Tea Set 

Chaitanyamoi Chetia

© Copyright 2023 by 
Chaitanyamoi Chetia

Photo by Angela Roma at Pexels.
Photo by Angela Roma at Pexels.

This is a soiled note, give me a new one,” I said to the cashier at a hotel with the sweets in my hand. The cashier opened the cash drawer, inserted the soiled note and gave me a different one. This time again a soiled note came at my hand that was torn in the middle. Again I returned it to him.

Don’t give me soiled ones!” I said to the cashier. He again shoved it into the cash box, after many searching, he gave me a nice one. With sweets I came to the street, took an e-rickshaw and rushed home. I was happy that my sister and her husband would step at my house after one year. Her husband prepared premium teas in his tea estate; last time they brought a tea packet of good quality which when prepared, it’s essence would spread in the complete boundary of the house. During leisure hours, I gossiped with my family members about the tea estate where her husband had been working for the last few years, and also about their beautiful tea that their garden had been producing. While crossing any tea estate on the way, when discussion on tea leaves start among our family members, their tea estate would find place in our discussion.

Her husband prepares premium quality tea,” I said to my family members and they would nod their heads in the affirmative.

My wife swept the floor, changed the curtains, and replaced the flowers in the drawing room, as they would sit there after their arrival.

I have kept the sweets in the table,” I said to my wife. I have been imagining that it had been a year since they last visited our home; the news that they would come today made me ecstatic. I immediately took my bath, changed my attires and waited outside looking at the road. Every time a car would cross the road, I thought they were coming; for many minutes I had been sitting on a reclining chair and waiting calmly for their arrival. The sun had set, the sky became dark, and my wife switched on all the halogen bulbs of the rooms as well as the front and rear verandah lights.

Why don’t you come inside, mosquitoes will sting you?” my wife said. I acquiesced to her saying and came inside.

You need not have to glance at the street for their arrival, confine yourself in a room,” she continued.

I told my wife to serve tea in the new cups and saucers which were lying in the cup board. She acquiesced to my saying and took the cups for washing in the washing basin. I had been listening to her washing of the ceramic materials in heavy running tap water in the washing basin.

In the evening, after many waiting, my sister and her husband came and set on the sofa set, parking the car outside the gate. I sat with them and clicked photos of both of them in ecstasy. At this time, I heard continuous breaking sound of ceramic materials in the concrete basin; now, I started talking with my sister and her husband.

How is the tea leaf plucking going on,” I said to him.

Our tea bushes are yielding good green leaves,” he said. “A little rain in this season is also helping the tea bushes to yield more green leaves.”

We always praise your made tea. The aroma that comes out from the tea cup is so amazing!”

My wife came from the kitchen and told us to come to the tea table to taste sweets and to sip tea. I was rapturous that I would take tea in the beautiful tea set with my sister and her husband. We all were tasting sweets of a few varieties, but the tea came in different cups.

Why you didn’t serve tea in the cups I told you to serve?” I said to my wife.

While I was washing them, my fingers slipped and all the cups crashed into pieces,” she said.

I became remorse at her saying, and quickly got up and went to the kitchen to assess the damage. There were ceramic shards scattered all over the floor, and the new tea set was completely shattered. I felt disappointed and angry at the same time. We spent a few minutes near the washing basin. My sister and her husband noticed the commotion and asked what had happened. When I told them what had occurred, they tried to console me, saying that accidents can happen to anyone, and it was not a big deal.

Despite their comforting words, I couldn’t help but feel annoyed. The tea set was brand new, and we had been looking forward to using it with my sister and her husband. However, I did not want to spoil the evening, so I tried to put the incident behind me and enjoy the rest of the night.

After dinner, we sat in the living room and chatted for hours. My sister and her husband shared stories about their tea estate and the challenges they faced while running it. I was fascinated by their tales, and it made me appreciate the effort and dedication they put into producing such high-quality tea.

As the night wore on, my sister and her husband prepared to leave. I saw them off at the door, and we promised to keep in touch and visit each other more often. As I walked back into the house, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for their visit. It had been a while since we had spent time together, and their presence had brought a sense of warmth and joy to our home.

The next day, I woke up early and went to the market to buy a new tea set. I wanted to surprise my wife and show her that I had put the incident behind me. When I returned home, my wife was in the kitchen preparing breakfast. I handed her the tea set and watched as her face lit up with excitement.

As we sipped our morning tea, I realized that accidents happen, but what is important is how we react to them. Instead of dwelling on the broken tea set, I had decided to replace it and move on. It was a small gesture, but it had brought a sense of happiness and harmony to our home. The incident with the soiled note and the broken tea set taught me a valuable lesson. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but it’s up to us to decide how we react to them. We can either let them ruin our day or find a way to move on and find happiness in other things. And at that moment, as I sat sipping tea with my wife, I knew that I had made the right choice.

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