All for a Cup of Tea

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I usually take a cup of tea a little after dinner. That aids me in reading and writing work through late night. Recently, one night after dinner, while we were watching TV, my wife got me my cup of tea. My four year old grandson, Avi, who seems to imitate me a lot,  said, “Mujhe bhi chai peeni hai (I too would have tea).” Since there was only one cup, I offered to share it with him. But he refused. “Mujhe poora cup chahiye, oopar tak. (I want a full cup, to the top).”

We tried to persuade him, but he was firm. He asked his Granny to make another cup, but the request was turned down. Then he approached his Mom in the other room, and came back disappointed. Not to give up, he made another round of requests … to his Granny and Mom, but no success. He ran from pillar to post, but to no avail. However, through all this, he did not lose his cool and kept up his untiring effort pretty politely.

Seeing his plight, I said, “Okay Avi, wait for five minutes, I’ll make tea for you after this serial ends.” His reaction was of pleasant disbelief. “Will you make tea for me?” he asked incredulously. “Yes, I shall,” I repeated my commitment. He was elated, and responded with a sweet smile of satisfaction.

Soon after, an ad’ break came on, and I rose up without waiting for the show to end. He enthusiastically accompanied me to the kitchen. As I placed the pot on the burner and poured water into it, Avi said, “Chammach wala kaam main karoonga.” (I’ll do the spoon things). I said, “Okay!” “But I’ll need to get a stool, I can’t reach it.” “No problem, I’ll raise you up,” I said. He was pretty excited to put sugar and tea leaf into the pot and kept chattering through all the operations. And lo, the tea was ready.

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I poured the tea in a toy tea-pot, and carried it with two small cup saucers inside the room. Avi’s Didi, Aarushi was also delighted to see the tea tray. She took over from me and carefully poured the cherished beverage in the cups. I had taught them how to pour the tea without spilling it. They waited for a while for the tea to get a bit colder, and then started sipping and chattering
cheerfully.

It was immensely joyful to see the two siblings sharing the tea, and the look of satisfaction on Avi’s face was indeed memorable. Moments, especially cheerful, become memories very fast and get etched deeply in the mind…to be recollected in tranquility…time and again!

                                                                        ***********************

Ashok Misra

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