it is yet another one of those busy mornings, the city folk preparing for the day that lay ahead of them. it was hard to believe that the time was just past 8 in the morning, what with the sun beating down mercilessly, spelling signs of the ominous heat that was to come down on us further during the day. the innumerable motorised monsters chugging along, mine included, on a road that hardly seemed capable of accomodating so much resembled a teeming line of termites.

breakfast isn’t always on the top of my priority list, as it ought to be, my friends tell me. heeding to a fair amount of hunger this morning, i decide to stop off at my ususal breakfast joint. this time, i made suer my pocket was full, just in order to avoid the breakfast fiasco! a typical bum place, this ‘restaurant’, if i may call it so, is actually a push cart. with this husband wife pair managing the affairs all by themselves, they do quite a job of it. between soft idlis, crisp dosais – with or without a topping of egg, hot pooris, just about the tastiest vadais i have ever eaten in the city of madras and the heavier pongal (we used to fondly call it sleeping pill!), one has quite a lot to choose from. not to mention the excellent varieties of chutney, sambar and vadai curry (the recipe mentioned here, i beg to say, is though quite authentic, not complete! it is actually a dish made of left over vadais.) to go with all this!

they do good business, if the crowd thronging the place is any indicator. and to think that one has to eat standing, holding the plate in one hand and eating with another, thats quite a crowd there. the last couple of months they also had their little son assisting them, but with the schools having opened, he is back in his class apparently. and thankfully so. they work non-stop, the husband and wife, and switch roles quickly – either making dosas, frying pooris or vadais, washing the plates and attending to customers. it must be a tough deal making ends meet, and in that sense, i am proud to be a regular patron of this hard working couple trying to make a living in an honest and straight forward way.

as i finish my breakfast, the crowd wanes, if only temporarily, and the lady seizes the moment to hand over a tiny cup of tea to her husband, sipping some herself. a brief respite before more crowd starts pouring in to assuage its hunger on a shoe string budget. the tea it isn’t on the menu, they carry some in a little vessel for their own refereshment i suppose.

‘would you like to have some tea, sir?’, he offers as i pay up for my own breakfast.

his humble offering, this simple gesture of sharing what little was his in spite of his own modest setting, touched me in a way few other things or people have in the recent times. and it reminded me of how grateful i ought to be to life.


what the soul knows is often unknown to the man who has a soul. we are infinitely more than we think.
– kahlil gibran


37 thoughts on “chai?

  1. Hey,I have always realised that the other people are good , ready to help and share . alas, we only do not have time to accept their offerings 😦

  2. Your post’s title made me smile *chai* πŸ™‚ and the story touched my heart. I agree with Aditi, why its hard for people to give when they have so much? I’ve noticed this thing strongly in our continent, tailor, thailay wallay, dukan walla, mochi, they always offer your chai or nemo pani.Sorry for the absence, I’m moving to a new place and painting my room :)Just peeped in your reading list and found 2 books I really like :)The Kite Runner and Einstein’s Dreams :)I’ve posted The Kite Runner here will post Einstein’s Dreams sometime later :)I hope you are doing great and staying away from garmi and enjoying nemo pani πŸ™‚

  3. thats a beautiful quote by Gibran…im gonna copy and save it on my PC!i got a nice soothing feeling reading this post or urs and abt the couple who so nicely offered you some tea. theres so much goodness and fun in giving…take care!ps: uve been tagged. chek my blog! πŸ˜€

  4. There is a ‘deva’ in all of us and a ‘rakshas’. Mostly we see the rakshas and choose to ignore the angel or deva. Your post should help people see the angels in ourselves. By the way, let go of the rakshas in you.

  5. CHITRA,yes, my grandpa used to tell me about something he called ‘the art of acceptance’…ADITI,its simple, methinks. when we have nothing, we do not stand to lose anything at all by giving whatever little there is. on the other hand, the more we have, the more conscious we become of how much we have and thus we want to keep that replenished and never let it decrease.SUGAR,long time! missed u :)yes, chai makes me smile too. anytime of day or night!TRINNIE,yes, it is fun. thank you, and u take care too.ANON,trying na πŸ˜› and ur comment reminds me of an earlier post of mine.

