To tea or not to tea, that is the question. A light humor post.
Some of you may find this post a bit frivolous, but to me it is something that has always affected me deeply, especially when I am in Mizoram.
I’m a Mizo.
And I don’t drink tea.
See, I can already hear you all gasping! How can a Mizo not like tea, you’re thinking now, right? Well, I guess I am among the very few Mizo minorities who despise tea solely because of its taste.
I hate tea. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
And in our Mizo community, it is almost a given that every Mizo drinks tea, such to an extent that whenever you visit anybody, your host will serve you tea immediately without even asking if you drink tea or not. That is the Mizo hospitality.
Hence tea becomes a part of our daily lives. It gets embedded in our culture. It is served whenever guests visit other people or when a young pimple-faced Romeo visits his lady love at her house (with her parent’s consent of course). It is served at every Church functions, School and college programs, funerals, weddings, exam halls, community feasts etc.
We become this big pile of… tea drinking tea loving tea freaks.
And whenever I visit a friend for the first time or hang out at the house of somebody I’ve just met, their folks will immediately serve tea. And I feel so bad declining after they have already MADE the tea.
“Uh… I’m so sorry… I don’t… urrmmm… drink tea.”
They would look at me strangely…
“Are you a Seventh Day Adventist?” they would ALWAYS enquire
[ * 7th Day Adventists, one of the many Protestant denominations in Mizoram, are prohibited from drinking tea (or coffee or alcohol or eat pork for that matter) due to their strict dietary laws. ]
“No no, I’m not a Seventh Day”, I would grin back nervously. “I just don’t like tea”.
“Don’t LIKE tea?” they would ask, with a lot of exaggerated melodramatic stress on the “LIKE” as if to say it is sacrilegious to hate tea. And then with a fake plastic smile they would whisk away my tea, grumbling to themselves why the hell I never informed them in the first place that I didn’t drink tea BEFORE they made the frigging tea.
Yeah rittteee. You want me to come to somebody’s house for the first time and pompously announce not to make tea for me without even properly introducing myself? That sounds even worse!
Anyhoo, I guess that is the big problem I face in Mizoram. Mothers don’t want me serenading their daughters because they think I’m weird since I don’t drink tea and fathers assume I must be drinking “something” else instead of tea.
I don’t like tea because I don’t like it. Period. It’s a personal preference and sometimes it is a little hard (and a wee bit frustrating) making people accept the fact that I don’t like tea.
I was brought up in South India, so I used to drink coffee, coffee and more coffee every day. Had coffee for breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, before and after a basketball match, I even had coffee while having coffee The Tamilians just love their coffee and I became a part of them. That is basically my story. The Mizo Man who went up a Tamil Hill but came down a coffee infested Mountain.
And when I tell people I loveeeee Ice Tea, I always get the same question, “Then how come you don’t like normal (sic.) tea if you like ice tea?”
And out goes my retort: “You like beer? Chilled beer?”
“Well, suppose I boil this beer and give it to you, would you drink it?”
“I rest my case.”
And believe me, the complexity of this whole matter does not end here. Whenever I stay over at any of my friend’s pads, I have to take my own sachet of coffee powder because coffee is nonexistent in most Mizo households. That’s bad. It’s like you invite a guest over and that person brings along his own toothpaste… now how does THAT make you feel?
And it gets even worse from here. I’m talking about relationships. A deep meaningful relationship that always ends in disaster because I refuse to drink tea while the missus prefer tea over coffee. You may think, “Whats the big deal? Just make two separate cups every day, one tea, one coffee.”
Hah! Trust me, that’s easy for you to say. Sure, it’s not a big deal when the missus or I do that once, or twice, or thrice. It’s no big deal when we do it for a week, even a month. But try doing it for an entire year and you will know what I’m talking about. The frustration that creeps in is undeniable.
“Jenny darling, can you pass me the ketchup?”
“What the bloody hell do you think I am your freaking bitch-slave making coffee for you all day long!!???”
Oh right, I did mention this was a light-humor post. Cheers (raise coffee mug)
Maybe… just maybe… a day will come when a damsel in shining armor rescue this knight in distress away from his tea-coffee imbroglio. Maybe that’s what people call true love. Until that day comes, I will remain a stubborn coffee drinker. Cheers once again.