10 things I hate about chai

Published: August 8, 2010

1. The fact that at some unknown point in our history, the entire nation sat down and conspired that the one ever-acceptable excuse to get out of work, solve domestic disputes and get promoted involved a discussion that simply couldn’t take place without a cup of chai.

2. The fact that this cup is never just one, but can go on to thirteen cups a day, which means thirteen unwarranted breaks a day. Acceptable only for those imbibing said beverage, try taking thirteen breaks at work without chai or smoking as a fallback!

3. Those of us who don’t drink chai are social pariahs, uncomfortably wedged into conversations that last hours because those conducting them have something to sip on at five-minute intervals. Us ‘cold drink’ folks don’t need to wait for our drinks to cool and so we’re pretty much done and out of the conversation before the rest of the party have settled on a general theme.

4. All the conversations you don’t want to have also tend to revolve around chai: the rishta conversation; the auntie’s prattling about clothes and shoes conversation and the bristling moment where your boss pauses dramatically to take a sip from his cup before shooting your pitch down.

5. The fact that journalists are practically required to drink chai…and smoke. Those of us who do neither are technically not journalists, given that most reporters tend to regard the tea rings on their shirts as a badge of honour.

6.  Chai is just impossible to get right. It is always “thodi si” something. “Thodi si teekhi, meethi pheeki, thandi, tez….etc.” followed by its own complex numeral system for sugar intake “Aadha chamach; aadhe or munne ke darmiyan; pona chamach; aadhi chutki (?!) …etc.”

7. The fact that all of us who don’t partake of this particularly vexing, daily caffeine fix must still learn to make it because everyone else around us ‘requires it’, like vampires require blood. This of course, goes arm in arm with the fact that we are usually crap at making it seeing that we don’t know what it should taste like.

8. That people think it is perfectly acceptable to steal your mug at work because they want tea. The cup that you had kept for the occasional coffee craving that hits you a couple of days every month. But no, chai is apparently a daily ‘need’ that trumps standard ownership rights of every variety.

9. The way people just assume you drink tea in those awkward social situations, such as job interviews and first time meetings with complete strangers. That a cup is placed right in front of you the moment you sit down and rejecting it with an ‘I don’t drink tea’ plea is only met with a ‘Does not compute’ expression.

10.  It just doesn’t taste good. And yes, I have tried chai. It is watery and milky and either too sweet or too salty and people just won’t, ever admit it.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (23)

    Aug 8, 2010 - 7:59PM

    how do I submit a piece on 10 things hate series?Recommend

  • Obaid
    Aug 8, 2010 - 8:16PM

    The cup thing I am with, but on the whole this amounts to blasphemy, chai is a scared drink that should be honored as such….Recommend

  • Sadaf Arshad
    Aug 8, 2010 - 8:22PM

    I could not get any sense out of it. I understand that some people do not like tea or coffee, but should all be encouraged to write their 10 reasons? It is interesting to read those articles where some scientific evidence/rationale is given to support their views, which is certainly not the case here. Do we actually need to know about everyone’s personal likes and dislikes in a newspaper?? Recommend

  • Z. Waseem
    Aug 8, 2010 - 8:29PM

    Maybe coffee is more your cup of tea? They do offer that at most work places, job interviews, and in homes, you know. You can always state your preference – unless you’re caffeine and nicotine-intolerant. Lots of good things happen over a cup of chai. If they haven’t happened to you yet, maybe you should increase your daily intake and find out. No need to criticize tea-drinkers. We’re only just increasing our daily share of calcium, glucose, and hydration. Recommend

  • Deee Haider :)
    Aug 8, 2010 - 8:35PM

    Super… enjoyed reading it while sipping a cup of tea :) Thanks.Recommend

  • Sarah B.Haider
    Aug 8, 2010 - 8:59PM

    To me, a day without tea is like a desert without rain :PRecommend

  • Fizza
    Aug 8, 2010 - 9:08PM

    Absolutely agree with you! I can’t stand chai and my little sister is the newest chai-addict in my life! She is obsessed with it! She measures the seconds that the water should boil, the right amount of milk, the exact amount of seconds for the ‘dum’, and then sits down in the living room occupying the remote (with force or emotional blackmail) because she has to enjoy her chai-time- in the middle of a HOT sultry 45 degree summer afternoon!
    If only she would dedicate the same time and energy in tidying up her room! Dum Dum she is! :PRecommend

