I stare at my tea-cup – for micro-seconds, seconds and minutes…The semi-transparent brown coloured liquid that sits comfy in my tea-cup hardly resembles what you can ideally call a tea as in TEEEAAAHHHH…..The debates, discussions and innumerable prints that speak of the evils of consuming too much sugar or a wee bit more of milk pop-up like the unwanted ads every time I tempted to add just a teeny-weeny bit of sugar. I look longingly at the white granules of pure temptation, let out a sigh and slide them back to the sugar-pot. My soul gives up! And I am left with something that can better be summed up as a cup of stale cola without sugar!
Is it just about the sugar and milk ? I cannot help but wonder. And I remember my grandpa’s tea or rather the tea-drinking ceremony that he celebrated every morning. His tea used to be served in a steel tumbler that had ‘Mukherji’ engraved on it. No rush, no hurry. The tumbler of tea used to sit snug on the little table while a small slice of sunshine used to make way through the window, falling straight on the light brown tea – yes, with milk and sugar! He used to watch in childish mirth as the steam from his tea used to merge with the glow of the sunshine – creating a kind of weird magic….The wait was patient – for the steam to slowly melt completely into the golden hue. And then there was the sip – the slow, steady sip. His lips would curve into a gradual smile and we knew he was happy! For the next few moments he would close his eyes and listen to the chirp of arguing sparrows outside. We, who were ever busy or would pretend to be busy would steal a glance or two at his morning ritual while grandma’s voice would play in the back-ground, “You all better keep a count of the number of cups he would have…otherwise a cup or two more and that man would keep me awake the entire night just to inform me every hour that he is not feeling sleepy enough!”. We used to wonder if sermons as these would ever reach his ears because his eyes would have been shut by now – letting the molecules of tea overpower his senses – leading him to a near-trance!
Is it just about the sugar and milk? With five tumbler full of tea per day -loaded with milk and sugar he lived till eighty-five. He died surrounded by each of his nine grandchildren, in his own bed without a trace of anything as a diabetes or an ailing heart. When asked about the cause of his death the doctor just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, there isn’t really a cause as such. In a layman’s term you can take it as ‘death due to old age’ “.
As I stare at my tea-cup in disgust I am quite convinced that it is not just about sugar and milk – it also requires a healthy bit of sunshine to make a tea a tea; the same philosophy perhaps applies to our life too ……If only we let a tiny bit of sunshine on our tea cups. Let there be light!