Rush to chai tapari (tea stall) to have cutting with unfold collars and water before the first sip. (Mumbai istyle)
The greatness of Cutting chai (tea) can not be measured. This cutting tea has its own quality, and more so we can’t prepare it into home, nor we can get it from 5 star hotels, cafes etc. I still do not know what brand of tea leaves, what kind of sugar or milk they use - best considered as their trade secret. My mom can prepare wonderful tea but it is totally different from the cutting chai. Mumbai takes great pride in its cutting chai and like me every one is addicted to it. Considered to be an important part of the daily routine of every genuine MUMBAIKAR - it costs Rs. 2 only, from celebrity to low class labor every one need it at least once in a day. Living in the heart of Mumbai subarbs I could see famous personalities enjoying sip of cutting. Press reporters and advocates and yeah Scotland yard …oops I mean Mumbai Police :d. Add a rupee and it makes it spicier - yes we use spicies in our tea!!
Sitting with girlfriend and having espresso in BARISTA or having the over-hyped mocha in CAFÉ COFFEE DAY comes no close to the cutting chai with friends. Parking bikes in non parking zone and ordering, “Aye Babu 4 cutting de, pani kam …fatafat la chal……” (hey babu , 4 cup of teas with less water ;) ) I truly cherish style of Mumbai and its tradition. There are many specialties in Mumbai besides chai; but cutting chai comes on top most level. Coz every single day of Mumbaikar starts with cutting. There are so many people who drink tea, coffee in their house before leaving for office, but yet when they reach office need a cutting. And it is unwritten rule that, in Mumbai everywhere, mean outside every bank, college, hospitals, companies etc; you will find one tapari (tea stall.). And you won’t find any tea taparis without crowd.
For for me and my group, cutting was an important part of the day. Coz this is the place where we discuss on many topics. Which professor is behaving over smart and which peon needs Tochan and raag patti. Every tea stall has a different kind of topic - from court case dates to dating plans with girlfriend. Mumbai never sleeps, this city never loses its energy… many a time I think it is this unknown power and daily dose of CUTTING CHAI...
For those who come to see Gateway of India, their next destination should be the Tapari. Coz to feel spirit of Mumbai, you need to be prepared, that’s why glass of Cutting is for you. ;)
Glossary (Bole toh Mumbaiya meaning.)
a) Cutting OR Cutting chai - Glass of Tea. (they provide it in glass not in CUP ;) )
b) Chai Tapari - Tea Stall.
c) Mumbaiya - Mumbaian or Mumbai Local style.
d) Mumbaikar - Single Mumbaian, or local of Mumbai.
e) Sunjay Dutt - Bollywood Superstar.
f) Barista - small restaurant chain.
g) Café Coffee Day - Chain of Café shops
h) Tochan - Punch or Fight.
i) Raag Patti - previous stage before giving a strong punch ;)
j) Gate way Of India. - Famous place of Mumbai.
Things have been the same..but change is the essence of live and I have moved along from my cutting chai to the closest it can get - Dunkins Vanilla Chai or Starbucks Chai Tea Latte. Let me stop here, Bole toh Fir milenghe bhai log... Amrika me!