Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Chai! Garam Garam! Close your eyes and think about it. Its raining, lush green all around and a steaming hot cup of tea. I read this post called Ginger a few days back and as I sat behind my glass walls in Goregaon, with the rain beating down hard, I craved for a hot cup of 'cutting chai' rich with ginger.
This weekend mom, dad and I took time away from this mad city and drove up to Lonavala. We stayed at a friend's bungalow up a hill in Khandala. Just at the turn of the hill was this little chai stand. This woman and her daughter with big smiles were boiling up a large pot of tea. "I want mine without sugar". She smiled and said ok. She took some ginger and smashed it and some lemon grass and chopped it. In a big pot she boiled some tea leaves, and threw in the ginger, lemongrass and some chai masala (cardamom), and boiled and stirred adding some milk and stirred it some more. Then poured the hot, fresh, without sugar tea in the tiny glass glasses that are made specially for all the little chai stands all over the country. Millions of them - Im sure are made.
BLISS. It was raining and we stood under the plastic covers of her little tea stall as she carried on making aloo vadas for her customers. Yes- hot tea with spicy vada pav. The perfect combination in all this rain, fog and mist. Ginger. I sipped on this slightly spicy, sweetly aromatic with the delicacy of the lemongrass leaves in the tea. Ginger. I peeled away and found this rich, verdant, fertile land all around me.

Soul of Water

I constantly flow
and of mysterious depths glow.
Silent – a power I know
stopped – powerful I grow.

I don a colour
every hour
when it is light
and can be darker than the night.

In passing, I change
desert into verdant range
in being the elixir
for everything living.

I was born,
to bear life on
rise, ebb, freeze, thaw; be
the very soul of life.
                                                                             -by Anand Vishwanadha

This gorgeous poem was shared by the poet himself. Do check out his book Moving On.
Anand is a poet, photographer and an avid motorcyclist who loves to travel the far ends of this country. He is also the author of the book Moving On- a collection of poems and writes a really cool blog.


  1. Love the pictures Jyotika! Beautiful series - I was just showing my wife these pictures and telling her that the best part about traveling in India besides being at a beautiful place is the availability of chai and pakora :)

  2. Oh you went to Lavasa? I went there in March, nice place but largely under construction even now.
    Love the post,(I'm a major tea lover)lush green sylvan beauty accompanied by that steaming cup of aromatic tea. What a setting!

  3. hey thanks everyone.
    @Vinda- I believe there is still a stay order by the Supreme court. There are some environmental issues the place is stuck in. so the construction is on a halt.

  4. Nothing can beat the Sahyadri during the monsoons!

  5. Hey Jyotika, this is nice and very sweet of you indeed :-) I see that you have used "Soul of Water" and I agree with your choice because the soul of water is life and that's what this blog post of yours -- cheery, rejuvenating, refreshing (Chai, Ginger, Rains) and very lively -- seems to be about.

    The pics are awesome and they strike a chord in me, asking me to hit the road again :-)

    Many thanks for the good words about Moving On and my blog and me!

    Must say you got an awesome blog and since I am a foodie too I am sure I will spend a lot of time here and enjoy my repasts of all that you have concocted so well.



  6. There is nothing so soothing as the sublime pleasure of chai on a rainy day!

  7. wow. you know how i love you - well right now - i dont missy. this makes me sooooo jealous! dude. no fair.
    in retribution (also since its overcast here right now) - i am gonna get into my car, make ra drive to the nearest cafe - get a giant latte to go - and go sit by the water and look at the fucking skyline.
    bitchtress. love.

  8. How can a cup of simple roadside tea make you so jealous. Oh well I guess it does since you live in NYC. Haha.. have we got the perspectives wrong. Love u too Megs

  9. Lovely pictures! I feel like taking off to Lonavala from Goregaon where I too live.

  10. I love the title of this blog. whenever i make chai, i put on a nasal voice and scream in a harmonious tone, "Chai wala, chai! chai wala chai!." And I make everyone around me join is - else they get no chai :D

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  12. nice post ma'am thanks for posting it amazing pics.

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