It’s difficult to tell if chai tastes better in the morning because you have the fresh creaseless newspaper in your hand or it’s the newspaper’s positive anecdotes that make your tea more refreshing!
If you are an early riser and have a good balcony overlooking a green park or a bit of the blue sky or a distant green shimmer of a Corniche around your apartment, then an hour of a leisurely roundup of the day’s happenings in crisp words warms the cockles of your heart.
Some articles strike a chord with you and without reading the byline you know it’s your favourite reporter. Then there’s the piping hot cup of chai sprinkled generously with a fine layer of sugar that always sets the tone of the day in the morning. It’s at this time that we discuss what we will have for breakfast, mostly.
Then there is the rainy day chai. Rainy days definitely call for some hot samosas and a steaming, rich cup of milk tea and it has to be topped with some reading near a window sill. Rain, tea, and literature is a dreaming girl’s utopia. It’s a perfect Enid Blyton book kind of setting
Taste of chai and newspaper in the mornings
If you take a stroll on a slightly damp morning in any of the remote sleepy villages in India, you can surely find a tea-Kada (tea-stall) with two wooden benches laid out in its muddy yard and one or two men reading a newspaper.
The sight of hot frothy milk mixed with sugar and sometimes spices, flowing from one cup to the other is a pick me up in itself. Not a single drop is spilt even if the two cups are several feet apart.
Romantic movies feature the same local ‘tea-Kada’ with the hero and heroine stopping amid their bike ride and enjoying a cutting chai with an old man in a turban, sipping tea, and reading a newspaper in the background.
According to the Chinese legend, the history of tea began in 2737 B.C.E. The Emperor Shen Nong, accidentally discovered tea while boiling water in the garden. A leaf from an overhanging tea tree fell into his pot. As for the history of the newspaper, the first real newspaper in England was printed in 1665.
But it’s still a wonder, who found the joy in the union of the morning newspaper and a steamy chai cup?
There is no perfect time for tea
Fridays, the weekend chais are the best. You wake up a bit later than usual. Weekends usually have a supplementary magazine that has stories and inspirational articles that are longer and have an eye for detail.
It’s a pleasure to sink into your sofa as well as the well-articulated pieces with a strong chai.
Now, say you missed reading your newspaper in the morning due to the rush hour. The one thing you truly look forward to after a hard day’s work is to relax when the clock needle crosses five.
Time for a cup of joy. The next half-hour, with a well-buttered toast or rusk as a snack and a sweetened cup with interesting narratives to read, passes by like you have no worries about another day. And you are ready to tackle the rest of your day.
The chai and newspaper connection
There’s a vernacular language movie, ‘Bengaluru Days’ that has this dialogue, “You can add anything to make your ‘Sulaimani’ (black tea) richer and more flavourful- cardamom, clove, cinnamon, but the best ingredient is ‘Mohabbat’ (Love).” Nothing can beat that logic.
Then there is the rainy day chai. Rainy days definitely call for some hot samosas and a steaming, rich cup of milk tea and it has to be topped with some reading near a window sill. Rain, tea, and literature is a dreaming girl’s utopia. It’s a perfect Enid Blyton book kind of setting.
The chai and newspaper connection is not just any old link. The thick, sweet drink and the crisp, fresh newsprint signals a beautiful rhythm of life every single day. Reading news only online just doesn’t make the cut! Neither does green tea or other herbal teas that require you to acquire a taste for it!
Feby Imthias is a freelance writer based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @Feby_Imthias