I have been a tea-drinker all my life… In my family, tea forms an essential part of every person’s life…On any average day, the tea aroma starts blessin our house early mornin courtesy my dad… and we are talkin as early as 4 am in the mornin.. its mom’s first round around 6… and I think only one round doesnt work… Another one for breakfast at usual time…My bad riddance to bed is usually an hour later… and the kettle is at work again…if its a day to work… tea cups conitinue to dingle around us till lunch…its the last cup for quite a while for the next round is usually post the afty nap… another round in the evenin more or less concludes the day… Tea-drinking is thus an institution here…
I think more than the taste.. its the ability of tea to freshen you up… remove that marginal headache… and warm you up before an important gully cricket match… which makes it perhaps the most popular drink around… Most research shows its not really threatenin to life… not as much as coffee or coke…
Another aspect where tea rules over other soft drinks is the variety of tastes it can offer… every person in this world can make a uniquely tastin cup of tea… thats a humongous variety we are talkin about… Tea at home.. which is mostly milk considerin mother’s affection… tea at stalls.. half milk half water too much sugar.. sometimes too much tea as well… tea in the IIT mess.. some drops of milk.. some molecules of tea.. and some grains of sugar… tea in CCD.. nice cups.. !! its not the Coke which tastes the same wherever you go… therez always somethin new your taste buds are anticipatin while someone hands you a cup…
Undoubtedly..tea is invented for a quiet company…a thoughtful one…just as wine is invented for a noisy party… the nonsense one…There is somethin in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life… thats maybe also because we prefer drinkin tea to wine everytime we say bad riddance to bed….
The Chinese are no doubt the masters in tea cultivation and tea makin… it appears that for them.. tea is a kind of religious and spiritual drink… Here is what the chinese say :
Proper moments for drinking tea:
When one’s heart and hands are idle.
Tired after reading poetry.
When one’s thoughts are disturbed.
Listening to songs and ditties.
When a song is completed.
Shut up at one’s home on a holiday.
Playing the ch’in and looking over paintings
Engaged in conversation deep at night.
Before a bright window and a clean desk.
With charming friends and slender concubines.
Returning from a visit with friends.
When the day is clear and the breeze is mild.
On a day of light showers.
In a painted boat near a small wooden bridge.
In a forest with tall bamboos.
In a pavilion overlooking lotus flowers on a summer day.
Having lighted incense in a small studio.
After a feast is over and the guests are gone.
When children are at school.
In a quiet, secluded temple.
Near famous springs and quaint rocks.
Reading this ancient list… I am reminded perhaps of our need to reconnect with friends… with art… with nature and to relax… How long is it since you read a poem… looked at paintings… drank tea in a forest for example ?? Not to mention the charmin friend(s)…though it must be conceded our lifestyles dont allow us these luxuries anymore…
Moments when one would should stop drinking tea:
Watching a play.
During big rain and snow.
At a long wine feast and a big party.
Going through documents.
On busy days.
Generally conditions contrary to those enumerated in the above section.
Perhaps in these activities… our attention is distracted or engaged on a task… therefore we cannot fully appreciate our tea… Better to keep it for later… when we have some leisure to appreciate it… the aroma.. the taste… sip by sip…the sound when the cup strikes the saucer… and let it become part of our personal ‘relaxation ceremony ’…
Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.