Monday, December 19, 2005

Asli cheez, and the alternative

Once upon a time, people sold 'chaai-chaichaigaramchaaaai', on railway platforms and in train corridors.

Now, they sell 'dip cha-dip cha-dip... boliye saab?'

Once upon a time, the chai would come to the traveler. Now, the traveler must step off the train, go looking for a stall which serves properly boiled-n-brewed chai, from proper iron kettles. The asli cheez, as it were.

Or else, one must ignore the call of the garamchaai, and settle for some ashen-sweet dip-dip.

The latter has it's merits, though. With dip-cha, one can play with form and colour. One can control what the brew looks like. One can dip-dip until the colour deepens to resemble the five-o-clock winter sunlight falling across one's hands.

So... Boliye saab?

Chai, in other posts.


Vijayeta said...

Dunno why this post reminded me of our trip to Jaisalmer!
Dip-chai...yes, u can control the look of the tea but the sugar in the water is still too much... Ugghhh!

Anonymous said...

Is this a one-off experience at NDLS or has the malaise spread to the whole of Northern Railways. If it has, its cultural implications are serious and demand academiv investigation. I must go to Mughalsarai and find out.

Anonymous said...

Reminds of that old ad jingle.

"Dip dip dip, add the sugar and the milk and it is ready to sip.

If you want it stronger, dip a little longer.

Dip dip dip and it is ready to sip."

Taj mahal tea bags(?)

david raphael israel said...


I lately rec'd a teabag in water (I don't recall the announcement of "dip tea," but might've missed it) in the A/C coach of a train from Mumbai to Pune some weeks ago.

One datum doth not a nat'l trend make sure; but there's one. (I've an idea that might not've been the only form of chai on offer; I lacked the India-train expertise to have a firm grasp of what was what / what all options were.)


Janaki said...

your obsession with chai will drive you to seek thicker and thicker brew.. every single time u travel...:)

Anonymous said...

I love dip dip:)Mainly because it is the only kind of tea I make well:)

Annie Zaidi said...

vijayeta, it reminds you of jaisalmer because that was when we tried to drink tea in a moving bus and spilt hot tea all over our knees and hands. that's kinda hard to forget.
barista, do's rampant, i tell u.
slogan... taj? lipton?
david, it's different in the ac coaches. in some trains they give you hot water, tea-bag and sugar sachets. that's better.
jaygee, one must have one's obsessions.
pawan, that's sad! dip-tea in india?!!

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