Archive | September, 2010

Chai Tea it’s a Redundancy.

19 Sep

I’m definitely not a member of the grammar police nor the language brigade, however the common usage of ‘chai tea’ makes my blood boil (yes, pun intended). Chai Tea; translated: Tea, Tea. Naan Bread; translated. Bread, Bread. Same. Same. Yes it is. Why use the same word. Rant Rant over over.

Every morning. Since I can remember. Without fail. A pot of masala chai has been brewing on my stove. My earliest memory is of my nani’s masala chai. After inserting her dentures each morning,  Nani would prepare masala chai. Together, with my sisters, we would dunk scotchfinger biscuits into the hot chai. Emergency ‘finger-dives’ were a common occurrence. Holding the biscuit that extra second too long would call for playdough encrusted fingers to be bobbed in and out of the hot chai, in an attempt to retrieve the ‘now-distintegrated’ biscuit.

Moving out of the realm of Sheth Shack domesticity and into the organised chaos of India, Masala Chai is an unchanging element in India’s colourful landscape. Upon a recent visit, I was fascinated by the art of pouring chai from such a distance into the glasses. Yes…I have tried it at home and no, I couldn’t quite master it. However (despite its unforgettable taste), upon sipping the chai I found myself questioning:

1. Why are they always served in these same clear glasses?

2. Who’s dirty thick black moustache flecked with vegetable subji had last touched the rim of the glass?

3. Was I imagining that sleazy chai-walla snatching glances down by top?

4. Finally…with the thought of various fevers (yellow, dengue, glandular) circulating in my head, I wondered if these  cloudy glasses had ever been washed?

I secretly hoped the glasses were not washed in the warm gutter water I was standing in…No, the water was not warm due to the sun and yes, only later did I realise that the temperature was due to the ‘upstream’ activity of a young gentlemen relieving himself.

It didn’t stop me though. I forgot all questions, as I felt myself immersed in the sweet, spiced-infused chai.

Still nothing beats my nani’s masala chai.