My mailbox conked off, and I could not check this email from Dithi for a while, and when I finally managed to access it today, I felt so super nice reading her thoughts about Tea..
Dithi is an amazing artist based out of Geneva, and I do not have words to express how beautiful her work is! Please do visit the links at the end of this post to explore Dithi's world of mind blowing paintings!
- Why Tea?
....‘coz it makes you feel like you are home, you are warm and everything is going to be fine when you take that first morning sip. Almost 4 years in Europe (read: being surrounded by café lovers & Espresso fanatics) couldn’t take the chai lover out of me, if anything, I hold on to it more sip by sip.
- What if you had to make a flavor of tea, what would you have in it, other than Tea leaves?
Grated juicy ginger bits, crushed Cardamom/Elaichi, cloves, a couple of crushed black peppercorns, a nice ghazal and some sufi songs in a husky female voice!
- What would you do if you were given two days in a tea estate?
I would try not to get lost!! Wait, let me explain where that came from: Way back, sometime in the 70s, my parents were visiting the Makaibari tea estate and my mom and sis could not find their way back from the ladies room for a little while. That made a rather scary picture of a tea estate in my mind, of being this endless 3D maze that you never find your way out of if you get lost.
That image was crushed (phew!) on our visit to the Munnar tea estate. It’s unreal; you are surrounded by beauty and serenity. I’d like to just listen to good music, help myself to a serious tea drinking indulgence and, of course, let all that inspiration find expression in a little bit of artwork may be?
- 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?
Kulhad on the road, whenever possible, am a Bengali who loves her ‘cha’ in the ‘bhaand’ (Bengali name for the delightful terracotta cup). At home, I like collecting handmade ceramic cups and mugs by various artists all over the world. I also enjoy observing the various ways in which tea is served in different countries, e.g. Moroccan tea in coloured decorative glasses, Chinese tea in white or blue porcelain cups, etc., that sort makes the tea drinking experience that much more exciting and authentic.
- What is your earliest memory of Tea?
Earliest and strongest 2 memories:
1. Dad having several cups of very strong tea all through the day, he still does. He is the unparalleled tea King in the family!
2. We were not encouraged (read: not allowed) to have tea as kids.
- Do you remember when you had tea for the first time? Is it related to why you like tea so much?
Because it was such a big deal for me to have tea as a kid, I remember, one of the joys of the newly found freedom when I moved out of home for the first time to stay as a paying guest in Kolkata (while in college) was being served tea for breakfast everyday! When I went back home after that, the tea-rule changed. That was such a ‘grown-up-&-can-have-tea’ moment!
- Your favorite T-shop? and why?
Many. Dolly’s tea boutique in Kolkata, love the Fab India Organic Tulsi tea, in Geneva I love buying caddies from Terre D’oc and Teakoe.
- Your favorite brand of tea and why?
I like Tata teas for the desi masala cup, Tetley Early Grey for a flavourful cup of black and Terre d’Oc blends for an occasional designer organic tea (their spicy black from India and Earl Grey from China are super!)
- Your favorite website related to Tea and why?
Many, you’ll know why when you hop over:
- If Tea was a person, what would that mean to you? What would that person be like?
Would be a ‘he’; dynamic and strong, yet, a much grounded person whose company would be nothing less than therapy for my often-jittery nerves.
- Your favorite T-picture please...
- Your favorite T-quote
Well, I came across this Japanese proverb recently and loved it: ‘If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.’ So true!
2. Good headphones/earphones to hear all this good music
3. Places to visit
4. Moments when you did not talk but communicate
5. Good movies
6. Early morning I-am-sleepy-but-walking-with-you walks
7. I-wish-I-was-out-on-the-mountain moments
8. Gulab Jamun after dinner evenings
9. Discounts and deals available all around
10. Picture memories
11. Tea on a trip to anywhere, somewhere and everywhere!
What you see in the photograph above are some of the thousands of written applications to God in a temple dedicated to Golu Devta, in Chetai near Almora (Uttarakhand, India) Its a custom to write/type applications/requests on paper even stamp papers and put them in this temple.