Life Lessons From Chai-Tea.
I love chai. There are a bunch of reasons that make chai, my bae. This is what my typical chai is made of.
There’s something in the water
Water is the most basic need of our lives. It’s the bare essential, without which we would not be able to thrive. And afterall, we are 70% water. It teaches us that one must never forget what they’re made of.
I consider myself to be made of love and gratitude. And that moves me everyday to nurture it & care for it.
Grasses have different “greener shades”
There is this humongous variety in selection of sorts of tea leaves. Depending upon your mood & liking, you choose between black, green, white, oolong, and well, there are always the blends. Life will always give you a choice, always. It’s up to us to choose the best option for us.
There was a time in my life when I had to choose between building a better career and staying with family during a rough patch. I chose family over career, because, for me, people mean more than career graphs.
There is more than what meets the eye
Apart from being terrifically beneficial to the human body, ginger is one of the most mistaken spices. It’s actually stem, and not a root. Just because it grows under the ground doesn’t make it a root. And likewise, just because something seems a certain way on surface, doesn’t necessarily mean that it be true inside too.
My engineering education has been an utter waste of time & energy, which at the surface had seemed to be the most important education, before I had joined college. In retrospect, I would have gone a different path.
Pop it open
Cardamom is a multi-purpose spice, that adds life to anything it touches. When used with it’s covering intact, it doesn’t add anything other than a slight aroma to the food item being prepared. But, when it’s used after popping it open, it brings on full flavour with all it’s rawness. And like in life, when we’re in a dormant state, we don’t make a huge impact on a lot of things. But when we let ourselves out of our shelves, we can spread the power of our spirits!
When I was younger, I’d never give anyone my honest opinions for anything, because I was unsure & insecure. Now, when I’ve learnt to face myself, I’m fearless when it comes to giving genuine feedback.
Are you worth it ?
What was once said to be more valuable than silver and marked the financial status of a man in the society, is now an edible item stored safely in air-tight containers tucked away from sun-light. It simply teaches us that, it doesn’t matter what worth you were yesterday, but if you’re not as worthy as yesterday, you will be reduced down to your real value. Nothing can stop that.
Everything/Everybody has a prime time. What goes up, comes down. Your only true worth, is what it is today.
My four year old scientific calculator broke in the middle of my finals. Though it had served me well the past four years, and I am very grateful for that, but it was totally worthless in the exam hall. You are only as real as you are in the present.
They say, adding fennel to anything, masks any bad or spoilt flavour in the food item & replaces it with a fresh and sorta sweet taste. Similarly, there are things in life that are masking our “real taste of life” by being present like a filter in front our eyes. Being mindful about the presence of such things will lead us to a clearer and more realistic view of our lives.
Buddhism & meditation have helped me cast away filters that wouldn’t be able to distinguish between true and fake friends, or true and fake goals I put in my todo lists.
To each their own. Milk is usually an option left out of the basic chai, as some prefer it without. And just as this, we should try and understand how everyone is worthy of their free will and the beauty of variety and diversity it brings to the world.
People always took jabs at me for hating sweet foods. I personally think sweet is the most over-rated taste. And I don’t like it. I prefer bland over every other taste. And I have now come to an honest embracing of it. It’s okay to not prefer something majority of the others prefer.
How’d you do it ?
When I make chai, I am in this sublime flow state, like when I’m writing poetry or riding my cycle. I relish this flow as much as the chai itself. It reminds me that the things we do in life should always feel right.
I might get lazy a few times and slack off before starting to make it. But as soon as I get the water boiling, I know, in my bones, that this is life. A simple act of making chai can fill me up with such bliss. Imagine what happens if I start living like this, more consciously, more mindfully and paying respect to each act I perform?!
The End Product
You reap what you sow
I might sometimes forgetfully add more ginger than I should, or sometimes forget fennel completely. The end result is a culmination of the ingredients I put into my chai. And also the ones I forget. Or choose to leave out. There will be nothing less or nothing more than what I put in.
My chai is only as good as the ingredients I put in, and my process of making it.
The What If’s
You never know
There might be times when I run out of milk in the fridge, or other ingredients or my stove connection dries out or the earthquake hits my kitchen and sucks in the chai! Anything can happen, anytime.
All I’m supposed to do, is make my fucking chai.
Like in life, we should hone our craft, work hard and care less about the what if’s.
A Quote from the Bhagavad Gita:
(Chapter 2, Verse 47)
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि
karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi
Which translates to:
You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.
Do your shit. Don’t worry or expect.
I write about millennials, cycling experiences, send open letters to Medium & ruminate about poems I wrote a decade ago.
This month, I’m also doing a “30 days of April, 30 Expressions” 4 lines a day poem. Say hi, or hello; I don’t bite :)