BY PRAKRITI VASHISHTHA
LIQID TEA AVAILABLE HERE
Tea, for Dadi is milky but without the cream
Dadi’s son, however, relishes the aftertaste of cardamom.
Dadi’s better half, would deride the drink to be the Englishman’s concept.
Tea, for him, was a coloniser. Dadi calls it, his hypocrisy.
Well, that of a Brahmin.
Today, Dadi’s grand daughter likes chocolate tea, lemon tea (hot/iced), tea with milk. And cream.
Her grandson is genius by patriarchy and gives his views on tea.
“Satisfaction”, he announced, ” for someone who saunters, who wanders, tea, is satisfaction.”
And so, for all those who know tea by chai and in its absence, cannot peacefully lie, hold still to know what the granddaughter replies.
“Tapri waali chai or stalls of tea, is collateral to our family’s redundancy.
Now look at Dadi’s tea
B O I L S….me.
Her early morning Sanskrit mantras and scripts, her warm, spicy, ready to serve gossips layered within the pristine ideas of goodness,
that prods my sentiments, replays prejudices,
shows to me, a miscellany of my bright dupattas
that I drape to filter my beauty, to cover my blemishes.
And Ma? She is dear Dadi’s tea leaf.
Her favourite one, though-
Fit for serving the sugarly spelled chai pakode on her first night of a December wedding.
How she DROOPS herself in the tea, wilted.
By the heat, unsated.
Like the adaptive nature of tea leaves, with their esteem scattered.
Just happy they were picked.
Their fragrance, pervasive. (till, of course, the tea is finished)
Their companion, milk……
The creamy emotions are still marched against.
An obtrusive, tiny steel harpoon is sent ahead,
impaled with a hollow space.
That hollow space is a catalyst in Dadi’s ideal society.
Quenching her thirst of sugary goodness, the harpoon picks on the cream and collects it,
lifts it up high and feeds it to the drains.
Yes, Ma likes tea with cream.
Ma drinks tea without cream.
Circles and bubbles; the harpoon stirring, operating.
The tea leaves still scattered, are now out of the drink.
Is it smoke or clouds of scientific distillation?
Anyway, the cups contain happiness, for some.
Raucous emptiness, for Others.
It is not satisfaction, dear brother, it is, but, diluted (liquid) satisfaction (tea).
Liquid chai- that is what is served here.”
Ma enters the moralised class, with a tray of tea cups brimmed with diluted satisfaction.
Dadi’s grandson drinks it and goes out to play.