Make tea, not war

Celebrity Column: Make tea, not war, writes Ayushmann Khurrana

Make tea, not war. That’s what the Brits said while negotiating their commerce with India. Then, we were consumed by the aroma of tea. And the rest is history. Teatime is the time to slow down, introspect and appreciate the things around us. Tea makes the mountains look more beautiful. Tea is the best garnish to the rains. Barsaat ke saath chai aur koi achcha sa sher farmaaiye. Do you remember the song Ae Ajnabi from Dil Se? That scene where Shah Rukh Khan is having chai with the beautiful raindrops making their way into the tea cup and mixing with its innate soul as if it’s their birthright to be one with the chai. That defines life.

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy tea, and that’s kind of same thing.

The most widely-consumed drink in the world after water is tea. It is the solution to every problem. It’s a mood changer. It changes your life every day. It triggers the bowels in the body and vowels in the language of your soul. It makes your mundane newspaper (not DNA) more readable.

I believe there are two types of people in the world. Tea drinkers and coffee drinkers. Don’t trust the ones who have both. Sigh. I’m in the third category. So was Abraham Lincoln. He once said, “If this is coffee, please bring me some tea. And if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” I’m also mired with similar confusion. Whenever I go out for a meeting to somebody’s office, I ask for tea/coffee depending on the specialty of that place. No place serves perfect tea and coffee. One has to be better than the other.

Tea is romance. Coffee is sex. Post a party, if a guy goes to drop a girl to her place, and if she asks him to come over for some coffee, it will mostly lead to sex. If she asks him to come over for tea, that’ll mostly be chit-chat or romance, which may or may not lead to sex. Both are different and beautiful. But tea heals. Coffee simply wakes you up and makes you chirpy with a cute slap across your face. That’s the schism.

My conventional taste buds haven’t got used to milkless tea and coffee. I feel sorry for the lactose intolerants. Sorry, I don’t trust green tea as it doesn’t look green. Then why is it called green tea? It clearly looks light brown. Yeah, yeah, stop getting into semantics. It’s made of young bright green leaves of tea tree. But, sorry, it’s not tea, it’s medicine. Black coffee is more reliable in that case. It’s black and it’s blatant and honest to its nature. But I’m too conventional to like either. Purist tea/coffee lovers hate milk, as they think it kills and adulterates the real flavour. If that’s the case, try lemon tea, the one you get at different addas of Kolkata. It’s amazing. It’s refreshing. Have one in the rains, with Rabindra sangeet playing in the background. It’ll purify your inner self. If Rumi was alive today, he would’ve loved it and offered one to Shams of Tabriz. Tea is spiritual. And if you think coffee has more power, then let me remind you about the Boston Tea Party that triggered the American Revolution in 1773.

I don’t understand people who drink endless cutting chai with cigarettes standing outside the YRF studios in the pollution and humidity of Mumbai.”

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