By Deepak Adhikari
Roshan Thami would never pose for us. He would just smile. So, we decided to catch him in action. Yesterday, he was more cooperative. Thanks to Rangoon Bhattarai, a reporter from the Rising Nepal, who visited us yesterday, went to the tea shop and started interviewing. We also discovered that Roshan and Balwan, a helper at the photography section at Kantipur, were from same villages. And there was Chandra Shekhar Karki, enjoying the tea-shop environment, who quickly related Roshan and Balwan after hearing what Roshan revealed us about his home district. Both pics by Wagle.
Just outside the Kantipur Complex, in one of roadside concrete buildings, is a teashop. It looks so ordinary at the first sight; few scattered tools, a middle-aged lady sits behind the counter where cakes, donuts and chocolates are assembled in apple-pie order.
It won’t be an exaggeration, if I say, we bloggers (that includes I, Dinesh, Vishnu and Saroj) spend most of our hilarious sessions here. The most beautiful moments were passed (and hope there are many more in store) with the dusty flow of breeze that at times entered our cups of tea and rendered hazardous for our delicate body.
Nevertheless, having a sweet cup of tea and indulging in chat can be a thrill beyond words. A shy teenage boy (who did not reveal his name until yesterday. He is Roshan Thami,14) from Dolakha, always displaying his teeth, often listening to our gossip and at times mischievous, prepares our tea. He seems to have mastered the art of tea making. I would say, this small teashop is his Harvard, it’s his Oxford. He knows the knack and sometimes when the shop woman prepares disastrous teas for us, we’ll ask to fetch him and make another.
I have a confession to make: I take a lot of tea and always joke about the experiments (it includes the one I read in my school days) undertaken on this delicious drink vis-Ã -vis health. Who cares? More so, when the results contradict one after another. I guess, Saroj and Dinesh drink as much as I do. Sometimes it goes up to seven cups in a day. But then, the shop is where some brilliant ideas, headings, themes or even intros for our newspapers/magazine have been conceived. Apart from bathroom, this seems to be the best place for creativity! Sipping our cups of tea, we are enveloped by creative euphoria.
There are many other tea shops around. But this one invariably fascinates us. Apart from good cup of tea, there are obvious reasons to be enchanted. Not exactly eve-teasing (our age doesn’t allow that), but we helplessly watch the nymphets, some in scooty, one in a car and others cat-walking. Some budding femme fatale, a girl-next-door or some bespectacled damsel clad in college uniform are the main passersby and we are the regular viewers. They too present the spectrum of humanity in this tiny milieu. Call us voyeurs, that is the right word, but we really relish their seductive gestures. This much on “getting goofy with women.”
When Dinesh got transfered to Kantipur Daily from Nepal magazine, I was worrried that I will be deprived of tea-company. But, it seems there is no dearth of tea-lovers. Soon, as if heeding my call, Saroj embarked upon a magazine career here at Nepal Weekly and started giving me company. Occasionally, Vishnu too joined us at the teashop in the evening. In-between other colleagues as well as all and sundry happened to be my tea-partners.
It is also the place where we pour our grudges and cleanse ourselves. Our dissatisfactions, our anxieties, and grievances are shared among us that pave a way for some encouragement and freshens us up. At the tea shop, it seems everyone has something to share, in whispering voices, at times laughing whole-heartedly. The topic could be from gorgeousness to gloom, from rupture of your last relationship to new-found love or a crush you recently have. You hardly know the real person at the office chambers, in that there one puts a mask: a reporter, an editor, a copy-editor, a manager etc. But, once you enter a place like teashop, everyone is equal; an egalitarian air runs high here. In fact, I was planning a blog like this ; to jot down about the place where we live our lives to the fullest. But somehow something put kibosh on it and it was delayed.
12 Responses to Our Cups of Tea
September 10th, 2005 at 6:10 pm
Roshan Thami’s photo is better than Tulsi Giri’s. Sometimes, it is better to write something like this in a relaxed mood. Thami represnts a common Nepali lad who may have his own tragic story to tell eventhough he is only 14. Your discussion in the shop not only should concentrate on damsels of the town but also on your new ideas.But I would like to know whether you know the exact identity of the person who is posting in your Blog website? Can you tell me Dineshji?
September 10th, 2005 at 6:13 pm
Thami is always smiling like Akash Bhairav though internally he is hiding sorrow and grief.
September 10th, 2005 at 9:38 pm
Dinesh, thank you very much for Thami’s photograph. Have been seeing and looking at the many pictures you have taken and I must say, you do a great job! Deepak, thanks for the write-up. Yes, what would life be without a hot ‘cuppa’. Find it difficult to imagine life without that cuppa steaming tea or even coffee!
About Thami, I am with you. Thami’s smile looks original and spontaneous. Unlike the practised smiles of many in the show business. Yes, Thami is not wearing a mask. It’s not a hypocritical smile. As you may know, the Greek word for hypocrite literally meant a mask wearer.
However, if we conclude that Thami’s smile is ‘hiding internal sorrow and grief’ wouldn’t we be insinuating that he is wearing a ‘mask’ of a smile?
No, I believe when Thami is sad and wants to cry, it will be seen. He will express it. He is genuine and spontaneous. The idea of smiling while hiding internal sorrow – this is something the likes of you and us may have practised and become experts in. Please, let us leave our dear Thamis out of this ‘acting’ business.
When Thami smiles, he means it. It is as genuine as the sunshine. And when he cries, he does not shed ‘crocodile tears.’ Thami is simple and true. I have personally met and got to know many dear Thamis in our beautiful country. Let’s leave our Thamis that way, simple, true, sincere, even in our views and thoughts!!
