For Pransu Raj Kaushik, tea is a way of life. His great-grandfather was a planter, as was his father. Pransu followed in their footsteps, beginning his career as a welfare officer at Hokonguri Tea Estate before joining Damayanti Tea Industries as a consultant. Pransu took a break from managing O! Chai, Damayanti’s “tea retail unit-cum-lounge” in Dibrugarh, Assam, to write another entry in our Chai Diaries series.
There is actually no limitation to what a cup of tea can do: rejuvenate us, make us happy, or simply let the drinker experience fulfillment. This humble cup of tea has rightly been said to create tempest throughout the ages. I experienced a similar sort of tempest, or change, during the Durga Puja celebrations last month. I got a call from Dr. Zachariah, a renowned pathologist from Shillong and my classmate from school, inviting me to meet him after almost a decade and a half. We planned to meet on the 8th of October at my office.
That phone call turned out to be a catalyst that me to meet not only Zachariah, but also two other classmates: Jawed, an avid biker, and Leon, an advocate. We met over cups of milk tea and cookies at O!Chai, talking over one another about school days, our first cupid tales, crushes on teachers and what not, the tea catalyst at work.
How that simple yet enigmatic cup of tea eased us into reentering our boyish groove was really amazing. Zachariah was transformed to his horny best in expletive bursting mode; Jawed turned into that foxy character; and Leon became the quintessential jester. As for me, the readers are the best judges. After endless dramatics in the middle of the road – yes, the middle of the road, because the O!Chai lounge was way beyond its closing time – we got down to planning something fruitful. Again, the tea catalyst was at play.
We gave birth to a group of all my batchmates from Don Bosco School, Dibrugarh of the year 1997 – the Bosco Boyzzz! The zzz was made more prominent by the zing of the milk tea and jazz. After some more deliberations, Bosco Boyzzz took shape on 11th of October, 2014 in the form of a group in a social messaging app, Whatsapp. Within hardly half a minute of being launched almost the whole of the batch was able to connect together after all these years! The catalyst at play once again!
The naughtiness, the raunchiness, the nostalgia – all came together with a blast and almost the whole bunch (besides the late night boozers) messaged one another that whole night. Bhaskar, Abir, Rintu, Jaideep, Ankur, Abhisekh, Zakaria Khan, Joseph, Nilotpal and the rest have again come together for the rest of each of our lives. The feeling of déjà vu is still in the air as I pen my thoughts here. The only grey point is that I have to keep on looking at the messenger in otherwise “no-go” places as well! But that price I am willing to pay anytime.
Readers, this is my short tale of how an evening over a cup of tea created a tempest, and I am satisfied to be floating about in its aftermath and sharing my joys with you.