Chai.

Mug of chai

Sometimes strange coincidences lead to topics for blog posts and this is one of them.

On my post La Dolce Vita Grannymar has left a pithy comment – “Enjoy your chai!” That and another recent incident gave me the idea for this post.

The first real home that we set up after our marriage was way back in 1970 in Mumbai. For 14 months before that and after our marriage, we lived in paying guest accommodation and then I was on a prolonged survey tour for six months during which we met on two occasions at my inlaw’s places in Hyderabad and Banglore.

Once the home was set up, Urmeela sought advise from neighbours about shops, milk suppliers etc and the grocer close by recommended one brand of CTC dust tea to her which was to her taste, comparable to what she was used to at her mother’s place. Till just last week, that same brand of CTC dust tea has been in use at our home. On a couple of occasions when I was located in the South, where this brand was not available, I had to get it couriered from Pune. That was the level of loyalty to the brand.

Last week, our regular grocer was closed due to a state wide protest, and Ranjan went to a local super market chain to get some groceries to replenish the stock at home which was rapidly running down. I had told him all the things that needed to be sourced and he bought all of them except for the tea where he decided to be adventurous and brought a different brand of leaf tea for a change. He half expected me to blow a gasket and was quite pleasantly surprised when I did not and instead went on a nostalgia trip.

The brand of Red Label Leaf Tea that he bought was the tea that my mother used in her home and we grew up on that tea. Naturally, I was quite happy to get back to that tea and this morning the packet was opened and the first cups of that tea was made. My reaction? Absolute Bliss! A completely different taste and aroma to what we had been using for 43 years, but which took me back to my childhood.

So, Grannymar, I AM enjoying my chai. Thank you.

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