Tea time

Tea time

But how would Roli ever get that perfect cup again? The person who made it the wonderful concoction it was, wasn’t around anymore.

As they made their way back home, Roli and her father both didn’t have the mood to eat. The feeling to have some tea was very strong though.

The need to drink tea was so strong because it was that time of the evening, when they always had some. Some urges don’t really see the circumstance before arriving and wanting a cup of tea was one of them.

But how would Roli ever get that perfect cup again? The person who made it the wonderful concoction it was, wasn’t around anymore. She would never have a taste of her mother’s tea or any other dish ever again. The feeling gutted her as she came back to her reality. A reality filled with the absence of her mom.

As Roli and her father settled for some bread and soup for the night, they tried to be strong for each other. That’s what families did, stand through thick and thin. And this was probably the leanest time for their little family.

The dreaded illness had taken over her mother’s existence not once but twice. The first time, her relatively stronger matriarch took it in her stride and battled it fiercely. A decade later the illness struck again, this time on a much frailer woman. And this evening, Roli and her father were the only ones left in the physical realm of life.

The last few months had been a crash course on living independently, from learning how to cook rice, to managing house bills as her parents rushed to the hospital every other week. But she hadn’t tried making tea, she was afraid she would become truly independent if she learnt that.

It was almost time to sleep, but a feeling kept the 20-year-old awake. Her father sensed her restlessness and asked, “It feels incomplete, isn’t it?” Roli burst into tears as the reality truly sunk in.

After what seemed like endless tears, Roli’s father nudged her up. “Come with me to the kitchen,” he said.

The father and daughter stooped over the stove, letting the water and two spoons of sugar heat up. Just as it began to boil, he sprinkled the Darjeeling tea leaves and switched the knob off, letting it simmer on its own for a bit. In a few seconds, the familiar whiff of the tea Roli’s mother made tingled their senses. A sense of happiness surged through them both as they were transported back to the time when she was around them, fussing and feeding them.

Late into the night, the duo sat and sipped their cups of tea, feeling just a little bit at home.




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