• Aditi

Beta ek cup chai bana do!

Naina would patiently wait for her father to come home from work. Although she would be ravenous, she would still wait for him, so everyone can eat a family dinner. Mom and Naina would quickly heat up the dinner and lay the table as Dad would wash his hands and change into his comfy pajamas.

During dinner, everyone would talk about how their day went and what their plan would be for the next day.

After eating a scrumptious dinner lovingly prepared by Mom, Dad would look at Naina and smile. Without him saying a word she would smile back and ask, “Dad, do you want a cup of tea?”

Dad would smile and say “Yes darling, but you have to make the cup of tea.”

Dad hardly told his wife to make a cup of tea. It’s not that he never liked it but there was just something amazing about Naina’s cup of tea. It gave one a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction after the first sip.

Soon enough, Naina got married and started a new chapter in her life. Although she lived in the same city as her parents she missed them tremendously. Every night she would call her mother to find out how things were going for both of them.

“Mom, does dad still drink tea after dinner,” asked Naina

“No dear, he’s very grumpy after dinner, I ask him if I should make a cup of tea but he bluntly refuses. Once I did make him a cup of tea but he didn’t seem very happy,” said Mom

There was silence between the two.

“Now?” questioned Naina.

“Now what? Nothing! What can I do about it?” said, Mom.

“I think he would eventually get used to it,” she added.

As time passed, Naina settled in with her new family. One evening, she made tea for her mother-in-law (Mummy) and they both sat down to have a chat. As Naina poured the tea in a cup and gave it to her she said, “I hope you like it…”

Mummy took a sip. She closed her eyes and sighed and said, “Perfect!”

Naina smiled. Inside her head, she danced a jig. Getting a compliment from Mummy was a big thing.

There was always hustle and bustle in the house as close relatives always visited every weekend. Mummy called out for Naina and told her to make tea for everyone.

Mamijee came and stood in the kitchen next to the stove looking at Naina as she prepared nine cups of tea.

“Mamijee, please sit with everyone, I’ll get the tray outside,” said Naina politely.

“No no, it’s ok,” insisted Mamiji.

Naina felt uncomfortable having her standing on her head. She insisted that Mamiji should take a seat.

But Mamiji refused and said, “I’ve heard so much about your tea I want to see how you make it, your Mamaji doesn’t much care for the tea I make.”

Naina stood there stunned. ‘People talk about my cup of tea?’ she thought to herself and said, “I make tea like everyone else makes tea. There is no special ingredient.”

Finally, Naina walked out of the kitchen with a tray of cups and a large kettle of tea.

As everyone sat around the table in the drawing-room, they munched on namak paras, mathi and sipped on their cups of tea. The chatty banter continued as Mamaji said, “This is how I like my tea.”

Naina smiled. Her eyes wandered the room and she looked at Mamiji, her smile disappeared as Mamiji rolled her eyes. Naina sheepishly smiled and quickly tried to change the subject.

One Sunday evening, Naina woke up from a nap. She headed towards the kitchen to get herself a glass of water. She found Mummy and Daddy sitting in the drawing-room talking. Daddy is perpetually pulling Mummy’s leg every time he has a chance. Daddy’s eyes lit up when he saw Naina. He smiled and said, “Beta, chai bana do,”

“I’ll make the tea,” said Mummy.

“No, Naina will make the tea,” he said.

Naina lovingly made three cups of tea. She placed the tray on the dining table as all three of them sipped their tea and munched on biscuits and namkeen.

“The tea is ok?” asked Naina cautiously.

“Yes,” nodded Mummy and smiled.

“You’ve not made tea for Rohit?” asked Daddy

“No, daddy, pati doesn’t care much for my tea,” she said and laughed.

“Why?” he questioned. He was pretty taken back. ‘Who cannot like Naina’s cup of tea he thought to himself,”

“He likes less milk in his tea,” said Mummy.

As time went by, Naina’s tea became more popular. One day one of the relatives asked her, “Naina, what’s your secret?”

“Well, before I make tea, I always tell myself I’m going to make the best tea they have ever had, and it turns out alright,” said Naina and smiled.

But every time Naina made a cup of tea, the first person that used to come to her mind was her dad.

Eventually, her Dad gave in and finally got used to his wife’s cup of tea. But every time Naina would visit and stay over for a couple of days, she just knew that Dad would lovingly look at her and smile.

“Dad, do you want to have a cup of tea?” she would smile and ask.

And the answer would always be yes!

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