What is Cha?
What an obvious question, you say, I ask! Cha is Tea. A beautiful aromatic beverage consumed all across the globe. I ask you again, what is Cha? I think you are guessing what I am pointing at.
Your Bengali heart slightly fluttered. You looked outside the window, the weather greeting you with droplets and the promise of pleasant winds throughout the day. But a sudden lament descends over you as you sit in front of your office desk and miss making yourself the perfect cup of CHA or being pampered with one, while you laze away on a chair, in your veranda, fidgeting with your phone, trying to take decent rain strewn shots of anything and everything.
The Myth Called the Perfect Cup of Tea:
Now that I have got your “Cha Prem” (Love for Tea) on the brink of your lips let’s take this conversation forward. According to me, the idea of that PERRRFECT Cup of Tea is a myth. I am by no means belittling that wonderful cup of tea you consume every morning or the tea at your favourite tea stall, on the way back from work. What I mean to say is the idea of the perfect cup of tea differs from one person to other. There is no one cup of tea that can be said to be the superior most.
I specifically have two favourites. While I like my mornings greeted by aromatic and smooth roasted Darjeeling Tea, my evenings are often stripped of stress by a piping hot Bhaar of Kada Cha (strong milk tea). It must come with a shiny-crinkly layer of shar floating on the Auburn surface of the beverage and be harmoniously flavoured with ginger and cardamom. I can already feel myself drowning my senses into a rolling slurp and the refreshment taking over.
Bangali and Cha:
Bengal and Tea have been going strong, happy and hand in hand for the last 150 Years, ever since the British introduced us to these beautiful leaves that could be used to make wondrous concussions. Tea started to grow on the hills and on us as well, and soon it became the much loved Cha, which almost no Bengali today can imagine their lives without.
Cha is not only a habit, but it has become an integral part of our nostalgia and our present. Cha has seen friendships build from the scratch, cha has seen families get together and rejoice their reunion, cha has heard and shared many confessions, cha has seen smitten conversation amongst two strangers turn into a lifetime of togetherness.
When the world is racing towards achieving the most modern and the latest, Cha is secretly securing all that is truly ours. It is securing the bheto yet sophisticated charm of Calcutta, it is securing the heartiness of the adda, it is securing all the choto boro bhalobasha and most importantly, it is securing Bengal’s Bangaliana.
Cha is more than a drink to us. Cha is a lifestyle. Cha is a part of a tradition. Cha is an emotion. Ektu cha hobe naki ?