An occasional cup of chai from the chai cart right under my office has become one of my indulgences. Today after a series of back to back meetings I walked down to the cart and asked for a small cup of ginger chai. After the usual hi-hello-how much interactions I told the cart owner how many likes a pic with this cup of chai and parel g biscuits received on my Facebook profile. He was very excited to hear that and thanked me for the free publicity the cart got through that picture. I could have easily walked away and ended the conversation then and there. But I did not do that. I went ahead and told him why chai and parle g is so very special to me.
All my fours years of engineering, there was perhaps never a day when I did not have a packet of parle g in my cupboard. There is very little that I want to remember from that era. And my cup of chai with parle g is one of them.
As I sit here now and write this post, I cannot even imagine the life I led in the small town of Sevagram for the four golden years of my adolescent life. While my generation was out there enjoying their freedom and youth, I was counting days for my exile to be over. A self imposed exile that perhaps was necessary for me to be where I am today. But no matter what, I cannot forget the self disgust that I experienced each time my father drove me to the railway station to board a train back to the place that I did not want to go. And never in my fours years of engineering did I ever express my regret to any one – not my family or friends. I drank it like a poison and I learnt to smile through this self inflicted tragedy year after year. I played with enough distractions. Debates and Student Councils were a few of them. But I never forgot the truth.
And that’s why parle g is special to me. Since back then, there were very few things that made me happy and these silly biscuits with a cup of chai was one of them.