  6. As always ur gratitudes are your best, almost always featuring a stranger (or two), chai, and food in that order; and a cute story to flow along with! πŸ™‚

  7. I agree with what everyone says, and you have made me hungry too. I want a delicious freshly cooked Indian breakfast. Even though it’s dinner time.

  8. heartwarming post…made me smile…very truly said…even though wen someone has to offer tht ‘little’ we need to learn that ‘little’ is so much for them πŸ™‚

  9. Hi sweetie -I loved this post – perfect post and sotouching – I love sharing in our worlwith everyone – we all have something togive – even a smile.Your post was a gift to me:)hugs:)

  10. MISS IYER,thanks girl :)ASH,every word that man has ever uttered is priceless.AKKA,this is a lil confusing, your comment, but then, thats my akka, no? ;)NANDITHA,thank you. i speak konkani too, though am sure u’ll agree there are varying accents as one moves along the malabar coast.JUBIN,yes, what we call civilization, sometimes i think has been regressive.Z,gives u a good reason to get here. i’ll be glad to make u some breakfast. and lunch. and dinner :)ARPITA,am glad to know it elevated your spirit. thank keep coming by!ADI,welcome aboard!!MICHELLE,keep smiling :)MADDIE,so good to see u, and its been a while, no?thanks and warm hugs to u too πŸ™‚

  11. I love South Indian brekky…my fav is Idlis n Dosas…yummmmy! But I dun get to eat it much over here…only when we go out to hv Indian.Keshi.

  12. Little gestures are much remembered. And passed further along the chain. U do me a good deed. I do a good deed to another. so on and so forth. Thats what has sustained humanity I guess ;D

  13. This only underlines the fact that this western world needs to change. And we should start by little gestures like those. What a difference it makes!And so many new words I have no idea about hehe

  14. KESHI,get to madras and we’ll give u lotsa south indian brekky. authentic stuff at that!SMITA,yes, what goes around, comes around.HDWK,thank you :)DEVIL,the new words are all south indian food items. and i have deliberately linked them – with blog friends such as devil in mind :)yes, the west needs to change. more so coz much of the rest of the world looks up to it.SANKECHITA,:) i am inclined to agree, and yet, i sometimes don’t judge people, specially bloggers by what they write.EDNE,:D thats funny. have some pudin hara, u’ll feel better i’m sure.SHRUTI,yes, sometimes they matter more than anything else. u take care too.CHIYA,am glad πŸ™‚

  15. Some people touch our heart by their simple little things while others fail to touch in spite of ‘expensive’ attempts!Touching post!what the soul knows is often unknown to the man who has a soul. we are infinitely more than we think.- kahlil gibranWell saidGBUArti

  16. excellent post and the quote you wrote at the end. There was an article about the breakfast at msn this week telling how important the breakfast is. I wish that I were lucky enough to have such kinds of breakfast made by such lovely and hardworking people. I envy you in that case. And at least, we can show them some gratitude by not being rude and not just think that we’re paying for it.

  17. and did you accept the tea,i knew and old man near my office who used to be up by 3 am every weekday just to make those crsipy dosas for us…and i used to visit him to for the dosas but for him….:)

  18. and did you accept the tea,i knew and old man near my office who used to be up by 3 am every weekday just to make those crsipy dosas for us…and i used to visit him to for the dosas but for him….:)

  19. KESHI,very much here.SUPER,thank you :)ARTI,absolutely. sometimes, the epensive attempts completely put me off, but then people just don’t seem to take the trouble of understanding. they have to have their love virtually ‘imposed’ :)ASH,am just reading it, almost thru. and i adore it. i wonder how one can write about one’s own life with such a funny perspective :)GAIZABONTS,thanks. wil attempt. in time of course :)ANITYA,i like this name very much – anitya. so true :)and yes, i agree – jus coz we pay doesn’t mean we abuse them or behave rudely to them.DEEPTHI,didn’t accept the tea. don’t know why. maybe i didn’t wanna deny him his share. maybe coz i didn’t have a cigarette with me and i usually like the two together :Poh, and welcome back – long time :)CHITRA,thanks ya πŸ™‚

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