I remember my first sip of sweet Indian tea. I was twenty-one and along with my mother, I was in the office of a high-ranking official at the Company where my father had worked. He had died three years prior (at 46), leaving the family bereft and without a wage. I had just finished college and was trying to interview for a job as part of the Company’s employment policy on “compassionate grounds”.
We were served tea. I preferred coffee. I was too intimidated to say anything. I took a sip. The milky saccharine sweetness stuck in my throat. I wanted to spit it out.
Decades later, I still can’t stand the milky tea that is common in India. Last month however, I was knocked flat by a chest infection that left me with a cough for over six weeks. Coffee seemed to make things worse and in desperation, I dug out a tea bag of Green Tea and by God, it stopped the cough. Green tea and Lemon Tea were the only two things that I could ingest and I had them for breakfast, lunch and of course, tea-time. Who knew?!
My cough is better now and so are my taste buds. I missed you, coffee.