  • malang
    Aug 8, 2010 - 9:38PM

    I suppose i can’t really expect to find much support for my condition: a condition where I simply don’t ‘like’ tea, so i don’t want a ‘cup’ in any form. I can crave coffee on occasion but nope, my caffeine fix is most definitely coca cola.
    As for blasphemy…I am a proud heretic in this instance. Lone, but proud.:)Recommend

  • Afsheen
    Aug 8, 2010 - 10:27PM

    ditto. this social outcast attitude has been there for me since i was a kid, always pointed at innumerable occasions where i have rejected it keeping an embarrassed posture looking at the maut ka farishta offering the chalice; always at odds giving this self explanatory look why i don’t have one with my mock-saviour siblings coming to the rescue with this timeless line ‘ye bachpan s chai nae peti hai’. then at the work place always have to see your colleagues have a blast with their tray and mugs and you have to look at the forlorn biscuit that needs to be moistened with that ‘do boond of amrit’. I’ll go on and on so i need to shuddup Recommend

  • Omais
    Aug 8, 2010 - 10:28PM

    :-s Bogus one!… useless thought!… out ov dis world,,, sounds lame

    try to comeup with some good,valid n realstic thoughts.

    da one with “Chai & Coke” title was far better…Recommend

  • aka47estd
    Aug 8, 2010 - 10:59PM

    you cant stop us!Recommend

  • Sakina
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:27AM

    hahaha…point 6 is hilarious :P hehehehRecommend

  • SS
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:28AM

    yup…a perfect piece but reading without a cup of tea is just so imperfect…:PRecommend

  • rehan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 3:51AM

    Behen ji,please don’t take life too seriously.
    MARIA, please also forward the answer to Nadia’s question to me.Thanks.Keep writing more.Recommend

  • Sahar
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:55PM

    1. I don’t like tea
    2. Other people like
    3. Tea is stupid
    4. Why do people like tea if I don’t like tea
    5. Tea is a drink that people drink
    6. I don’t drink it
    7. Other people do and I don’t like that
    8. How I wish other people would stop drinking tea
    9. Tea sucks
    10. Tea drinkers should try drinking coffee because that isn’t an unhealthy caffienated drink that is mildly addictiveRecommend

  • usman
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:02PM

    @ It just doesn’t taste good. And yes, I have tried chai. It is watery and milky and either too sweet or too salty and people just won’t, ever admit it.

    thats not true some chai do taste good (especially if its made by a good chai maker) which is watery and milky and neither too sweet nor too salty… :) That tastes DELICIOUSSS…Recommend

  • Toufiq Ur rehman
    Aug 9, 2010 - 2:08PM

    Every people have their own opinions but I don’t agree with second sentence of point number 5. Recommend

  • Munazza sami
    Aug 9, 2010 - 2:58PM

    hahhaahhaha Time pass….both Tea and this articleRecommend

  • Umaima Alvi
    Aug 9, 2010 - 6:03PM

    add in one more……chai has the most nauseous smell!Recommend

  • Aug 11, 2010 - 2:01AM

    lol@ Nadia.

    Hate em too. Wonder why Tribune is obsessed with the number 10.Recommend

  • Aahmed Aasmar
    Aug 11, 2010 - 10:03AM

    waisay, i recommend lemon soda :)Recommend

  • saher
    Aug 13, 2010 - 10:28PM

    tea disturbs ur sleep pattern. :(.. but still it is a major timepass in our society.. baad mein chahy poori raat neend na aaye :P and then u need tea again to keep awake during day time.. and in the end u are left with a headache…. Recommend

  • Aug 19, 2010 - 2:51AM




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