• Bloomer Zine

On Chai

Finding home in a cup of tea


By Maleeha Saqib Latif

Courtesy of Maleeha Saqib Latif

Chai,


The word reminds me of warmth

When it is cold and hard outside

On my worst days

The only thing I can look forward to

Is a good cup of chai

When I am bone tired

Exhausted, done with everything

Chai is my glimmer of hope


It's therapy for when my mind is haywire

Watching the leaves brew

Marveling as the steam rises

When I pour it in white, china cups

I feel my worries lock up

As I take in the aroma

Before even taking a sip

It’s my painkiller


It’s like a mistress I keep going back to

It’s a masseuse,

Unwinding the knots in my weary shoulders

A genie

That makes my headaches vanish


It’s a mother’s love

Her standing with a cup of karak

As soon as you cross the threshold of the house

It’s all our dads

Drinking it with their morning newspaper

It’s me and my friends

Laughing randomly while stuck on campus


It is my meals and my snacks

It’s the start to my day

And its end


To those who say

It is just a beverage

It is not

This love for chai

Has been passed down

From my ancestors

And simply cannot be acquired

It’s an emotion

It’s a tradition

It's culture

It’s a language


Linking people together

It’s a family sitting on a terrace

It’s two strangers on a first date

Sharing their day

At a restaurant

At a college cafeteria

At a dhaba on the roadside

It doesn’t care for titles or class

It simply connects



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