Tea in Rain

A distant rumbling thunder.

There it comes,

Pitter-pattering rain and with it rises the fresh earthy scent of mud in the air.

Avni goes running out of her mud and straw hut with the pullu of her sari over her head, its tip clenched tightly between her teeth to prevent the pallu from falling.

She hurriedly grabs the washed clothes hanging on the fenced railing and runs back inside the hut.

After a while, white smoke rises from her hut.

Every time it rains, Avni brews tea.

She sits quietly and watches the foamy brown liquid come to a rapid boil.

After a minute, she removes the chai from the fire, pours it over a strainer and into two large mud cups.

She covers the cups with a lid, goes out running again and enters the hut opposite to hers.

Eighty-year old Ajjamma lives here and Avni is very fond of her.

The view from the other side of Ajjamma’s hut is beautiful. It overlooks a large pond with fields of corn surrounding it.

Every time it rains, Avni and Ajjamma sit by the doorstep of the hut in silence and drink chai. 

They watch raindrops splashing and creating bubbles of air in the pond, they watch the field of crops sway gently with the wind and they like the mist softly touching their skin. 

This is happiness to them, in each other’s company and their hot cup of tea.

A simple chai

A misty morning.

I watch Ganesh get out of his gunny sack and stretch. The streets are wet due to the mist in the air. It must have been a pretty chilly night, I wonder how Ganesh manages to sleep every night on the street and wake up with a smile.

His wooden cart is always parked right by his side. Ganesh wakes up every morning and makes Adrak wali chai and hot badam milk with honey in his chai thela. I can never miss his garam chai every morning and on rainy days. We all have fond memories of drinking chai in the rain and I guess this is one of mine. Every time it rains, I run across the street to his thela and say,  “Ganesh, one hot ginger tea please..” and hand him ten rupees. He smilingly nods and gives me my sweet cup of tea which I sip and enjoy while watching the rain.

I do not know much about Ganesh, I’ve never given it a thought. I have always seen him selling chai opposite my house and all I know is that I associate my fond memories of growing up drinking badam milk and tea in the rain under his chai thela. He must be everyone’s favorite in the neighborhood, rich and poor stop by his stall to drink his tea. I wonder why I am giving it so much thought? I guess I am only thankful because every time I look at his stall I subconsciously smile. The little pleasures in life come from the simple things that people do towards humankind.

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