caffeine in tea couldn’t catch up with my stress levels which made me switch to coffee, a much better post- brewing caffeine container. I remember the days when each evening, the friends used to meet up in Karama district to discuss office, chit-chat, make life plans and gobble tea after tea.
There were hundreds like us, selectively parked or grouped next to their preferred cafeteria. I also recall my holidays in India where family and relatives gathered at the terrace for evening tea, snacks, gossip & laughter sessions. So you see, my love for tea or chai has never diminished and just like the billions, I share an emotional connection.
As I stood in the balcony gazing at the clear blue morning skies and took the cold fresh wind on my face, my mom offered to make me an omelet that brought back some good old memories. With a teasing smile, I said to myself – Chai to Banti Hai!