Chai Pe Charcha
After few sips of freshness (yes I did mean the Indian Masala chai) he, my father in law uttered with a smile on his face looking into my eyes, You were right. I smiled at him saying I knew it. We both exactly knew what we were talking about while my husband & my mother in law remained clueless until we further discussed. Priyal was sitting right there at the tea table not knowing the topic yet trying to connect to the whole conversation.
Here’s the story that lies behind this –
None in my family ever can deny for a cup of chai. Chai in any form. They always nod a yes. And suddenly my father in law one day denied for the second cup of chai. Unaware of the reason behind why he denied, I thought probably he wanted to have coffee. And his denial for chai continued. Upon asking he said he does not relish chai anymore. Everyone in the family was shocked by his answer. I tried making a variety of chai’s for him trying to convince his palate. I was also kind of feeling bad that probably none of us were able to make the perfect taste that his palate expected. My staff, mother-in-law and I failed to satisfy his taste for chai. While all this was going on, he had suddenly, out of nowhere developed this strange habit of chewing tobacco. After all the fights, arguments, discussion between mother in law & him, between me & him, nothing stopped him from getting addicted to chewing it. Not only was the tobacco that he was addicted too but it was also the essence filled mouth fresheners that he chewed. There’s a little more past added to it. He did smoke in his young days but that was never an addiction. And he had admitted this to me a few years ago and that’s when his body did crave for chewing tobacco. Somehow he tried controlling and I know this because he tried chewing those gums that prevent one from tobacco cravings. He started chewing tobacco only when his craving was uncontrollable. By the way, he is a brain tumour survivor after 3 major operations. He is a forgetful person. Remembering names is a difficulty, he has lost 80% of his hearing capacity, uses CPAP as he has sleep apnea and yes the list is actually endless.
It’s been a few days now that he suddenly stopped chewing tobacco. As if his body is now satisfied with all the chewing process that he has gone through. And for the last 4-5 days, he has once again started sipping tea. And while he denied on tea a few months ago, I had told him that it is the tobacco’s addiction because of which his taste buds weren’t responding to the flavour of the tea. Today he agreed.
The point here to notice isn’t about how I guessed it to be tobacco the reason behind he not liking tea, the point also isn’t about he now agreeing & accepting what I had said. The point I noticed and could observe was –
How body & mind work together to satisfy each other’s needs & cravings. Was it the body that craved for the tobacco’s flavor or was it the subconscious mind asking for it? Or was it mind operating through body. Having answers to none, I am amazed how mind & body played their roles and how he reacted and acted accordingly. He chose to chew and he also chose to quit. He with all the physical problems is yet aware of all that his body asked for.
Listening to this conversation between father in law and me, Priyal concluded;
Mumma can I please say something. Upon nodding a yes she said it is not only about how aware you are with your body but it also speaks about how close you are to your body and how well do you respond.
Body is as amazing as one can think of, listen to it, know what it asks for, become more aware of every move within, respect it, embrace it, love it.
⁃ in conversation over Chai Pe Charcha with The Patel’s !!