Chai Time Baqwaas

on Saturday, October 20, 2007


Enough of my come backs....I disappear and then all of a sudden wake up to realize 'Oh...I got a blog too!'...though mostly it is because I am busy, but I miss blogsphere...my blog friends...their blogs...my blog...everything!! :-( ...Okay...as usual...I am writing on my blog after a long time, so ofcourse I am over excited and like always I HAVE to tell you, how in this absence I had so much to write on my blog but could not due to time constraints (read laziness).

So...finally to something extremely silly as it may seem, but what is it that has coaxed me enough to blog again? Well...stupid 10 day break which sounds only so boring that I could die....have lots of work...which still seems so less compared to the time I have. Anyway....blah blah blah... :P ..... So before I start off with my latest peaceful outing... I'de like to share some random silly thoughts that crossed my mind.

I am very serious about adding a label 'auto ride' to my blog because I travel for over one hour everyday in an auto and that is one time of the day when I find peace with myself....I think...observe...enjoy music...and relax...its 'my' time. Since I get so many random thoughts and interesting observations during that time, every time I write about that particular thought, I'll label it 'Auto Ride'...(Bela is so right....I am so random...I say and do anything...just out of the blue...huh...whatever) Apart from that...I am bored and I have forgotten all that I was about to blurt....oh yeaaah...wait wait....I am a happy person because I am concentrating on my work more than my grad...and I am loving each moment of it. And this brings me to my CHAI TIME!!

I had to write this article on chai wallahs and instead of first visiting the most famous SHARMA ki CHAI of the city, I visited Channilal ki Chai. God Damn!! Honestly, I am not a tea drinker as such (Kashmiri chai being an exception), but sometimes I like it. More than the tasty tea of Channilal (which, according to me is better than Sharma's) that I was served, it was the whole feeling of being there.

I mean...have you ever heard of a chauraha...a four way crossing, in one of the most posh areas of the city being named after a chai wallah? This was more because of his generosity than his tea speciality. Channilal Lodhi served tea and breakfast to government officals in 1972 during some strike which lasted for a good 62 days, for free. He had hundreds of officials coming every morning to his little tea stall, he ran into losses, but Channilal went on to form an unbreakable bond with his people. He still does, which has earned him a chauraha named after him. Though his tea stall has shifted from the CHANNILAL chauraha to a place more peaceful, just a few meters away.

Looking like a typical choti chai ki dukaan, with bun makkhan, samosas and bis-koot, sipping his tea sitting away from the hustle bustle of life, the traffic, away from life seems like the best thing to do after a stressful day. I have never enjoyed tea more than what I did yesterday. It was a peaceful moment. Everyone else feeling the same. I, being the only woman in that place, with a crowd that may not be what we would generally call 'educated and decent', and not even for a single moment did I have anyone staring at me, invade my privacy or make me feel uncomfortable.

Infact, when Channilal came to his shop, I was already sitting, sipping tea, reading and looking around, like time was all mine. His worker told him twice or thrice, 'yeh ayin hai aapse milne ke liye', but he just quietly sat, without coming into my notice and let me enjoy 'my' moment 'my' tea. Spending a few minutes talking to him made me realize how old shopkeepers, chai wallahs gain loyalty, its all because of their modesty, genuineness, love and dedication. How I wish we had some people like that still left in this world, or atleast come to my notice more often. The whole experience feels either like it was a dream or a trip to another planet. I may sound like I am exaggerating, but it was so different from my pre conceived notions of a chai stall. The peace, privacy, chai and relaxing 20 minutes spent there, were blissful. And when Channilal says the secret of his famous tea is just his love for people who come to his stall, and their love for him - you know it is, you know the secret ingredient is the love with which he makes his tea.

This also raises one more question in my mind, why is chai so important for people? Why are they so particular about 'their' tea? They seem to like just one kind of tea, slight difference in the taste of their tea, get ready to face that person's bad mood. Chai connect is funny, amuses me. But I think one more visit to that place and I'll join the 'amusing' league of people, sans the answer ofcourse. :-)

23 comments:

Standbymind said...

Well...I have my tea in hand...and here comes ur post..
Feeel like re- reading it (gimme a min)....

(Sippin "My tea" and reading)..
Loved the post....I agree with such chaiwala...n places!
Its the bond and love one gets them them...

and ya ppl are very particular about this..

I know this dhaba..called " Babe da dhaba"..now this like small dhaba w..very cheap..and generations have eaten here..n its known not by owner with this 90+ old man who serves..(man died recently...)

Then I know this " barf ke gole wala"..My fathers...aunts...uncles have eaten from him in their skool time...n i n they still eat it..and the syrup he puts ion them is like Heaven...

Beautiful post...
(chai finished)

:)

Keshi said...

Im not much of a tea-drinker but I LOVE my coffee! cant live w.o. it.


**why is chai so important for people?

I guess certain drinks calm us down...it's both psychological and physical...

Keshi.

dharmabum said...

oh, i don't mind the change in taste - i make my tea in de morning, and it turns out a little different everyday :P

seriously though, it is my favourite drink.

u write well. thanks for visiting - it brought me here :)

all the chai shops in lucknow (thats the place, i hope) sound so interesting, it makes me wanna come there.

Rajeev said...

Im dont drink much tea either!
I live on coffee! :D

peace & love
Jeevy

matty said...

