I cannot say I am a Chai or a Coffee person. I love both equally.

And about them, I am fussy. I like my coffee strong, like really really dark with a little sugar for a dash of sweetness. I like my Chai strongly brewed, with a lot of adrak, chai masala, little milk and little sugar (AND NO MALAI AT ANY COST). My friends and Mumma dread to make Chai for me because I am literally one bad Chai away from ruining my and other’s day.

More than Chai/Coffee I love the time when I have it.

I am a late riser, so morning tea was hurried to avoid getting late for college. But evenings were special. It is my favorite time of the day and I associate it with chai. Every day after toiling in college I rushed back to the hostel mess for ‘sham ki chai’. I stopped nowhere on the way, avoided eye contact with people to escape small talk. I consciously spent more time with it in evening; like it’s my partner and I have commitments to abide by. Sham ki chai is the motivation for completing my day’s tasks. It is MY time, to unwind and be. I do not compromise with it. It is the reward; the official Fullstop to day; a hug I needed after a bad day.

I am so aware of this cheesy love-story love that I wrote poems about it in college.

More from Keemaya’s love story

  1. Like for most Indian, ParleG is a mandatory accompaniment. Especially when people make too sweet a chai. I tone it down by having a biscuit or two before the chai to cut the sweetness. I let them believe that I like the chai. But in fact, no! I did not, I managed.
    Then comes puff Khari. I love the sound of that crunch. But the best thing to have with chai is Mathri (papdi or salted shakkarpara). The saltiness, flavor of Jeera compliment the strong chai just right.
  2. I make terrible chai. I suck at making it, and for someone who is so fussy and hates to be dependent, it is difficult. I make amazing coffee thought instant coffee me kya hi efforts lagte hai! (you don’t need much to be able to make instant coffee). I don’t brew coffee yet.
  3. People who make the best Chai: Prajakta masi, Amruta didi and my school friend Nishi. The flavour of their Chai hasen’t changed a bit. They make it so strong that I can feel my throat bowing down to them. I love that feeling. Strepsil is a joke, really.
  4. Then there are places I’ve had amazing chai at- Once the PNG jewelers in Amravati served really good chai. I wanted my mother to look for more bangles, so we could be served a 2nd round. Gayatri didi, who works at my friend’s house in Kota, makes great chai. The 2nd stall besides a bookstall at the Wardha railway station serves good chai but only in the mornings. Then they do the teabag thingy during the day. I skipped evening trains and caught the next day morning train to Amravati only to have that Chai.
  5. I have a dedicated highlights for Chai and coffee on my Instagram stories. I post about them all the time. Also, in my mind, I sometimes dedicate songs to them.

My experience making, drinking and serving Chai, coffee and Kahwa

  1. I love coffee. I like my coffee black, french pressed and made my someone out of love. In a huge mug, please. I would love a lemony dessert with it, but only a tiny portion.
    I like my tea, though I only seldom drink it, just like @wired__wrong ‘s. The kind that leaves a memory of itself in your throat.
    I love Kawha. I first had it in Kashmir 10 years ago. Since, I have done research and found decent Kawha every time I visited Northern India. My current batch was bought from Delhi on a work trip. I make in on days bad enough that they deserve serenading with such a rarity (I don’t know when I will get to buy it again). I made some for kaki this time. Her hand, mascaraed by chemo has come to stand for ill-luck and strength for me.
  2. I had to go to Ambadevi market (imagine old tiny lane with stalls all around) like Tulsi baug in Pune (give me your city’s equivalent) to get something for kaki that could only be procured there. It was my first time there in 9 months. In the normal times, I would venture into such markets and click photos (photo no. 3 in tha panel is from such a walk) and buy trinkets every month. I was so happy to be there, I tried to prolong my stay and bought a tiny tiffin set for Rajvi and these chai tumblers for me because the story was playing on my mind.
  3. I hope to one day feel this strong a love about anyone, anything! I mean I love love my coffee but have I made a meme for it?
  4. This is the first story that ran 2 posts without any input from me. This is also the first story that made me laugh out loud for 5 minutes straight. I read Keemaya’s poem to everyone who would hear it. And I think you should share it too.
    Thank you for the laughter and joy, @wired__wrong bb.

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