4.8.11

on the subject of marriage

For the family I grew up with, tea is sacred. One of the first lesson any kid learns in the house is How To Make Tea. It has to be the right leaf, acquired at the right factory in Darjeeling. The best kinds are from the parliament canteen (which only MPs can actually buy from), or Non Such tea (which is packaged in a beautiful wooden box), but for regular ten-cups-a-day purposes, we prefer Lipton. It's a simple recipe, but we're pretentious and puritan about it. One-and-a-half-spoons-per-cup; one-for-the-kettle; brewed till you can just about see the bottom of the cup; one-drop-of-milk; these are tea-mantras I learnt by my ripe old age of 10. The blacker, the better, the sugarless, the yummier.

Now, as you can imagine, very few people in India actually like tea that's made up of mostly hot water. This includes much of my maternal family. Recently, when I was asked to make tea for my grandmother, she gave me a very, very disappointed look and said:

"Inda tea-ey seriya panna theriyaade. Maamiyar aathele enna panna poriyo!"
("When you can't even make tea properly, what will you do in your mother-in-law's house!")

I suppose that closes the subject of marriage entirely.

3 comments:

Prabha Mohan said...

Bah. Hated "Nonsuch Estate tea loose leaf"!

(we somehow also manage to find non-milk non-sugar people. they exist!)

s said...

i put exactly seven grains of sugar into my tea. appa almost had a heart attack :P

Sita said...

p'ka: (since you're now insisting on titles etc.) i remember, once when i was really little and i made tea for you, i used a different leaf and you explained to me that it's like the difference between bournvita and cocoa - you can always tell.

(i love the Nonsuch box though, i always made it only because the box is that nice.)

s: i'm a total fan of cinnamon tea. in a seasonal relationship with it, in fact. (blasphemous. i know.)