Calcutta, with all her lovely people, is what I have always called home. The warmth of this place, makes me long for the city, despite all its flaws and faults, no matter where I am.
Being Bengalis, labeling us “gourmet” will not be a mistake. We do not simply enjoy eating. We are fine connoisseurs of the quintessential Bengali food and beverage. We are not only admirers but strong critics. We know our gastronomy too well. A true Bengali would know what a fine, roasted, first flush would smell like. A true Bengali would know how to brew it, perfecting the timing on the rolling boil! How incomplete in the morning, without this well-brewed, aromatic, otherworldly experience of tea? The tea kick-starts our day, yes. But it is hardly the last time we see it. Through the day, the Bengali only needs an excuse to get himself a cup of this freshness. It is no only a regular luxury for a Bengali, it is an unputdownable habit.
A great chunk of the intelligentsia has believed, Bengali’s progress was decided on, and executed over the evening adda. And what comprises of this adda? Politics, sports, literature, technology, cinema, music, social issues, and what not? In essence, everything. But, what completes an adda? If you have ever been a part of any adda, ever, then you would know, that these brainstorming sessions are not complete without tea. Tea, or as we call it, chaa, as a catalyst has always emboldened these discussions, through generations.
I remember myself as a child when I wanted dearly to have one sip of chaa, just once. There was this once, when I had been throwing a tantrum, asking my grandfather to just let me have a whiff of that mysterious beverage that had eluded my taste buds for so long. After a lot of tears, I was allowed to take a small sip. And, it was magic! The fragrance, the warmth, the flavor! I remember every bit of it. My grandfather, ever the tea addict, looked at the little me, with pride. Soon began my training in knowing tea, choosing the long leaves, trying to make a sense of the roast. And at every point of these trials, I can remember how proud my grandfather looked.
Yes, times have changed. Calcutta has become Kolkata, and our adda spaces have changed. We often hang out with friends over a chilled bottle of beer. But, our sense of home still comes with the piping hot maatir bhaanr, at our parar chaa’er adda. How many friends have decided on countless unfathomable futures at the Ganga ghat at Ahiritola? How many cups of tea did the shy couple drink on a wintry afternoon at Dhakuria Lake, as their romance blossomed into early spring? Tea is not a beverage in this city, ladies and gentlemen, it is an inseparable part of every life in this city, intricately woven, impossible to eliminate, or replace.
What is your choice of tea? Where do you get your tea from? What are you searching for in that one fine blend? Which tea garden is the mystical leaves and buds plucked at? My fascination with tea started young, and it still persists. I have continuously searched for a genuine, true flavor of tea, and very recently, I have had the opportunity to experience the finest long loose leaves, roasted first flush from a quaint haven nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. This institution, Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited, has been bringing us the finest tea since 1873, harvested at their lush green plantations. And this fine blend brings all the tea connoisseurs to the table, making them up to their games at savoring their favorite drink! The “Majuli Mist First Flush Roasted Tea”, reaches into your heart and soul, with every sip you take, and you feel connected to everything that makes you a Bengali, and makes this city Calcutta. Now, every generation can partake in adda, indulging in choosing in their favorite between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. It all comes down to protecting the bond that tea has with the citizens of this city. And, Majuli Mist First Flush Roasted Tea does just that. With the excellence of this tea, “Chumukei Paan, Shohorer Praan”, is true in all senses.