It’s 4:22 in the afternoon and I have just finished a tiresome zoom call. Having another meeting coming up at 4:30, I note the time precisely - 8 minutes left! Looks like not enough time to relax, maybe make a cup of tea for myself, Tea is important!
After quickly pressing the keys in combination required to lock my screen - a practice that I am accustomed to at work but is useless at home, I get up from my seat and head to the kitchen - on the way, asking mom napping on the couch whether I should count her in. She nods in the affirmative without even opening her eyes - a trait of a classic chai addict. Opening the drawer, I run my fingers over the stack of utensils to find the designated one we use for tea and keep it on the stove. I measure 2 cups of water and add my favourite tea leaves and sugar.
A peep through the kitchen window, I see that it is quite dark outside, darker than usual. It seems as though it would rain anytime soon, ah, much required in this hot summer! The weather is just perfect to add a dash of the quintessential adrak to the chai and I head to the fridge to get some. There’s nothing more relaxing than having adrak wali chai and some tea time snacks while watching it rain sitting on the balcony.
Within minutes of pouring milk into the boiling brew, the tea is ready. I reach out for the glass cups my mother has carefully kept aside on the top shelf only to be used on special occasions or for serving guests. I reason with myself that the first rain of summer is certainly a special occasion. The sound of rains hitting the roof gradually starts to build up - it’s raining. Clasping two cups with my fingers, I hand over one to mom and walk towards the balcony. After taking a sip, I realize something is missing; not in the tea, but something to have with it. Springing back up, I head to the kitchen and start exploring the shelves for some delicious snacks to complement my tea. After witnessing my desperate attempts and not finding anything, mom yells from her couch, “check the jar on the 3rd shelf to the extreme right”. To my surprise, I find 2 attractive-looking packs of potato chips. I pull out the green one and find the name ChipseeZ on it. The flavor is Zesty Pudina - sounds good!
I scurry my way towards the balcony not wanting to miss the precious few minutes at hand. I find a cozy corner by the wall, and finally, settle down. Placing my tea on the table, I open the packet of ChipseeZ and start munching on them while sipping on my tea. The aroma of my special chai mixed with the muddy smell emanating from the freshly wet earth gives a dopamine rush, instantly elating and refreshing my mood all at once. As I am eating my chips, occasionally dunking them in my tea, the taste of pudina just adds a lovely twist. How come I have never had these chips before?”, I wonder to myself. Intrigued, I start reading the packet carefully to learn more about it.
At that moment, a loud thunderclap from the east diverts my attention. The dark sky is lit by the lightning flashing through the clouds like electric veins. The sight looks majestic - it’s a treat to the senses. My mind wanders into the thoughts of the universe. Another thunderclap snaps me out of my fantasy and reminds me to look at the clock - It’s 4:30. I gasp! Those last 8 minutes felt like an eternity! Time to head back to my reality.
I recall how the delightful flavour of the Zesty Pudina chips was a pleasant surprise and a chance discovery of a perfect companion to my tea. “ChipseeZ”, I read out the name of the brand in my mind to make a mental note. I decide to order more of these from the store next time and even try out their other flavours.
With that happy thought, I take a deep breath, lift my empty cup and the half-finished pack of chips and head back to my work desk. With gratefulness for those 8 minutes spent well, I am now feeling more than ready for the next meeting!