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Happy Times

Chai

By NJPublished 27 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - May 2024
+ Chai Master

Along the roads in Gujarat. Our driver was taking us from Talgajada to the airport in Diu, a port side sea town. The roads sometimes smoothly paved from recent construction, to potholes, and then just chaos with road re-routes. But we stopped along the way to roadside bathrooms with food stalls, and also tea stalls.

We were parched from the heat despite the car's air-conditioning. The rectangular decorated box filed with delicate Indian sweets was passed from the front to the back seat, and front again, celebrating my friend's quiet engagement. She felt blessed, after a tumultuous separation and divorce a few years before, but the process took years along with a court battle. Now she was a cook book author, and dating a divorced dad of two. well, actually she was now engaged to this man, sitting in the front seat beside the driver. It seemed unlikely a pair, but at the same time she happy and blissful as they did activities together and shared a life.

In this moment, it was pure joy of celebration and love. The sun streaked through the windows, and we had drunk our water bottles empty. We hit a roadside stand. My friend and I went out of the car into the bright light of the day into the town's hustle and bustle. Her doting fiancé followed, and the driver got out of the car, while keeping his watchful eyes on us.

I wanted chips, the small bags of Balaji chips. Specifically searching for Pudina, meaning mint. The little bags of pudina chips were a refreshing twist on a potato chip. It was a crinkled chip with speck of dried mint leaves, and spices. It was yum. I also wanted water, and bought a bottle of Bisleri, a brand of water with a sealed blue cap. I was parched.

In the meantime, my friend and her fiancé had discovered a delight, and stood in front of a tea stand, the one pictured here. This man was kind and shy but his eyes shone as he practiced his craft, the chai master.

He was a slim man, with a black curly hair, who stood behind his chai counter amidst a blue wall as his backdrop. A top of a fire, was a beat up steel pot. A brownish liquid boiled. We each put up a finger to signal we each would love a cup of chai, meaning tea. We could smell the ginger, and fragrant spices as bubbles popped. A few others had gathered around signing their wish for a cup of chai from this man.

He nodded his head and smiled downwards toward his pot. Placed 3 small plastic cups, each doubled so as he strained the chai into a metal kettle, we saw the steam seep through. He then systematically and speedily poured the chocolate brown coloured tea into our cups.

He smiled, as my friend’s fiancée paid for our tea, along with a hefty tip, which he initially refused to accept.

As we lifted our tiny plastic cups, waft of sweet spices filled our noises and the air around us. It was hot, but we each took a tiny sip. From that sip, we took one sip after the other until cups were empty. My friend's fiancee signalled another round for us.

After our final cup of chai, the sun was starting to set, and we needed to make our way to the airport. As we walked towards the car, we all turned our heads to the chai master and waved to him one last time before we hit the road.

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About the Creator

NJ

A creative soul at heart. Truth, love and compassion influence my creativity in the form of writing, painting, and living life.

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Comments (11)

  • Novel Allen19 days ago

    It is so great to learn of the experiences of different cultures and live them through the stories of others. Congrats on an interesting story.

  • Fantastic writing.

  • shanmuga priya22 days ago

    Congratulations 🎉

  • JBaz23 days ago

    Moments like this create such beautiful memories. Congratulations

  • Congratulations on your top story.

  • Ada Zuba24 days ago

    Nice work here!

  • angela hepworth24 days ago

    Beautiful, ethereal life experience you shared here! Stunningly done.

  • The Dani Writer24 days ago

    Descriptive expertise levels here! THIS was beautifully done! What a wonderful top story!

  • Shirley Belk26 days ago

    The chai sounds delicious.

  • I am too happy by reading tihs.

NJWritten by NJ

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