Masala chai…cutting chai… kadak chai…garam chai…chai malaai maar ke! You’re familiar with these sounds, aren’t you? You’ve heard them on childhood train journeys to the nanihaal(maternal grandparents’ home) orescapades to the mountains, saving yourself from sweltering summer heat. They’re the chants of tea sellers or chaiwallahs, emanating from stalls that dot the streets of urban and rural India. This beckoning is a charm, a talisman, bearing witness to our formative years.
Swad Sadak Ke! Who doesn’t like street food, even if it comes garnished with a layer of dust, and sweat too, perhaps! We decided to make a stopover at a few makeshift, snack selling shops across the country. These are a few of our favourite Indian street snacks, and yours?
A five-year-old girl was raped in my country. Each word is drenched in pain, shame, anger and misery. I usually steer clear of politics and the like – it’s never been my thing. But this, along with the ongoing violence against women… I now choose to raise my voice. Because I feel I must and because I know I can. And because if we don’t do it now, each and every time this happens… things may never change. We speak of equality and women’s rights. Yet, Sati is still practiced in parts of India. We are proud of our working, educated daughters, able to stand tall next to any man. Yet we entertain the concept of dowry.
Of men and shaving lessons
Most men recall the first shaving lesson they got from their dads as young boys with a sense of pride and nostalgia. The precise motions (top to bottom and never reverse, lest you want a rough stubble!), the shaving brush grooming and the final bite of the aftershave lotion were all a bonding process for sons and dads. For days after the first lesson, anxious dads would keep a wary watch on their sons, half afraid they would cut themselves up! It continues to be a lovely tradition with dads holding the hands of their sons as they walk the path towards adulthood.