Homer had his Muse. Dante had his Beatrice. Jay-Z has Beyonce. I have Jhumka Auntie.
My inspiration for writing about chai wallahs is a 5-foot tall Nepali woman who brightened every day for me during the year I taught English at Nav Yug School Peshwa Road on a Fulbright Fellowship.
The students made me laugh. The teachers made me fat. But it was Jhumka Auntie who made me feel at home and kept me going each day with her warm smile and warm adrak chai.