Tasveer Ghar: A Digital Archive of South Asian Popular Visual Culture
Chai Why?: The Triumph of Tea in India as Documented in the Priya Paul Collection
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  • Shreshth Kanaujia
    22/06/2019 14:03:35
    Very nice
  • sanjay khilar
    30/06/2013 05:14:41

    I am very grateful to the author that s/he gave a full description on Indian life, tea and history....

  • Rachel
    27/07/2010 00:48:06

    I want to read the book - over a nice cup of tea!

  • anindita ghoshal
    21/11/2010 11:15:43

    Wow...great idea. Plz work hard & write this book. We'll love to read it...with a cup of hot Darjeeling tea..:-)

  • samir
    20/04/2010 08:06:39

    nice job. very interesting. my dad tells me that the "special tea" name started being used during WW2. due to wartime rationing sugar was scarce and most people (and tea shops) used gul/jaggery. if you knew the shop owner you could ask for "special" chai to get tea made with real sugar from the black market.

  • jayesh
    20/02/2011 08:58:59

    Intense research with amazing clarity indeed! The only way this could have happened is over several cups of tea. Thanks for the wonderful write up and pictures.

  • Sushil Kumar Sharma
    17/07/2012 03:59:45

    I read this article, 'Chai, why?' with 'hot' enthusiasm as since childhood I have been drinking this ubiquitous , tea, chai as it is commonly called. In our childhood, chai was made with Lipton powder, water, milk and 'gur' (raw sugar) as white sugar was then an expensive commodity in the rural household. When the guest arrives, only then the white sugar was used, to enhance the taste and make a nice impression! Philip ji has made remarkable efforts to trace its roots from the colonial times to the present and dwelt well on how it became a product of mass use, in almost every Indian household, in very lucid and interesting text.

  • sonya norton
    15/11/2014 12:50:36

    n the near future I am giving a lecture/demonstration to a social group regarding masala cha, and was delighted to find your article, the wonderful illustrations and associated bibliography. I'm a retired social worker with a background in anthropology, and I had long surmised the points you make regarding class and tea history in India. So nice to have justification for my opinions! Thank you, indeed! I hope the book is in progress, and going well.

  • Annapurna Garimella
    12/04/2010 19:50:31

    Nice introductory piece. As you mentioned, there is a difference between the public culture of tea drinking and coffe drinking in south India, especially Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Karnataka. Kerala is another story entirely, where coffee is entirely a five-star phenomenon. But the interesting thing is that chai gets into the cafe culture as "chai" a la Starbucks style not really as tea. On sidewalks and in homes, people ask for "tea" (made in the way you describe) - "chai" has a slightly boutiquey connotation.

  • Bryan Mulvihill
    03/08/2011 12:06:11

    greatly enjoyed the essay and images, i do hope you will continue and develop a book version. Most interesting research. Please keep me posted.

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