‘Tea Talkies’ is a tribute to the creators of Hindi cinema and their art which encompasses myriad aspects of literature, music and culture –an art akin to devotion.
It evokes vignettes from impactful Hindi films which engage, enthuse and enlighten. Cinema about the warmth of relationships, of mutual understanding, of caring conversations, of hope, courage and faith.
And tea as a leitmotif.
Perhaps, we can pause as we hold the cup and view beyond infinity. Perhaps we can reflect on the goodness within and the beauty without. Perhaps we can glimpse grace and courtesy in an interlude.
Cinema and chai – both aspire for eternity in a single moment.
The two great loves of India are brought together to magical effect in Tea Talkies. This beautifully designed book warms your heart – it shows you that just as our lives are incomplete without either tea or cinema , the two are inseparable as well.
We all know how water is the elixir of life. But have you tried infusing your water bottle or the jug at home with some healthy fruits, herbs or spices? When water intertwines with these well wishing add ons, you are all set to transcend your health and wellness. Don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself for a week. Here are some of the creations from our book “Romancing Tea”:
1 glass water
1 tsp hibiscus owers (dried)
Heat water to 400C. Pour it over the owers and infuse for 2 hours. Strain into a tall glass. Serve chilled.
1 glass water
1⁄2 jasmine string (6 to 8 owers)
Wash the owers and place them in a glass.
Pour water at room temperature.
Steep overnight in the refrigerator. Strain and serve chilled.
A second infusion is possible with jasmine owers.
1 glass water
4 green cardamoms
Heat water to 400C and pour over the cardamom placed in a glass pot. Infuse for 3 hours at room temperature or leave overnight in the refrigerator.
Serve cold without pouring out the cardamom.
It is easy for us to conclude that man discovered the virtues of tea early. But we cannot ignore the endorsement provided to this by the Buddhist Monks. The practice of meditation among the monks for a higher level of self realisation, gave them a higher intellect. They discovered that consumption of tea refreshed their minds and inspired thoughts of wisdom and peace.
Throughout history, we come across prominent individuals – poets, playwrights, thinkers who thought that tea provided a rare balance of being energising and calming; it soothed the nerves of a frayed mind and, at the same time provoked clever & thoughtful reasoning among the people of average intelligence.
The spread of Buddhism, certainly resulted in tea acquiring a higher pedestal among the commodities traded on the silk route. Its steady rise in demand in Russia, Iran, Turkey gave the Chinese growers a lot to cheer about.
But the big boost in trade happened when ships from europe anchored on the South East Chinese ports and vied with each other to get a larger share of the trade. Every time the ships grew bigger and faster, the chinese businessmen found innovative ways to exploit to the hilt, their position of monopolistic strength. Contrary to the role of Buddhism in the spread of tea, the other major religion of of asia, Hinduism, remained aloof and disconnected.
In fact when the english tea companies, tried to introduce tea to Indians in the late nineteenth century, it was opposed by the locals. For the majority of Indians, milk was all goodness – pure, nutritious, fit for the Gods. Whereas tea, they thought, induced physical weakness, produced a jittery sensation in the nerves, and was a mild addiction.