In India it’s a common sight to see a person with cigarette in one hand and a chai/tea glass in the other. A large population of smokers in India prefers tea with cigarettes. The lines to follow will try and unravel the mystery of why cigarettes and chai go hand-in-hand.
Every town, village, and city in India has roadside tea stalls which are referred to as ‘chai tapris’ in Mumbai lingo. At these tea stalls you find college students and office goers sipping their chai with one hand, while the other is engaged with a cigarette, all this happening while beingengrossed in a conversation with friends doing the same. I have been a smoker myself in the past and have been a part of numerous such chai breaks during office hours. When you light up your cigarette you almost instantaneously order your tea. Why? There’s no science backing the mystery of chai and cigarettes in India, its plain and simple, you’re habituated to a daily cycle that is difficult to break.
At the workplace there are certain times of day that cigarettes and tea are most consumed. There are some that love their masala chai and cigarette before work, it’stheir daily breakfast. Between 10.30am and 11.30 am many office goers take a 5 minute break for their chai and cigarette. It may sound strange but individuals that return from a break after smoking their cigarette and sipping their chai are more productive in terms of work, than individuals that do not take breaks. Nicotine does stuff! Stuff you cannot imagine! The creative juices seem to magically flow after smoking a cigarette during a break at work. Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm cigarettes and tea are the most consumed in India. Tea along with cigarettes during evening hours acts as a stress reliever. Persons angry over decisions taken at work by management cool down over a conversation with a cup of tea and cigarette. Absurd as it may sound, cigarettes and tea is the way of life for many in India.
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