I prefer the road side Chaiwala to CCD or Starbucks any day. First because the Chai tastes much better here …… plus it is hassle free. There is no need to add milk and sugar and stir it. Convenient enough for me. Tea to me has to be Chai, Masala Chai or Adrak wali Chai. I still don’t understand the lingo of Green Tea, Decaf Tea and all that. As soon as Chotu handed me my masala chai I dunked a biscuit into it and slurped it noisily without the fear of being judged. Irrespective of the city or the tea stall, there is always a lanky looking Chotu in every stall. Much said about Chai and Chotu ……. I was there at one of the oldest Chai stalls waiting to catch up with a friend of mine…. It was the same small noisy place where the common man pays five rupees for a chai …….. a place where you can shout out to Chotu for another cup or for fetching u a packet of biscuit ……… nothing fancy !
This used to be my favorite hangout spot during college days. A place to unwind and talk about the day and muse about useless things. Now there is a mall across the street. The place looks busier than before. I leaned against my scooter sipping chai while I waited for a friend of mine. I was distracted by an old woman and a kid at the other side of the road. They were like two playful kittens playing with a bundle of clothes, totally ignorant of the crowd around them.
But then this black Audi that vroomed in was good enough to distract me from the playful duo. I checked out the car. Driving an Audi in this part of the country is a big deal I tell ya. Also you dare ignore the lady who stepped out from it ……… she was flawless. Designer Clothes, handbag and six inches stilettos! I smelled Dolce n Gabana too. I believe the other girl who stepped out with her was her domestic help, Maya.
Memshaab would have uttered her name a thousand times in the last five minutes. Maya this …… Maya that , without giving that poor girl a chance to breathe. Certainly she is the most indispensable part of her life ……. which is pretty much understandable. Memsaab will not be able to bear the loads of her shopping and walk in the six inches had Maya not been there. All hells would break loose without her. Not to forget the cranky toddler in the stroller she had brought along who was constantly licking a piece of chocolate and poor Maya wiping his face every time with a fresh piece of paper towel. Well this fiasco went on for a while till Memsaab handed a thousand rupees note to Maya signaling her to take the kid to the play area.
My attention shifted back to the playful duo on the footpath. They were bubbly and playful. My phone beeped. This friend of mine had to drop out in the last moment for some urgent work. I saw the kid running after a Gubbarewala wanting for a balloon …….. like every other kid she longed for one. The Gubbarewala shooed the little girl away. She was scared and disappointed …… tears rolled down her cheeks. I saw her hide behind one of the parked cars staring at the balloons from a distance. I handed the Gubbarewala a five rupee note and asked him to handover a balloon to the kid as I watched from a distance. The duo again burst out into laughter as the balloon fluttered and danced in the air.
I started my scooter, heading homewards and with a lurking thought ……… Can happiness be bought ??
Preparation Time - 15 minutes
Brushetta (can be replaced with any other bread) - Cut into 8 medium slices
Ripe Avocado - 1
Cucumber Sliced - 1 Cup
Red Onions Sliced - 1/2 Cup
Red Cherry Tomatoes cut into halves - A handful
Cilantro - for garnishing
Red Pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tsp
Lime Juice - 1 tsp
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Salt per taste
Method of Preparation
1. Drizzle a generous amount of Olive oil on the sliced bruschetta and sprinkle some pepper on it. Put it inside the over at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
2. In the mean time drizzle 1 tsp of oil on a pan and pan roast the cherry tomatoes till they turn soft and mushy.
3. Scoop out the flesh of Avocado. Give it a rough mash. Add salt, pepper, chili flakes and lime juice and mix well.
4. Once the bruschetta is out of the oven, top it with mashed avocado, slices of cucumber, onion and tomatoes.