I’ve come to Chandigarh for my two months internship. It is Chandigarh’s January, also the coldest days as people say here. The weather is really cold. Before traveling, I do not know why I was so sure that it would be hot here! I didn’t even check! So, I brought all the summer clothes with me. What a big mistake!!!
How badly I want a respite from this freezing cold. When I’m in office, it is good but, I do need to make most of my India visit.
One day, I was walking under the soothing sun and I head to a restaurant. I saw a lot of English words everywhere. Walls, tables, à la carte…everywhere. Yes, I can read it, but hey! What do they refer to? Suddenly, I found a familiar word, TEA, although it is next to a word ‘masala’. Perplexed, I asked the waiter and he proudly said, ‘It’s the most popular drink in India. Almost everyone drinks masala tea every day.’ Alright, let me have it.
Then, surprised! When I see the tea, I believe that my face is like this!
Because in China, our tea is not milk, sugar and other spices. It’s just tea!
(I cannot continue with my story without sharing with you all the beautiful Chinese words on that wooden tray. It says:
Winding up the rocky path in cold mountain path,
Homesteads unveiled in the floating white clouds,
Stopped the coach to enjoy the late maple woods,
Frosty leaves redder than the February flowers.)
Now, let me take you to the land where I come from and tell you the tea that we have there.
We have six major types of tea – green tea, black tea, Oolong tea, dark tea and white tea (Oh yes, this many!). It is said that green tea, simple and light, stands for scholasticism of south China; black tea, mild and reserved, is regarded rather ladylike; Oolong tea, warm and persistent, resembles the perseverance of philosophers, dark tea, with its lingering aftertaste, symbolizes the wisdom of the elderly, and so on and so forth. BUT, all the tea is just tea. Taste some bitter, then there will be some sweet. It can inspire your spirit.
Now, it’s my time to taste my Masala Tea.
Wow! How complex the taste is?
The taste of milk, tea fragrance, a special tinge of ginger…my tongue was instantly full of flavors. At that moment, I was impressed by its taste. I fell in love with it.
Now, my fondness for the Masala Tea has reached to the level that I want it after every meal. When I’m enjoying Chandigarh’s beautiful sunset I have my Masala Tea, my Indian love in my hand. When I’m reading my favorite ‘Pride and Prejudice’, I have my Masala Tea in my hand. It is slowly becoming one with myself.
No, I won’t say that. It’s pure love. Love for my new home in India; love for my new office; love for my new friends here and my Masala Tea is an exquisite metaphor for all this.