First it was a coffee brand that went on declaring a full-fledged war on country’s majority chai drinkers making fun of them with a captious ad- subha subha jaagny k liye chai kyun? (Why tea! to wake up in the morning?). And now recently a famous cola brand tried to convince Pakistanis that they should replace tea with cola assuming that tea consumption will go down because weather is hot-they are mistaken.
Clearly, they don’t understand South Asians particularly Pakistanis, as for us drinking tea is not just a hot drink like cola-a cold drink, but rather it is an integral part of our culture, it’s an aura, a concept. A cup of tea sanctifies one with an experience that cola drinkers fails to even imagine.
For us, chai is a fuel that gets us going in the morning. A morning without chai, is not a morning at all. “Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” This is Elbert Hubbard’s concept. The Pakistani version is:
“Be on chai until ten o’clock, rest of the day will take care of itself.”
When guests arrive, chai will cut the first turf. Sitting alone wanting to prolong the sense of pleasure, chai will serve the purpose. An intense discussion without being mediated by chai is not a discussion. If someone offer you chai, believe me it is a sign that you are the one they are actually comfortable with. Disputes are settled on chai here.
Chai is offered to hired labours, at weddings, on special occasions, at formal and informal meetings tables are decorated with chai. You will find a chai lover everywhere. Chai drinking has some rules unlike cola or coffee. Ever heard of an invitation to a house for cola, but an invitation over for tea is part of the culture.
You will experience a number of “once upon a chai time-a strong story was told” occasions.
Cola at the cost of Chai-that’s not going to happen. Yes the weather is getting hot, but you are clearly clueless about a chai lovers’ state of mind. Chai is an intoxicant, although a mild one hence it can only be replaced by another intoxicant.
Pakistanis Love Chai Zalima… nice try 😀
Chai it, You’ll like it