Never ending cuppa!
Never ending cuppa!
Books and a cuppa make an attractive couple.
Rene finds words alluring, intriguing, riveting, and endearing. In times of happiness and not so happy days, solace is what she achieves in flipping over the pages transporting to another world amidst the characters in a book.
And the cuppa-"Chai ki pyali" ? Rene's sole best friends are her books and the cuppa and her journey with the cuppa dates back to mid 90s.
Well, Rene started sipping tea, way back in her teens during her stay with her parents in Dalhousie on a chilling rainy day. It was on one such day in September that, on her way back home, the ever-changing clouds over the Dhauladhar range drenched the hills station along with Rene. Those were the days when she and her friends had to walk approximately 5 km to their school and back everyday from Gandhi Chowk to Subhash Chowk with a heavy satchel on their back. (No education policy in place then and no civil society organization rooting for the plight of school kids).
It was occasional when her Baba would provide a drop to the school in his Mahindra Jeep via "Thandi Sadak" and she would take utmost pleasure of honking, to scare the monkeys off the road and the ones swinging on the branches of deodar trees which was otherwise, on a normal day. This was a detour from the "Garam Sadak", the road she would take to her school. But then Thandi Sadak had its own warmth very much antithetical to its name. It provided the mesmerizing view of the Dhauladhar range and she would sit cuddled up in her Baba's arm until the destination. The road shrouded with Pine, Deodar and Oak trees on one side and the steep gorge on the other, testing Kheru uncle's driving skill set to manoeuver past the gorge heaped upon with mud thrown on the side of the road from a new hotel construction site to lure the tourists at a prime plot promising, 'the verandah or room view' of the Himalayan range.
That day she had left her pink flower printed raincoat at school. The gumboot was the only saviour from the slugs and the downpour. The ever bending road was a playground for slugs and snails right from the month of July until November and she had to glide through past them, avoiding any slip off or injury to the slow paced. However, her gumboots filled with water failed her that day. She slipped and fell as the monkeys stood witness to a somersault, enjoying with utmost pleasure shrouded under the thick foliage. As the idiom goes "every dog has his day", this was their day.
Managing a slippery walk with a heavy heart, watery eyes, shoes speaking louder than words, she was still a half kilometer away from her home. She had never felt such a rumbling pain in her stomach fearing the endless walk on a cloudy, dark afternoon consistently being greeted by thunderclaps. Longing to get back at the earliest she accelerated her pace in the deluge. At the helm of her journey up the steep hill to her wooden cottage, tardily she saw her Mother standing eager-eyed with a cuppa. She tightly hugged her and gulped down her first-ever cup of a brewing hot masala Chai falling in love yet again with the rain and thunderstorms. The book too eagerly waiting to slip into her hand along with a cuppa on a frosty day. Thus began a perpetual journey of a book and the cuppa!