A Lot Can Happen Over A Cup Of Tea…

May 19, 2012 at 9:15 AMMay (Friends, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Nearly a month ago Montek Singh Ahluwalia said that tea will be declared as the national drink of India. Well, what followed can be expected. Debates. Arguments. What is need to declare something as ‘National’? Does the whole of India drink tea for it to be declared as the national drink? Will declaring tea as the nation drink affect the coffe industry? and what not…

Such unnecessary ideas and such debates and arguments- leading to nowhere- can happen over a cup of tea!!! ‘We, The Nation’ being known for our unnecessary ideas and for our argumentative nature tea is the right national drink, it appears. But then it can happen over a cup of coffee too, one can argue like one can argue about the origin of tea in India as to whether it was the British who started the tea plantation first or was it already in India since the Ramayan times, the Sanjeevani plant that cured Laxman being a sibling of tea or if it is indigenious for it was Maniram Dewan who was the first tea planter in the recorded history of India.

Oops. I started off from the question if it was only tea that triggers and encourages arguments and debates or does coffee also do that and ended up talking about the origins of the tea in India. See, that is the beauty of it. When we order for a ‘cup of chai’ the argument is something else and when the chai arrives it has almost lost its focus and when the tea is being sipped the issue being spokena and debated is completely different. True, a lot can happen over a cup of tea!!!

I still remember once under our wisdom tree by the famous Press Cart in Manipal Vishnu and I had had 12 cups of chai each while arguing with Karen D’Souza about the existence of God. Only God knows what were we speaking when we met that evening but I guess by the time we ordered for the second cup of tea God had joined us and accompanied us till the twleth cup of chai.

We love to argue. We love to talk. We love to debate. Even if it takes us nowhere. But this drive, most of the times takes us to a tea shop. Tea and tea stalls are tailor made for we the people of this country. We love it. Especially a damn lazy fellow like me. The entire debate over ‘tea as the national drink’ is a great example for the argumentative nature of us.

If these unnecessary debates causes indigestion, for those who are not lazy and do not like to indulge in arguments that takes one nowhere, you should know that black tea has therepeutic values and cure problems related to indigestion.

Black tea, Assameese tea, Darjeling tea, Lime tea, Masala tea, Tulsi tea, Kashmiri tea, Jasmine tea, Cylone tea- So many types of tea! Montek ji declared that ‘Cha-Bar’ would be set up- of international quality- in Assam where over 50 types of tea will be available. How will these big players affect the small players in the tea industry? How will tea being declared as the national drink help the workers, who, as Montek Ji has rightly noticed, are women?

These questions make  good topics for discussions and debate over cups of chai and soon, without ourselves knowing about it, deviate to the topics like why does this beverage have two names- tea and chai? And continue with arguments on, if tea has something to do with sea trade and chai with trade overland, how chai is culturally rich and close to the idea of India as it, in its travel, as emraced many cultures, and how this reason- of chai being like India- justifies tea/chai being declared as the national drink…


  1. buroshiva said,

    I love Darjeeling tea. but when i stayed at manipal i had for those five years become a coffee addict, not just because i did not get darjeeling tea there, but because i enjoyed the freshly ground coffee. it was heavenly.
    did i become anti-national then ?

  2. crazymindseye said,

    Sir, we can discuss that over a cup of tea in Kolkata 🙂

    Personally I dont like this idea of having national this and national that. But I am a tea addict 🙂 I love tea and the conversations that happen over a tea which keeps changing track like some train and also gets derailed at times…

  3. uglywords said,

    You’re still weird for having chai at 4 pm on a summer afternoon instead of ice-cream!

  4. Lorna Ferso said,

    It all depends on the person even though it is 4pm in the afternoon and the heat is outrageous, you cannot blame someone who enjoy the natural aroma of a tea. So have you tried some tulsi tea? You might like it even better?

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