We never bought the concept of alarm clocks to start our day off with. The fragrance of freshly crushed ginger and cardamom, mixed meticulously with simmering pan of tea and left to brew on a light flame, was the wake-up call common across all households in the hills of Uttarakhand - my home. Sometimes I used to wonder if tea was something more than a beverage. Sometimes it played the role of a perfect ice-breaker to perfection, helping initiate conversation with strangers. Occasionally it held high the beacon of culture and traditions in remote settlements, the source of pride for locals in those regions. But mostly it played the role which it was always meant to play - that of a healthy, organic and pleasantly tasting source of refreshment, recharging your body's batteries through the day. A role which it has been playing meticulously across generations, across landscapes, transcending timelines!!
The more I travel the more I realize that a simple cup of tea is indeed a thread that binds us together across countries. It is fascinating to see how a simple beverage has managed to bridge the distances between all of us, bringing us all together around a table in that process. While for some this might be a known fact, the revelation for me started with the first country I ever traveled to -