Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Cup Full of Class

This entry is inspired by the sweltering yet tantalizing tea factory located on the hills of Ooty.One enters the premises and is swept away by the sheer force of the aroma of the 'ambrosial drink'.A swift tour of the factory,overlooking the machinery, culminates with a tiny cup of tea with a whiff of cardamom.There is a charming showcase with souvenirs lining shelves that are seldom touched.What struck me the most were two books; one titled 'Tea Poetry' and the other 'Tea,Scones and Cake' (I don't recall what the latter was called as I was already carried away by the former).

I asked one of the salesmen to show me the book of tea-inspired poems.I was struck by the blatant astonishment on his face. He handed me the book on scones and tea,his disbelief doubling when I insisted that I preferred the book of poems.It is quite common for people to buy tea at tea factories,rare for books to be sold at tea factories and even rarer for someone to buy books sold at tea factories.The man gently wrapped the book in a paper bag and then inside a cloth bag; giving me the bag directly instead of handing it to the clerks at the counter.

For someone who relishes wine-inspired poetry and generally uses coffee for inspiration, tea suddenly became the subtle liquor that brushes the senses lightly without much upheaval.The book carries a motley crew of poems, ranging from stiff upper lipped British reminiscence to the quaint Japanese haiku. It bears testimony of convoluted Chinese philosophy captured in Jasmine and the faint lamentations of a 'tea taster'.

If one can associate passion with wine and insomnia with coffee, one can comfortably attribute class to the delicate flavor of the so called 'Elysian' drink.How it calms the brimming soul of the fettered writer!

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