We may not have always been among the highest tea consuming people of the world, but it has been about a century since chai has been one of the top priorities of people living in the sub-continent. In light of the competitive marketing strategies applied by our beloved brands in Pakistan, I was inspired to talk about reasons why chai always wins.
1. Chai is healthy
If you had to choose something to drink, might as well chose chai because not only does it have less caffeine than coffee and less sugar than soda, it has theamine that helps anxiety and flavonoids that help protect against heart disease and cancer.
2. It’s more acceptable to drink more of it
Think about it, how many times has your mom told you not to drink so much chai? Never? Well I bet you can’t say the same for cola drinks. “Bas karo, coke pi pi k moti ho jao gi”
3. It costs less
Well, unless you go to a posh café that sells truck chai for no less than Rs.350/-, you can always get really good chai from a dhaba or tea stall for as low as Rs.20/- and it will always be fresh and hot, no need for refrigerators to keep its temperature or anything. Here, have my extra cash to wipe your tears, Zalima.
4. We’ve always been obsessed with it
I don’t know about others but I’ve spent my adolescence with my cousins in the kitchen making chai for everyone and wishing we don’t get husbands as chai fanatic as our family; only to grow into loving this soulful drink ad savoring every sip. (And also realizing that if our future husbands like chai, they can totally offer us a cuppa too!)
5. The chai person smiles at me
Now this is a weird reason but every time the tea stall guy at my university’s café sees me, he smiles from three feet away and asks “Sadaa chai? Kitni?” He understands how important it is, like most other hospitable Pakistani brothers and sisters.
6. It’s the best social activity
If only I had a dollar for every time someone said “Chai peenay chalain?” This is where my weakness lies, my heart melts and I lose my willpower. It’s an offer too good to refuse! Whether it’s with professors, colleagues, friends or even your crush, chai is the best option to strike a conversation and get things going.
7. A morning without chai?
I once forgot to have tea in the morning and rushed to class. One of my shoes tore apart, my assignment got rejected and I had a surprise quiz. Bad things happen to people who don’t have chai in the morning.
8. It’s a good way to charm elders
If you serve juices or a cola drink, your Nani Amma may be satisfied. But if you serve a garma garam chai and biscuits, she’s going to be a happy grandma and tell your mom “Arey tum to muft mai ghussa hoti ho. Deho kitni achi chai banati hai.”
9. I love chai
Full stop. Why do I even need nine reasons when I know chai will be there for me no matter what? It’s preferable over any drink in the world, be it a thandi coke or aromatic coffee. Lipton said it best: “Nice try, Zalima.”