Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Come in for some Tea

 Determined to meet some local people, I made my way gingerly on the muddy road towards some homes and small shops. Several times I was warmly greeted, engaged in a short conversation (Kashmiris often inquired about how I like Kashmir), and offered some tea.  After politely deferring some tea invitations, I finally gave in when I met a beautiful teenage girl with a vivacious, outgoing personality.  I spent several hours in their house, engaging in conversation in between cups of delicious Kashmiri tea with a cinnamon taste. Her older sister (who was much more reserved)  performed kitchen duties such as creating a useful cooking fire in their traditional stove, rolling and cooking chapatis, and preparing the salt tea in a Samovar tea pot.  Typical of Kashmiri families, neighbors and relatives stepped in for a while, had a cup of tea, and left.  The younger sister gave me a pheran to wear on this cold, rainy day (like other Kashmiri homes, theirs was not heated), but it was way too short. The woven kangri, with hot embers in its metal pot, proved to be a nice personal heater.  

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