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April 11, 2018

The tea craze in Pindi


April 11, 2018

Unbelievably, there is barely any place in Pindi that doesn’t have teahouses of different sizes, shapes and hues. They are on the busiest roads, in the markets, near offices, in the streets and just about everywhere. Many of these tea points have in close proximity pan-shops or vice versa. Road stretches from Banni to Pindora Chowk and from Mareer Hasan to Faizabad alone have countless teahouses.

The types of tea offered to customers are ‘doodh patti’, Kashmiri tea, green tea or black tea. The additives used in making tea are anybody’s guess. “The cup of tea that brings cheers is any season drink for me. Tea is like an occasion for me to calm down and get in to the mood,” says Ali Kazmi, an assistant at a local NGO.

“In fact it has become a custom to greet people with tea. Whenever a few friends visit me, I usually take them to the office canteen or the nearest tea point. Also when I get tired or having a headache, I prefer to take tea,” says Shakeb Raza, a reporter at a local magazine.

“I treat tea as a panacea. A hot cup of tea keeps me alert, and gives a lot of relief,” says Ijlal Haider, a composer at the district courts premises.

Syed Shabbir, a creative guru at a local advertising agency says: “For me tea is an addiction. Without consuming it I can’t start my daily routine work. This is evident from the fact that I have had many cups of tea since morning and just after lunch and dinner it is a must to shake off the lethargy, which usually gets over me after every meal.”

Hasan Shehzad, a teacher at a local school says: “Tea is a warm beverage and thirst quencher to me. Cold drink quenches my thirst temporarily, so I prefer taking tea.” “Some teahouses have become an essential part of my psyche as they play my favourite songs. Teahouses with TVs are not my choice,” says Tahir Ali Shah, a labourer.

Sajjad Husain, a tea stall owner, says: “It has become a profitable business for several unemployed youth like me to jump in the queue.” One restaurant owner, Nazar Kazmi, says: “Majority of my customers is smokers, who spend a lot of time to consume a cup of tea over ‘gup shup’.”

Shumail Khan, another restaurant owner says: “The favourite subjects of people’s discussion are many. We keep an Urdu daily newspaper; it is read by almost all the customers and at the end of the day is found in tatters, which the rest of the people use as a tissue paper to clean their hands.”

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