I am a coffee person. A bad day, a bad experience, a bad headache and a nasty heartache, my coffee makes them all disappear. I live in Bangalore. The chilly mornings are a perfect backdrop for a hot beverage. The urge to sleep more is always beaten hands down by my urge to drink a hot mug of coffee-thick milk loaded with Bru’s coffee granules and but little sugar.The world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug is a central nervous system stimulant for me also. My day just sets right and nothing can take away the feel good factor of it from me.
As my morning begins I walk up to the front door. The milk packet on my door step lying next to “The Hindu” ,a match made in Heaven (probably the Almighty’s favorite too), is a sight to behold. It stands as a tough competitor to any scenic beauty that a window can ever offer.
I carry the milk packet inside with the pride of an artist. After few minutes sheer magic is what will emerge from my coffee mug. To breathe in the smell of fresh milk and caffeine sets your senses clear and alert for the day. Making Coffee is an art and therapy in itself.
Coffee Mug in one hand and ” The Hindu” in the other is my morning ritual that pays off for the rest of my day.I lived thus and I firmly believed that this is how I shall live my morning hour, happily ever after. And then life happens!
My partner is a tea lover. He wakes up to appreciate that perfect chai! He has his own concept of the beauty of a chai. And yes, I too believe that chai has its own charm.
So since I venture into the kitchen first in the morning I decided I’ll make my coffee and his chai at one go and save the trouble of cleaning up later ( putting things back and clearing the mess that he creates with such skill).
Day One: I woke up.I made coffee and chai. He had the chai,looked at me and sympathetically said, ” You don’t know how to make chai, right? It’s ok, don’t bother. I’ll make it.” I was astounded. I told him I do know how to make a chai. He laughed it off.
Day Two:I put a little more effort. I noticed the proportion of milk and water. Yes definitely, that is what went wrong. That morning he had the chai. I was looking at him and he just walked past me. So I asked him ” Hey, so how’s the chai today”? He did not look at me and just mumbled it’s fine.
Day Three:I decide that I’ ll put chai for both of us. When I have it ll know to get it right. I thought the chai was good. He just smiled at me and said it’s fine. Well that was not good enough for me. But I let it go.
Days passed and one day we were having chai from outside. He had a sip and he exclaimed “What a chai!!”. I asked him what do you think is good about this chai. He said it is about getting it really strong. Great!! I figured that I need to brew the tea a little longer. He looked at me and said “And then there is the aroma too!” I said I got it. And then he said distantly “The right mix of milk, water, sugar and tea, it all matters “.
I sat there and thought long. Well, making chai too is an art in itself. From next day I started paying attention to all that goes into the making of a chai. Like an artist at work I started putting my soul into its making. Days passed and I started getting it right. Few days ago he woke up and half asleep walked into the kitchen. He looked at me and said ” The chai smells so nice… What are you putting in it”? He winked at me and left.
These days I have started experimenting. Adrak chai, Jaggery Chai, Cardomom chai and much more gets crafted in my kitchen. I like getting it right and also… getting his day right!
He has now bought a tea shot glass. He says why compromise on that one thing when everything else is just perfect.