Chaaye! The lovely wonderful aromatic get-out-of-bed-in-the-morning kind of chaaye! Or the boosts-my-nervous-system-helps-in-blogging kind chaaye!
For those of my readers who don’t know Urdu (and there are so many of you I feel proud because of you), the word Chaaye literally means Tea in English. In Pakistan, we love chaaye directly simmering from the stove with milk and sugar boiled for the umpteenth time till the tea leaves and milk combine to provide a wonderful aroma. Even the smell can wake you up from your slumber in a second. Yummy, delicious, perfect Chaaye! The perfect Wintry Chaaye!
In the Pakistani society, we don’t ask the guests or friends for tea…we simply make it. Imagine you have your friends over for a slumber party, or close family members with whom you wanna stay up the night talking nestled in the blankets on a starry winter night with both hands hugging a steaming cup of tea, the steam wafting up to the tip of your cold chin and nose. Yummm! I miss my sister and my home when I think of this, especially when we were single at home chattering away throughout the night. Early morning Chaaye is to us Asians like a cup of black coffee on way to work is to Americans.
I think Chaaye has a lot of overlooked powers. Chaaye is used as a seduction net for rishta walas (matchmakers) by the girl’s family, the best tea gets the best vote and the best guy (that’s so sexist of us I know). But I believe a good cup of tea can change the world, right decisions can be made, nations can become friendly, a cranky husband can melt and a homeless can see hope…all with a simmering cup of tea in hand. Especially in winters when everything is so cold and lifeless.
Right now my hot cup of tea and butter coconut biscuits are helping me write. And I love it. I make mine with jaggery instead of sugar…Maybe I should share the recipe one day. Would anyone want to know? Anyone?
Over and out.