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Bob’s Banter by Robert Clements What Chai do you Serve?

Robert Clements Robert Clements
20 Nov 2023

The white bearded chief of the village and his bald deputy were at it again; discussing matters of great importance for which they walked out of earshot of all the villagers who actually were not too keen to know what they were discussing because what they were discussing was what they always discussed which was frankly what the people were not interested in listening too.

Unnoticed to both, a chaiwallah approached, “Chai! Chai!” he said.

“How did you get here without us noticing?” asked the bald deputy very perturbed.

“We chaiwallahs can go anywhere unnoticed!” said the teaman pleasantly, “Isn’t that true sir?” he asked the chieftain of the village.

“Well, I don’t know much about being a chaiwallah,” said the chieftain, “But I once took a cup of tea someone had made, from the kitchen to a visitor in our living room!”

“But the village thinks you did that for a living once?” asked the bald deputy.

“Well, the visitor took a picture of me walking in with the chai….”

“And the rest is history” mused his deputy.

It’s a good pic!” said the chief, “And pictures are essential for our business!”

“But did the visitor like the tea?” asked the chaiwallah, “Because sir, more than whether you were a teaman or not is what the effect of the tea was on the people?”

“Are you a philosopher or a chaiwallah?” growled the chieftain, “You may go now!”

“No, no let’s hear his talk while we sip his tea,” said his deputy.

“Well, what I am saying dear sir, is how good was the tea you served, or may I be a little more specific, how good is the tea you are serving now?”

“I am not serving any tea now,” said the chieftain irritably.

“We all are serving tea all the time sir, and, a cup of tea, and the effect it brings on people, is what a real chaiwallah looks forward too,” said the chaiwallah, “If he sees a smile on the face of his customers, he is overjoyed. If he sees a fighting couple, suddenly looking at each other with love, he is delighted. We chaiwallahs are always looking to see how our chai works on people!”

“Are there bad chaiwallahs?” asked the deputy laughing.

“One look at a teashop where customers fight with each other, where arguments are loud, and cups and saucers are handled noisily, shows the tea was bad!”

“So,“ asked the deputy to the chaiwallah, “What kind of tea do you think we are serving the people?”

A stone came flying and hit the teaman on the head, “There’s your answer sir,” he whispered weakly, “Even before we can speak frankly about your chai, we are threatened to shut up...!”


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