Written by Michelle of Food, Football and a Baby.
A year and half ago, I was traveling in India. It was a cold January morning in Delhi, and my cousin and I had managed to snag a room in a beautiful guesthouse on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. As usual, we’d spent most of the night catching up with friends in the dhabas (street eateries) that JNU is rather rightly famous for, and we’d managed to crash into bed at around 3 AM. At 6.30 AM there was a knock on the door of our room. Bleary eyed, I opened the door to be greeted by a familiar, yet forgotten sight, the tea boy. ‘Chaaiya?’ he asks me, liltingly, with a question mark on noticing my sleepy state. After rubbing my eyes for a couple minutes, I realised what he was offering, and absolutely delighted, I handed over a few rupees, and grabbed a couple lotas (little steel tumblers) of steaming hot tea off him. As I sipped on that hot, sweet and fragrant liquid, I sat on my bed and regaled my (still sleeping) cousin with tales of that tea, and all my university memories that were inextricably bound up in them.