The Monsoon Chaiwallah

monsoon tea stall

While the rains in Kolkata are expected to deluge us till September, the cloud burst on Monday was the heaviest shower I have experienced in more than a decade.

It started off as a sweltering, humid day, with back-to-back appointments. Now there are certain days, like these, when you pray that the traffic doesn’t slow you down, and you look your impeccable best for all the meetings lined up.

But of course, fate decides to play it otherwise.

The rumbling of the clouds and the sudden darkness gave me that tingling sensation in the stomach, as I felt the first drop of rain on my head. The timing could not have been any better. I had just completed my first meeting and was walking out of the gate, when it dawned on me. I had left my car behind, and was planning on a cab-ridden day. To top it off, I had no umbrella.

As I frantically tried to hail down a “kala pila” (our beloved Ambassador taxis), I knew that the oh-so-awesome Ubers and Olas would be a long shot today. And then, the initial twenty second panic was washed away by the sense of calm that the rains bring with it. I was soaked, but so was everyone around me, and there was nothing that I could do about it. So I looked up, smiled, and enjoyed the showers with that peaceful resignation.

I turned to my right, to see the unmistakable sight of a chaiwallah. The sweet, heavenly smell of tea lured me towards him, with the enticing thought of hot tea in an earthen pot, “cooked” with milk and sugar.

My world was perfect again!

A cup of steaming hot tea while soaking in the rain, some days just do not get any better, do they?


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