Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Roadside Masala Chai as good as Saffron Tea

Everyday I see a man sipping steaming hot tea on the roadside stall. The bus in which I travel invariably stops there and I contemplate the moment as much as the man does. The tea is served in semi wet earthen pot. Lots of milk, lots of sugar and lots of love in no specific order and you are served with the cheapest yet the most recharging of roadside teas. The stall man is eternally old. Ever since I have seen him he has been like that - frail, half-bent in tattered clothes and eternally happy. His defunct glasses, among many, are the first thing that would catch your attention.

He literally boils the milk, sugar and little dust tea in a tumbler that's never been washed off the stains. The boiling continues as the office goers and the morning walkers gather to the lovely aroma of the secret masala that the man never shares. The flavor is somewhat gingerish, cardamomish and something more and something different. The passengers are glued to the shop till the signal turns green when they are forced to take their eyes off the morning saga.

And as I watch the man and his insipid tea stall, I am reminded of the saffron tea, expensive and exquisite, that I had on one of the five star tea joints, many years back.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We felt the tremors, the shudders of the earthquake !

Magnitude 6.9 - SIKKIM, INDIA

Never felt the quaking effect before. It was weird, funny and scary! It must be 6-15 pmish when I felt the tremor while still on bed with a book. The pages fluffed and fluttered and fell off my hands as if my fingers have gotten numb. The bed started to move to and fro. In the beginning I thought someone has gotten under the bed and trying to push it upwards. But soon, it was moving to and fro.This continued for about 2-3 seconds but I chose to say nothing. Have had a bad experience before when friends nullified my perception of the tremor. So kept mum.

After a while, I got up from the bed and called my mom, who was reading the newspaper the next door. She also felt it. But she thought it was her physiological changes. She even planned to see the doctor the next day. But when I told her what happened she was relieved and knew that it was the earthquake. Father was watching the TV on the 2nd floor. He attributed the tremor to his hypertensive bouts until he found out from the TV channels.

Later we found out, that the earthquake was of medium intensity and was felt strongly in northern India. It was terrifying to look at the extensive breaking pictures in the TV. The shakes, flutters, tremors, the cracks and even deaths - it was terrifying. It was 6.8 on the richter scale.

"Earthquake prediction is called the Holy Grail of earthquake science, and has been considered impossible by many scientists", however recent technology has possibilities of tracking seismographic changes. We will know in the future, sometime, an earthquake is going to occur. Awaiting that day.

Just hope the earthquake ends with the two bouts that we already have experienced. Just hope people are safe with little damages before the pujas.

Everybody be fine and stay safe.

Magnitude 6.9 - SIKKIM, INDIA