I am not much of a tea drinker but i always hangout with my friends who live on tea and so even i visit these chaiwalas..
well its the best time of my day..
take a break..hang out with buddies..
forget everything..
forget ur damn damn life and sip the tea....
wow! really good isn't it!!
well yes that's my moment of peace!!

Stoned scribbler said...

Daeym, WOMAN !! :D
I don't drink tea or coffee (I'm stuck with stupeed milk even at the age of 17 >_> ).. but you just made me wanna drink tea SO bad!! :D Especially Mr Channilal's chai.. :P
Start talking about food like this now, I may just become non-anorexic :P

Did I tell you I love your name? lol, I know it ain't relevant.. but.. :P

And hot hot layout!!

Now, you have 10 days to go blah blah babble babble yak yak. I bless thee. Start on cue.. 1.. 2 ..89!!

Cold & Silent..... said...

a "garam chai ka pyaala, a cigarette and Dilli ki Sardi".... nothin gets better..........

rOhit said...

well.. not a "chai" lover et al.. :P
but goes fine if a "sutta" is ther.. lol

truly loved ur 3rd para.. coz thats exactly my locale.. spending daily 1 hr. in an auto wid my ownself.. and concentrating completely on work rather than my grad.. :P.. i felt as if it was written for me..:D

good work..
keep it up.. ;)

Vinodh said...

i am not a chai lover...but i go bananas over coffee..

i simply love your blog..but why dont you post more often?

the cloud with the bronze lining said...

so i guess ki tum ek garam chai ki pyali ho..
watever.. BLAH...
nice n looooooong blog.. keep it up.. visit mine sumtime too

Nabila Zehra Zaidi said...

@ Aman .... babe da dhabba, barf ke gole wala....interesting names...but you too agree with me na...it IS HOW people behave with you that touches us more than anything else....personal touch matters everywhere... Chai time has not much to do with the 'chai'/'coffee' as such but more what can happen over a cup of coffee or what you feel when sipping your tea :D !!

@ Keshi .... Psychological....uuumm..yeah maybe...but whatever...till something positive comes out of it...I wouldn't care...would you??

@ Dharma .... Thank you! And you are most welcome to the city, with open arms. The chai treat shall be on me ;-)

@ Rajeev ... I too was a coffee person...but tea...mmm....i always under estimated this lovely beverage :)

@ Matty .... oh yes...talk about the peacefulness and what better when you enjoy this peacefulness WITH friends ;)

Nabila Zehra Zaidi said...

@ The cloud ..... LOL...will visit you soon :-)

@ Vinodh .... BANANAs over COFFEE...okay bad joke...should not have even tried this one :P ... blah...Anyway, Thanks...will try...(like always) ;)

@ Rohit ....Yippeee... So I am not the only one, who loves work more than grad :D .... good good...!! Auto rides give you so much to observe and think na...??

@ Cold and silent .... approx 1 degree ka difference in Lucknow and Dilli ki sardi... chai sutta sardi..perfect combo ;)

@ MY LOV MY FAV STONED SCRIBBLER .... Come over and you shall be kept away from milk and served only tea....the special channilal wali chai ;) And Thank you very much :-) And whats with the 10 day blah blah yak yak....??

rOhit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rOhit said...

lol.. i agree.. auto rides are the best place to be lost in all the wild imaginations and spend wid YOUR thoughts and truly be YOUR ownself.. :)

and wish i cud explain my grads.. its not that i am not concentrating on them.. its lik i hav almost left it..lol.. :P.. chose a diffrnt path for myself.. ;) and i thot i was the only such person..

anyways its gud to see dat ppl lik me to exist.. and what more it can be rather than a LEO.. (same pinch)..lol :P

daman kohli said...

it's good to see u back :)and the auto rides in Bombay are awesome , because you have those wonderful roads where inspite of being lost in my imaginations , i do manage to wake up

Keshi said...

love the music here girl!

Keshi.

Nabila Zehra Zaidi said...

@ Rohit... here I am...another leo...to give you company ;)

@ Daman ... I HATE BOMBAY TRAVELING AND TRAFFIC!! Its like you live more than half of your life in trains, buses autos and taxis...huh...sleep drink shit look for love complete pending work...all of it... :P

@ Keshi .... thanx girl :)

lemonade said...

i've never much cared for actual tea..the smell puts me off..i think i'm the only Indian who cannot stand the smell of tea. but lemon tea is something that i can drink gallons of! ;)

Ayesha Hoda said...

Hey, I read this over a cup of tea...interesting facts about the chai wallah...such people can be inspiring in their own way!

nikhil said...

Not much of a tea drinker..but yeah I kinda miss kashmiri chai myself...long time since i last drank it...and see after reading ur blog post I dont see why people need to go to Mochas or the CCD to enjoy! hell u can have privacy even in a chai stall!!

Haider Khan said...

its 3.40 am and i already had 3 cups of tea...bina chai ke to raat kat tee hi nahi hai...i dont remember a day in my life when i didnt had a tea.....adrak aur elaichi ke saath zyada acchi lagti hai.

waise chaanilal chauraha kahan hai??

Sreetama said...

hey I just love drinking tea & am addicted to it! Not that i drink cups & cups of tea but if i dnt have my morning & evening tea, I feel sick. I think this is addiction enough! This is a nice post! Infront of our colege, there is a chaiwala who makes awesome tea, he has every flavour of tea to offer, lemon tea, masala tea etc. etc. My college days r over. Ur post made me nostalgic! :( :)

twilightprincess13 said...

you suck!! I rule the blah lands!!!!!