Village Chai

Preparing the Tea

Preparing the Tea

Serving tea to guests in India is so traditional that after a while it borders on common place. When prepared over a fire in the rustic kitchen of a village home in Rajasthan, tea becomes the main event and is treated like the ancient ritual that it is. The fire imparts a unique smokey flavor to the brew that lingers on the palette and remains a lasting memory.

Village Kitchen

Village Kitchen

In comparison to the West, the day to day chores are more difficult without running water, a gas stove or a washing machine. All of these hardships fade into the background as guests unite over a soothing cup of smokey, sweet chai.

Big Sister

Big Sister

While Mom is busy in the kitchen, Big Sister keeps her baby brother out of mischief but before you know it, Big Sis will be the source of another kind of mischief but for now she smiles shyly while waiting for tea.


About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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19 Responses to Village Chai

  1. Rachel Orsie says:

    I really like this article!!! If YOU love green and red teas, check this out:

  2. Sue says:

    Always so fun to get your blogs. You capture so much in your photos
    . Thanks for sharing.

  3. ninagrandiose says:

    Always a treat to hear from you. Knowing that you are enjoying my posts does make it all worthwhile. Blogging is all about sharing!

  4. Sketchpacker says:

    I want to know more about big sister! Children everywhere are so beautifully mischievous – I honestly think that no matter where you are in the world you will always find the same, naive light in children. Even if, and this is so so sad, that light is being dulled far too early.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Thank you for your poignant comment. We must hope that as things gradually change for all the Big Sisters in India and beyond, the Big Sister depicted here will benefit from those changes. As you can see, her appearance differs radically from that of her mother’s. It is true, though, that the light for so many children is dulled too early.

      • Sketchpacker says:

        A good point – she is clearly from a different world to her mum, which must be difficult actually! I live in Vietnam, and I see similar big sisters here (and big brothers) – change is indeed coming, but slowly. I feel so lucky

  5. Viktor Z says:

    Your pictures and above all posts make me long for India again..been awhile .. a great blog

    • ninagrandiose says:

      As a life long optimist, I favor the positive view. Hopefully this is conveyed through my photographs and posts…and has something to do with why they make you long for India. When I’m not there, I long for India too! Thanks for voicing your appreciation.

  6. Viktor Z says:

    You’re welcome….along with thoughts about the Peace Restaurant in Puri, Orissa

  7. ninagrandiose says:

    A Ha! Was it this past winter? Am terrible with names! You’re coming into focus.

  8. ninagrandiose says:

    Hm. Is Viktor your name? If this is a guessing game, I give up.

  9. ninagrandiose says:

    Thanks for the clue and the memories.

  10. Jay R says:

    Notice the change?
    Mother in traditional attire, and the kids have been allowed to step out of the traditional attire.
    That’s a big change one can notice today in any typical Indian village.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Yes, so true, Jay. For me, it’s always a conflict of the benefits of progress versus that gradual eroding of traditional ways of life.

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