Once again, thanks for the pics, Dinesh and Deepak, keep writing. You have a reader!
September 11th, 2005 at 10:18 am
prajatantra kina ?….khaltima paisa halna…….prajatantra kina ?….euta ghar kathmandu ma banauna…..prajatantra kina?….raja ko birodha gare pachi mukarjile IC dinchha neta haruwalai…..neta le tes bata alikata paisa danchha gayekalai ……….dhikkarchha
September 11th, 2005 at 11:38 am
Thank you Garima.
And thanks to BiswaShanti. I think I couldn’t get you properly regarding the identity of blogger. Do you want to know more about Deepak, the writer of this post? Please clarify.
September 11th, 2005 at 1:15 pm
No, No, What I meant was that several persons and myself who are writing a lot of things in your website against the King, Tulsi Giri etc, in the psuedo names, can you identify us or can anyone of your team reveal this to any outsiders other than you and your team technically through our posts ?That was my question. I would appreciate it if you could answer me. I mean, are we protected in your website?
September 12th, 2005 at 9:49 am
BishwaShanti, your ‘anxiety’ is an interesting one. If you don’t mind and with Dinesh’s permission, I would like to make a comment.
You know the famous ‘Satya Mewam Jayanti’? Simply reminds us that ‘truth’ or ‘satya’ triumphs. You are, however, concerned or anxious about the identity-security of persons who are ‘writing a lot of things against’ so many personalities. Your question is: Are we protected in this website?
Well, why are we worried about protection? Are we underground criminal elements practicing personal character assassination, slander or subversion of facts? Have we sold ourselves to further the cause of anarchy in society to suit whoever’s or whatever’s ends ? Ah, if yes, then we better watchout! We have reasons to fear – our own conscience.
But if we have differences in ideology, even very strong differences, if we present these differences and views in a strong, yet dignified and courteous way, if the events we state are accurate, if we do not state half-truths to suit our ends, if we are logical and coherent in our presentation, if we are sincere in our appeal, if we are truly interested in WHAT is right – not WHO is right, if we are concerned about WHAT is bad and not WHO is bad – then we need not be worried about standing by what we have written.
Instead, we’ll be proud to stand up to what we write and say. So Dineshji, one less worry for you. You need not protect me. I shall write what is accurate, truthful, not half-truthful. I shall not write against persons – because my struggle is not against persons but against ideologies. If someone has done something anti-social, if I have ALL the facts to prove it, I will state the deed. I shall not use slanderous, uncourteous language against anyone with the intention of hurting or maligning or spreading a negaitve image.
Because we all believe in Manav Adhikar – and one of the Manav Adhikars is your right to your reputation. Your right to be treated with human dignity – no matter who you are.
So BishwaShanti, relax.
September 13th, 2005 at 4:27 pm
well! well ! well!
though my feminine decency does’nt allow me to hang around the tea shops only to pry the wayfarers n spit the nagging venoms against the people around us but i have a congenial experience.
there are a couple of my favourite cafes in putalisadak where i patronize as often as my purse is heavy or i found some generous sponser, besides the yummies, decors n tranquillity the most fascinating things in the cafes are the guys who serve us with the ever-lasting smile and exquisite etiquette.
there is a boy, who, i bet is older than me but i call him bhai, whose name is Roshan chaudhari . he is from terai, he came to ktm long yrs back. he is doing such a good job, the cafe owner says” Roshan is my right hand”, he has saved a handsome amount, when he first revealed, i was shocked, my godness! a waiter boy can save to that extent, hats off to his dream.
there is another guy in another cafe, whose name is Krishna poudel. he is from raamechhap. he fled to ktm as soon as he gave slc exam, later he knew he flunked two subjects. he looks simple but has very complicated dream.i love him as a litttle brother back home.
both of the guy, favor me alot, as much as possible i try to cut off from my budget to favor them with tips.i talked to them bout thier family back home, treatment of their employers to them n their future plans, n i m immensely carried away by their enthuisiam n simplicity.
those kind of hardworking n simple tea-shop, cafe guys always fascinate me alot, they have lots of stories to tell n swing our mood.
deepakji, i can imagine the fun of the tea-shop gatherings, this time i really liked the way u presented ur feelings about the tea-shop, gatherings, tea-shop guy n passing-by girls.hmm.. its touchy! keep up!
at last but not the least, one request to all the guys, too much tea is ruinious to health. try to curtail the habbit of “cuppa”, if u want to live longer with sound health.
September 14th, 2005 at 2:14 pm
We urge all visitors of this site to express their opinions freely and responsibly with their identity revealed.
But we also have equal respect to those who wish to remain unanimous while commenting or posting blogs. And, please be assured we don’t reveal unpublished information.
September 15th, 2005 at 1:11 am
Thanks for your assurance. Thank you very much for your different type of post. This is what about general public.These are the people who are the ral voters in futere and they are also the backbone of the country.
Sailendra Kharel Says:
September 17th, 2005 at 4:14 pm
Deepak dai hajur ko “Our Cups of Tea” it really refreshed me out . Saachai nai maaja aayo. Roshan thami ko haat ko chiya khana maan lagyo..I will be there soon…Nepalgunj bata bhage ra Kaile tya aau jasto bhai sakyo malai hehehe..khayer…Seriously bhan nu parda It really remind me my past days, while i was doing intership in Kantipur…
September 17th, 2005 at 5:35 pm
Thank u so much for appreciating the blog, Shailendra Bhai. I hope u r doing great out there in Napalgunj. I look forward to meeting u here on the occasion of Dashain. Happy Homecoming!