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  • Evening Tea time is one of the best times in a family life day. I miss that from my life before marriage.This is how it used to be.
    Teapot on the top of the gas heater, spreading a strange aroma in the dining room, Oh No! This was no ordinary dining was the pillar of family strength and unity. My father no less than King Arthur and we the gallant Knights would gather morning afternoon and evening at the wooden table,covered with a multicolored sheet which inspired us at every sitting….”Honey Tea, Honey Tea, was King Arthur’s command…(my father was a doctor in the Pakistan Army Medical Corps) Mother would gracefully place the embroidered multicolored Kashmiri teacosy, lay the carefully chosen English teacups with the crimson lining, floral pattern and the golden rim, so elegantly royal. Every evening was a memorable occasion.
    Tea time was a religious one could miss it.. it brought us together, it kept us close, it gave us love, comfort and warmth; it was a time of sharing thoughts asking advice telling stories and school tales; it was the best time of my family life. It was always Lipton Yellow Label, our family favourite.

    Winters were so special, our hometown being the hill station Abbottabad named after Major James Abbott of the British Army the first Commissioner of the town in the 1950s in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Throughout the year tea was the favourite drink.
    Mother always used the electric kettle for boiling water.

    “It maintains the flavour” she would say. Fresh is the sweet memory of tea with condensed milk which came in tins from Holland was an imported item..and tea was so special with it…. the year was 1962, unforgettable tea sipping in the mountains of Gilgit(a state in the Northern Areas of Pakistan) when my father was posted there as Agency Surgeon.
    “Tea is there where ever you go” “Mixed or separate, ma’am?’

    Oh my thoughts were broken by the waiters voice.”er no..separate”

    I never could develop the concept of mixed tea (sugar milk and tea leaves all boiled together) and served so always burnt your lip at the first sip. I waited, the pages of my memory turned…’I entered the dining room, with a laden heart, some days after mother passed away , this was November 1997; giving up her courageous battle with the Big C cancer. My parents no more filling the house with the warmth of love, the table dusty, chairs dis arranged, my eyes encountered the half empty shelves, but then I saw … perhaps what I was looking for ..the silver teapot on the gas heater, my soul sensed the familiar aroma ..this time of love , life, and laughter yes. it was tea that had kept us alive and united in the family bond.

    “Your cup is getting cold” someone said..

    ” Oh no, My cup will never be cold…as it was always filled upto the brim..with the Tea of Life”.I relaxed as I slipped deep into the sweet aroma of Lipton Yellow Label.
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