Home / Lifestyle / Chaiwallahs of India
Play Video
 

Chaiwallahs of India

Facebook Linkedin twitter Pinterest Google Plus E-mail this link to a friend.

Many of you may be fond of it, and many of you maybe not, but let’s face it, chai is a brilliant conversation starter. It also typifies the true essence of India. And you will find chaiwallahs brewing tea anywhere in India: whether it is in thatched huts, in tiny aluminum coops or random make-shift joints shops set up in the corner of a street, chai is one drink that is accessible anytime, anywhere.
And this is precisely what Zach and Resham observed when they travelled to India for their respective Fulbright-Nehru fellowships.

After returning to US and spending a few years in their respective jobs, they decided to revisit India to document the chai culture. ‘Chaiwallahs are essential characters in Indian life, and they provide a lens through which one can explore the society. We wanted to capture their stories, especially since India is developing so rapidly,’ says the duo. So they started Chaiwallahs of India, a beautiful online platform that visually records the tea-makers and their idiosyncratic shops across the country.

After backpacking to the remotest areas of India, including the hills of the Southwestern Odisha, Zach and Resham realized that they had sipped chai at about 600 distinct chai thelas. ‘Chaiwallahs provide a space for people from all walks of life to come together. In a society that can otherwise be very stratified, chaiwallahs bring people together.’

In addition to blogging about some of the chaiwallahs, their website is an amalgamation of other features as well, which represents India’s diversity and shows how chai transcends differences. One is Chai Diaries, where they feature personal chai stories written by people. The other is Ek Shabd, which is a photo essay of varied people holding a whiteboard displaying the one word that pops up when they hear, ‘Chai’!

 

Text Hansika Lohani

MORE IN Lifestyle

Interview of the Week: Jesse Veverka

Jesse Veverka

Passfire All around the world, fireworks are synonymous with celebration. People from different parts of the world may speak different languages

read more...
Vir Das

3 Mins with Vir Das

As his first world tour kicks off this Thursday in San Francisco, we connect with Vir Das and discover what makes him

read more...
Fashion Issue 2017

Inside our Fashion Issue 2017

Our Fashion issue is not about what's 'trending'. It's not about the hottest looks or the must haves of the

read more...
 
W, Goa

High on Design

As February takes off, we bring you three hotels with a sharp design edge to their story. W, Goa Dappled in sunlight and

read more...

Base Instinct

It’s normal for there to be a sense of apprehension when venturing to a new place. That fear is multiplied

read more...
Trufflesecco

One Thing at a Time

Variety gets a whole new twist as restaurants whip up a world around a single item. As the year draws

read more...
In God We Trust

Art

Munem Wasif

The Artist  I was born in Bangladesh in 1983 and I studied at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka,

read more...
Profile of the Week: Ishrat Sahgal

Design

Ishrat Sahgal

Mishcat Co, Design House Following a degree in interior architecture, when Ishrat Sahgal returned to Indian shores from The States, it

read more...

Fashion

BENNCH

A white oxford shirt reinterpreted with a diaphanous accordion detail; a monochrome jumpsuit with a cape for an accent; an

read more...
 
A still from Kaash

Film

Kaash

Ishaan Nair, Director The Filmmaker The new director in Mira Nair’s family, Ishaan has been working after his degree in direction and

read more...
A graphic story written and illustrated by Aindri Chakraborty

Literature

All That We Want - The Gaysi Zine

The fifth edition of The Gaysi Zine embarks on a journey to explore the unchartered realm of queer desires, and

read more...
Rush by Mali

Music

Rush by Mali

When Maalavika Manoj aka Mali started strumming her own tunes she found inspiration in long-lost friendships, memories of home and

read more...