Random images from my flickr stream...



चायबाज़ ज्योति (Chaibaaz Jyoti)

Jyoti is a fellow FACEBOOKist and is a member of the "Ek cup Garam Chai ho jaye" Group on FB. When I posted a request for interviews, she was one of the firsts to respond and here we are with her lovely responses. In her own words, Jyoti is a "never-say-no-to-chai-addict full-time stay-at-home mom, a once upon a million years ago voracious n addicted blogger, part time poet and a full-time "perpetually on a learning curve" amateur photographer". Her sense of humor coupled with the love of Tea makes this chaitalk very interesting to read!


Why Tea??
Why not??
Jokes apart... I guess it's all about the initiation. Once a person is introduced to such an energising beverage at an impressionable age... it's hard to resist it. Tea just happens to be the one for me.

"Chai peenein ke liye, bahaanein kise chaahiye yaaron??
Chai toh khud peenein pilaanein ka bahaana hai. "

- What if you had to make a flavor of tea, what would you have in it, other than Tea leaves?
Ginger... any time. I have tried and tasted many flavors... but nothing beats the plain old "adrakwaali chai". And that's my elixir.

- What would you do if you were given two days in a tea estate?
Drink tea and take pictures... :D:D:D:D That sounds silly... but that kind of sums up what I'll do. Although... if I were to give a more politically correct answer... I would say... try to make most of every moment and get to know more about tea... from horse's mouth.

Wait... do horses drink tea?? :D:D:D:D

- Tea in a cup? or Tea in a steel glass? or Tea in a kulhad (earthen cups) or tea in a paper cup? or tea in a glass? and why?
Steel glass -> C cup -> glass glass -> Paper cups ... in that order.
-> Steel glass : Anytime. A part of the experience while having tea is the feeling of the warm steel glass in your hand. I would exchange that for nothing.
-> C cups: They look artistic, alluring... and are easily available everywhere. So I use it cause it's there... not out of choice.
-> Glass gilaas: Kaanch ke gilaas mein chai peenein ka majja hi kuch aur hai... especially on a rainy day at a roadside tapri. But please don't serve me chai in a gilaas if I am at your house. :D:D:D:D:D
-> Kulhad chai... seems exotic... meant to be savored on special occasions.

Your earliest Tea-Memories...
I have two very distinct memories. Both are very dear to me... so I guess I'll share both rather than just one earliest memory.

My ammamma( maternal grandmother) was the one who introduced chai [ no not chai... tea... she had studied in a convent... so it was always tea for her... never chai. :D:D:D] to me. I was in... 1st standard, when I had gone to stay with her for summer. I used to watch her studiously mix Brook bond Red Label(granules) and Lipton Green label ( tea leaves) and fill it up in her tea can. No on ever made tea like her... so said everybody when they'd visit ammamma.
And she took pride in being meticulous and precise about her tea.

I guess... that was when I was all fascinated and got initiated to the world of chai lovers. :D:D:D:D

But reading another Chaibaaz's answeres... I remembered another a very distinct and a dear memory.
When I was around two, our neighbours were a bengali family. Kaaku( uncle and Kaamimaa( aunty) loved me to lore. Every evening, when Kaaku would return from work, kaaki would serve him cha with either plain muri or jhaalmuri. I was the only one in the house who was allowed to pick muris from Kaaku's cha glass. We would both sit at the edge of his four-poster bed, switch on the radio( those huge old fashioned radio sets) and enjoy cha-muri. I loved these chaa-muri session so much, I would get dressed every evening and go wait at our favorite corner on that four-poster bed, for Kaaku to come back from office and share his treasure with me.

So technically... I must have gotton intitiated at the age of 2. Though, I didn't remember this earlier cause after a while... long before I turned 3, we left that house and moved away and my chaa-muri sessions with Kaaku ended. I grew up and forgot all about the memories till now when I was reading the afore-mentioned chaibaaz's post.

- Do you remember when you had tea for the first time? Is it related to why you like tea so much?
Yes... I guess. Read my answers above.

- If Tea was a person, what would that mean to you? What would that person be like?
It would be my confidante... my shoulder to cry on... my companion of good and bad times... my absolute best friend. And what would it be like... warm, strong, comforting and a joy to be with.

- Your favorite T-picture please...
I would have loved to post a chai in a kulhad picture taken near Manmad station or Kharagpur... but alas... I have none as of now. So please feel free to use any of Archana's pics. I love them all. Just make sure the pics are... steamy... :d Literally.

Please read Archana's Chaibaaz post here.

- Your favorite T-shop? and why?
Where - Vishal Chai ki tapri at Pune University. Why - Loads of memories. And the best chai I have had as an adult, that was not made by me. :D:D:D:D {Ok so now you also know that I think my chai is the best. :D:D:D:D but I know... every true blue chai-addict thinks so too. }

- Your favorite T-quote
I never really thought of looking at tea quotes... up untill now... Tea has always been my elxir. So I'd say... Chai... sabke gam bhulai... Wait... that sounds cheesy.
Let me see... guess this is a good quote... “A woman is like a tea bag, you can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water” :D:D:D
What do you say??

- Your website/blog
I don't have one as of now.


  1. rainy days me glass glass me chai ke sath ciggarate ka combination bhi bahut sahi hota hai. (for occasional smokers like me)

  2. Rainy days mein to kisi bhi gilaas mein kisi bhi cheez ke saath chai ka combination bahut sahi hota hai :)

  3. Kisi bhi days mein kisi bhi glass mein kisi bhi cheez ke saath chai ka combo bahut sahi hota hai :p