by lubaba mukhtar (soon to be 2nd year inshAllah!)
chottay... 2 chaae...
This was the common phrase my brother used whenever he wanted me to get him a cup of tea, this obviously irritated me, and he didn’t get his tea for at least an hour until he had groveled for it; but I guess that’s the thing about brothers…they can wait for tea but they cannot stop themselves from being irritating.
He picked this phrase from all the chaae dhabaas where usually a little boy runs back and forth serving tea to the customers and, his name, no matter what it is; he is normally and popularly called: “chottay”
Now a sensible question arises: why am I writing a blog about “tea”? The simple answer is, I have a tea lover friend who thinks it is my responsibility to tell the world; to tell everyone I possibly can that life without tea is colorless, dreary, useless and purposeless!! I don’t obviously believe the whole statement but it is partly true.
Have you seen a chaae lover when he is denied tea?
Here’s a glimpse:
I hope you got my point!!
Tea has been an important part of my life ever since I became a 9th grader. It has never helped me fight my sleep but a cup of tea is like a dear friend, each sip you take, takes away your burden, your problems and when it ends; it feels like a lot of pressure has been relieved. Now why couldn’t I have a taste of this silky, smooth, colored as per your wishes, drink before the 9th grade?
Because people around me and obviously around many of you kept you deprived of chaae by doing this:
Many of u can relate to this at least.
But this dear friend made me realize that I had to acknowledge chaae for what it does for me. That I had to credit chaae for its importance. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.
In K.E.M.U Old Girls’ Hostel “the stove tea” is a treat; served seldom and on special occasions. The electric kettle tea is the routine chaae taken once, twice, thrice; maybe even four times a day! Not everybody is a good tea maker, and when you serve good tea to a real chaae cherisher, this is the normal reaction:
All hostel parties, all conversations, all gossips revolve around this hot, steaming cup of chaae.
This chaae loving friend of mine also has another problem; she hates to take tea alone, so she asks everyone if they want a cup when she’s about to entertain herself. And she doesn’t give you much of a choice to refuse because if you dare refuse; this is the reaction you get:
Chaae is a traditional drink in all our homes, people! It is the easiest thing to brew up for guests. If served with a plate of biscuits, something crispy, and something salty or sweet; chaae is the drink to complement them all, the super drink.
A few fair warnings to all those who have not yet met a chaae smitten person:
Never insult tea or else:
Be careful when you are trotting around their tea or else:
You want tea? Get your own cup, don’t try to test the person’s generosity or else:
Chaae comes in all forms, in all colors and in a variety of containers. Chaae lovers usually have their special cups which they believe complements the flavor of their tea. You should seriously leave their cups alone too because they believe:
"As a soul cannot survive without a body, a chaae cannot survive without the perfect cup!!"
Eccentric, but true!!
Be kind to chaae lovers because you might be afflicted with the love for this drink one day, don’t make the chaae lovers suffer; try and understand: love is blind; they’re helpless! You definitely don’t want to see them in this state.
I hope you all will try and savour and relish each sip of tea the next time you take it.