People who know me are aware about my obsession for tea. I can have tea, anytime, anywhere, any number of times. I don’t really remember when and how this became an obsession but I do remember that it was quite early.
My earliest memory is that I was not allowed to have tea, since I was quite young. I was told I would be allowed only when I was older. Moreover, my mother would preach me that tea would make my complexion darker. So, the more I was dissuaded from having tea, the more fascinating it became for me.
When I was in school (during teenage), I would grab every opportunity to sneak in tea for myself. So, when guests (read uncles and aunties of neighbourhood) would be visiting, I would offer to make tea. While my mom-dad would be busy chatting with them, I would make some for myself too, and gulp it all down before anybody wondered where I was!
In small places, people have very few means of entertainment. Perhaps that is the reason there were so many gate meetings, to exchange gossip. ‘Gate meeting’ is the term I am using for the talkathons between ladies residing in nearby houses, standing near or by the gates. It could stretch for hours too depending on the volume of gossip or idle talks which needed to be shared alongwith pending household chores. In those days, women also had the endearing habit of showing every single thing they shopped for (like sarees, bangles, shawls, dresses, utensils, some new home accessory or some fancy gadget etc) to each other. OK, I confess, I do that with my friends too :-) (What’s the fun if you can’t show off and get some approving or envious glances ha ha then only it is paisa vasool). So, the point is I would have enough time to make a glassful of nice tea and enjoy myself during that time. I would remove all evidence of my tea indulgence after that.
Even now, when I have tea in front of my mother at odd hours, I half expect her to stop me and give me a long lecture on ill effects of drinking too much tea. But now she does not say anything. I feel almost adventurous having mugfuls of tea in front of her.
While I was pregnant, I used to feel nauseous all the time. I would not be able to tolerate tea as well, then I shifted to green tea for a while. But I have never really liked green tea. Sometimes I have it when I feel I am having too much tea. In every party, at home or outside, I ask for tea and if I don't get it, I go for iced tea.
Even as I am writing this, I am sipping ginger tea. I also make masala tea with cinnamon -cloves (and add black pepper if one of us has cold or cough). I hate cardamom tea. I like my tea strong so I always get disapproving glances from my mother and mother-in-law for the sheer quantity of tea leaves I add to 1 cup of tea. They feel it can make tea for 4-5 people, and sometimes I agree :-) But what to do I need to have the perfect colour and the perfect aroma for my kind of tea!
So, you have any such obsessive habits?