June 16, 2010

Rain and garam chai- a trip down memory lane...

Woke up this morning to the kind of rains that I love watching while cosily perched on my red chair in the balcony. The raindrops seem to be in such a hurry and the wind only helps as much with bringing in all but chaos in the rush hour!

..and while I sit enjoying the tease play comes my mug of garam chai! My husband is famous with his chai making skills and both of us can sit chatting for hours on multiple cups of this warm concoction.

Come monsoons and chai takes in first place to any kind of drink. A trend which has been part of my growing up years too! 

My school would plan a week long (if we were lucky) trek every monsoon and we'd all wait for this event to happen all year long. The trek would typically happen at Sinhagadh, a fort destination about 90kms from Pune. The trek up from base camp would be about a couple of hours. We'd climb, wade through trickling baby streams, slip in the slimy forest muck, walk through a small strip of land precariously planted at the edge of a steep fall into the valley and seldom sit to catch our breath around a reasonably large water stream gushing down the terrains! This sit down would intersperse with a light snack and a drink of 'CHAI'. A memory which is beyond any tell tale. Cold from getting wet in the rain, tiered of climbing the steep but heightened levels of enthusiasm to taste the adventure and just while the determination would begin to simmer came along the much awaited drink of chai! :) 

Wild mushrooms particularly would be my point of fascination during these treks. Their shapes, the way they'd all cluster together to make some amazing shapes, some which would grow out of barks of tree trunks and a few that would grow amidst corners of a row of stone carved stairs.
They all seemed to thrive so effortlessly in this moisture...

Another chai memory is of younger day's when it would pour outside (Pune would be chillier during monsoons compared to winters) and my Mum would make this extra large, over-size egg omelet with toast OR sausages with macaroni for brunch and a steaming hot pot of tea, the only time when we'd be allowed having tea at home. We'd polish off this feast inside the warmth of the blanket while watching the rain outside the window.

When in college my drop in attendance typically happened during the monsoons. A favorite activity with friends was to ride out on bikes and soak ourselves wet. These drives were amazing with the beauty of the terrains at its full glory we'd look for amazing chai tapri's (local stalls) where we'd warm up around the stoves while the chai got made n then warmed further with a drink of chai... We did this day in n day out! Miss those days!!!

So the chai stories continue to date and I am so looking forward to the warm plate of bhajji's with masala chai when Mumbai comes to a stand still this monsoon!


 Amar chai 'Gorom Cha'!!!

5 comments:

Sharmila Dasgupta said...

your 'chai' reminiscence inspires me for a large cup, but alas! it's too hot in Delhi....very well written I must say :)

Venus- The planet of love said...

Thanks Munna-di! I am sure you can use a mug of lemonade OR perhaps beer then!!! :)

Missing your posts... Onek din lekhoni. Why dont you begin again?

ushamrita said...

rain is an over-rated albeit popular metaphor for all things and situations cozy. although i identify with the emotion associated with rain, i simply cannot tolerate this form of nature. and having a birthday uncomfortably ensconced in between the dampest months of the year makes me even more averse to this season. but thank God for small mercies, in this case, 'chai'. If it weren't for the comforting warmth and aroma of the beverage, i seriously would've boycotted the season for good! a post on the several varieties of 'chai' one could enjoy during the monsoon would make the 'romantic' (argh!) rains slightly more bearable. :-)

P.S: the culinary portion of the post was particularly comforting! :-)

pria said...

thrz one thing we share....happinezz n contentment in da simplest of thingz....which bear more or less no material value but brought us n still bring us immense happinezz.....so let it b ''chai chai''' cheerz......i also we retain our way of looking at thingz wid innocence in spite of being aware every day of how cruel da world can b....cheerz to our spirit again...luv..az alwayz...keep writing n tugging at our emotional syd.....

Montre said...

This definitely took me down the memory lane.. How I love chai specially during my favorite season of the year "monsoon" Unfortunately there is nothing like monsoon in California but you def made me feel like I am bk home in Mumbai for those few minutes :) Keep up the good work buddy... This time we better meet up, would love to catch up on all those yearss.. Take Care!!

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