Our daily rituals and routine give us so much comfort and coziness, we hardly notice it because it is part of our everyday life. Making tea is one such ritual in our household. Since I was a child, drinking mid-morning tea in the cute little steel cup that mom poured fresh and dad served hot, was a stamp of love. It never left me even after marriage, crossing seas and making nest on foreign land. In fact, I made many friends for life over ‘chai'(Indian milk tea) relished over breakfast tables. Such is the impact of some rituals in life that, without them it feels empty and devoid of meaning.
I have always made tea keeping up with tradition, no matter I had company or not. And when my husband is around, I would have him for company. That was till my older one turned 14. Once she got a sip from the flavorful ginger tea I was enjoying on a cold winter day, she got instantly hooked on to it. Now it became 3 in the family to share the tradition. Not for too long. My younger one followed suit this past winter, though she hates ginger! For some reason, she loved the taste of ginger in tea and made an exemption. Now making tea has become a celebration for me for there are more takers. The process is cathartic to my senses; it imbues the essence of who we are as a family. When friends come over, the mere presence of tea is enough to bring an unknown connection where bonds are created and heated discussions occur, sometimes hotter than the tea itself. Nevertheless, the end result is that of good camaraderie and intentions.
In our house, the frequency of preparation of tea is twice a day, once in the morning, once in the evening. These days, that is all my kids look forward to, coming from school. They couldn’t care less about snacks or meal. The evening tea has a special ingredient of care, companionship and anticipation for the loved ones who soon would seek their abode for the day. Yesterday was different. I was lazy and chose to make my instant coffee, and settled myself cozily on the couch. And in came my daughter, exchanged pleasantries and went straight to the kitchen to muse, “Mom, isn’t there tea?” A sudden rush of mixed feelings smeared in guilt came to me as I had always associated its preparation to warmth and comfort in the family. I hurried to the kitchen and put a pot of water to boil, humming to myself!