Lone lunches have never been uncommon or unpleasant. Even when work has kept your nose to the grindstone all through the morn, if you just can’t wait to get back to it, small talks could be extremely distracting and friends would know better than to please you or expect to be pleased!
But Tea! It's a wholly different affair. There’s nothing more frustrating to yourself or insulting to a cup of tea, than carrying one to your workplace, and sipping it between typing or taking a call.
Or worse, making one for just yourself at home. Never enjoyed doing any of this.
So, table for one? Perfectly fine. Tea for one? No please!
Tea at work
The very purpose of drinking tea during the course of a day is to break the humdrum of it, to be your own self for a few good minutes, revelling in the fragrance of friendship, relish in bitter sweet gossips, partake in a pal’s pain or pleasure; tea doesn’t just come in packs, it comes with its own package!
Nothing’s more welcome than your buddy pinging you “t?”
You can’t say “No” to that short and sweet invite, however busy you are; single letter; single syllable. The minimalism is enticing.
You type “S!” and your buddy goes “Away” only to climb down a flight of stairs to arrive at your workplace; pretend to be irritated to find you still working. Your workmates suddenly discover that you are not a statue glued to your chair, and you can walk and talk.
A walk to the farthest coffee machine on the floor is necessary; of course, you need to rant about your dear boss and can’t risk being overheard, as you can’t keep your voice down to save your life. Moreover, your crush happens to sit next to the coffee machine you always choose, of which your friend is blissfully unaware, or pretends to be and gives into your bullying.
You hardly remember drinking the tea, or realize that it hardly tastes like one. You always complain that the quality of tea keeps deteriorating just as the state of affairs in the company. After a nice healthy dosage of gossip, laughter, meanness exchanged your friend and you part ways feeling totally rejuvenated. And while he chooses the short route to his desk, you excuse yourself in the pretext of going to the bathroom, only to take the detour past your crush, or crushes, if you have more than one!
Tea at home
At home, the scenario is completely different. But still it’s the same because you can never make a single cup of tea. Your assorted mugs are all in pairs, and it’s such a shame to take out only one of them. Also, the tea never tastes the same when you boil water only for one.
Look at the clock; yes, even if you believe anytime’s tea time, you invariably look at the clock. If it’s eleven o clock in the morning, perfect! If it’s one-thirty in the afternoon, you’re not hungry, you’re going to have a late lunch! So there.
Is there ginger in the house? Oh yes, you forget to buy onions and tomatoes, but never ginger! Imagine making tea without it? Nightmare!
Boil half a cup of water in your favourite saucepan; crush an inch sized ginger well and put it in the water; close the saucepan; after a few moments open the lid and if you can see the water has turned a ravishing orange, it means the ginger has been extracted of all its juice!
Add two teaspoons of tea and simmer the stove. Immediately add one and a half cups of cold milk, and two spoonfuls of sugar. Switch off the stove when it all comes to a boil. Have the strainer and two pretty mugs ready.
Now comes the ‘Aha’ moment!
Tipping the sauce pan and pouring out exactly two mugs of tea takes you as closer to Nirvana as you can possibly expect during the light of day!
Be it sitting cosily beside your loved one, or walking to the neighbour’s doorbell with the other cup, tender moments spent over tea are plucked right from the heavenly estate!
Stay tuned for tea at roadside…