Tea is a love language

When I was growing up my grandmother used to tell me the story of a friend of hers who used to offer chaye in such a reluctant and uninviting manner that no guest of hers would ever leave dignified.  It was always a funny bit to me. In our big cities, there are only a handful of people you can actually share an intimate cup of tea with. Old friends. Parents. Some close relatives. But to be walking through a village for the first time knowing you’re probably never going to return, to be invited into the home of a stranger, for the simple, ordinary act of sharing a cup of tea. That is a culture we don’t know much of in our cities. 

Until I had lived day in day out in Kirmin for weeks on end, I never knew there was such a stark difference in the offering of chaye we have in Punjab as compared to that in remote valleys of the mountains. Coming from a rural family I have been addicted to chaye since as long as I can remember.  I even made it a point a couple years ago to make chaye for my guests myself, but that is something I learned not from my own home, but my home in the mountains. Chipursan. And this protocol isn’t reserved only for exotic guests from far off places. It’s for everyone. Everyone.

I have been in love with my cup of chaye for years, but to prepare and share a cup of chaye simply to honour the person of your guest and not take no for an answer, no matter what happens, is another lesson I learned from Chipursan and it’s people.






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