Nazreen Fazal Post

LIFE

Chai!

August 8, 2017,

My father has been a tea addict since way before I existed. He used to drink 4-5 cups a day. It's probably a family thing. My grandma would prepare a full flask of black tea (kattan) the night before my uncle's exams to help him pull an all nighter. My uncle would dutifully finish the last drop of tea and then go to sleep.

Coming back to my dad. When other people look at their spouses they think of love or affection or something romantic. Every time my dad looked at my mom, he'd remember tea. And he'd ask her to make a cup. No matter what time of the day. My mom, clever person that she is, taught me to make tea as soon as I was able to learn (and convinced me that I am an expert in it) so that some of the tea making load was off her. But then I left for college and the chai duty was back on her again.

This time there her options were limited. So she resorted to literally hiding from my dad. If he was in bedroom, she'd stay away from there. She'd stealthily walk around without making a noise, evading my dad's ever active chai-dar (chai radar geddit geddit?) Out of sight out of mind, she thought. Maybe he'll not ask for tea if he didn't see her, she thought. Wrong, my dad never gives up. Come his completely arbitrary tea time he'd send her a message on WhatsApp or messenger 'Make me tea'. And my poor mom would trudge to the kitchen and sigh as she made some tea.

Now I am a tea lover myself. But I can't stand going to kitchen right after I come from work. In Saudi kitchens are mini-Hells. Boiling tap water and burning floor. Hell no. So these days I am doing the slinking away before le husband asks for tea. I told him my parents' story and looks like he's also planning to start messaging me...??

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