Desi Style of Enjoying my Cuppa Tea….

 Desi Style of enjoying my Cuppa Tea!!!

The ever young picture, on the walls of Simla, exhorting the Simlaites to “Drink tea everyday, and live a long life” has gone well with all of us. But the picture doesn’t instruct us how to take it…sitting or standing, or reclining on a sofa, or sitting on your study..the options are innumerable. So “each to his own”, seems to be the golden rule. Mine is a little eccentric!

Carrying a little of Simla, in words, deeds and the cultural style, to wherever we go, is uncontested. But strangely, we do carry some eccentricities  whose origin may lie in childhood memories. I can’t say about others but kmy case,  I have realized a few of them in my persona. This page is bringing  such revelations about my own self  to the surface, that I was myself, ignorant about…or I had deliberately not paid any attention to. But now is the time to come on terms with all those and be at peace with myself. Looking At pictures, scourging for some Simla memories, I came across this one, taken by my daughter, unnoticed by me, in the sitting pose which my kids had labelled ” mumma’s Simla style” in 2006!!! Whenever I would sit in this style with a cup of tea in my hands…it was a danger sign to my kids, ” Do not disturb.”

Whenever I had to start any new work which required deep concentration…even if it was as simple as designing an outfit for stitching,  I would take a cup of tea in my hands and sit in this particular position, reclining against some wall. Everyone in home was aware of  ” Maa is reflecting on something” message, given non-verbally.  I just wondered why I would sit this way at some specific time when the neural pathways in my brain would be working extra hard to formulate something new? Had it something to do with my earlier days in Simla? Whom had I seen sitting like this during my childhood? There were two pictures that emerged. One related to some wood sellers or women with kilta selling clay, tired and perspiring, would ask for water and Amma would be magnanimous enough to offer them  tea in a brass glass. It had to be morning time, as tea was not prepared as and when someone wanted it. Accepting gratefully, he would sit in this particular  posture, sipping tea, and talking about mundane concerns of life. The feeling of satiation on their face is etched deep in my mind though what he talked about has left no impression whatsoever. is it that person  I try to emulate, unconsciously, unknown to myself. I started sitting like that around the angeethi while warming yourself and take in  this elixir of life।  I remember Amma would  scold me whenever I would sit like this, “Sit properly like a girl,” and instantly I would change stance and sit cross-legged, like a good girl. Women in the neighborhood also, because of community raising of kids, would scold me whenever I would be this sitting on the roof tin, away from the scrutinizing glare of Amma! I would hear so many * “Nos” during the day which would suffice a millennial child for her lifetime. Amma always found me problematic as she firmly believed that I was acting like a tomboy, though this was a word not in our vocabulary at that point of time. It was more like a boy! I would do all those things which my elder sister, docile and pretty, would never do. Was this posture to defy all those naggings that filled my mind with do’s and don’ts, and a large number of don’ts in my case. Or is it my way of shouting to the world out there, “See,  I am a lady(?) today!” I can sip tea daintly leaving lipstick marks on delicate bone china crockery, at high-teas; and with equal ease enjoy my cuppa, sitting squatted on my toes, khees bent, reclining against a wall! I do what pleases me. 

But whatever it may be, it has given me flexibility till date, both mental and physical. My daughter comments laughingly, “Simla’s style of squatting and taking cups of tea  has given enough strength to your toes and knees!” Thank you Simla for giving us mental and physical strength….and a bandwidth to fit every style!

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