Thursday, 14 May 2015

Ginseng Tea by the Window

I'm drinking tea
that tastes of black pepper,
old pages, mountains
in the monsoon.

I'm in a cafe in
Cambridge. I'm on a
road in India,
curving around
back in a car
with Ma and Baba,
my brother
and everything is green,

I take another
sip, another,
and mountain walls well up. 
Deep green, like thoughts.
A mossy wall of thoughts
left behind
by weary travellers,
happy travellers, travellers
throwing up from bus-windows
at hairpin bends,
sleepy travellers, heads
nodding down down,
jerking up.

Those thoughts, here
in my cup of hot water
and Ginseng flower. Tepid
now, but brewing great distances.


I don't know where that came from today; I haven't written in verse in years. I'll leave that with you as we pack our bags to go were the cicadas sing. To a little village in Provence. We've always wanted to do a road-trip in the south of France, without a map, without an itinerary. And here it is now.

I hope my tea took you somewhere too.



  1. Beautiful, Pia, as always. :) May there be many more verses like this.

    Your tea took me to Ooty, too. It reminded me of some beautiful, beautiful, beautiful days the husband and me spent in the midst of the mountains. Can't wait to take Bubboo there.

    Wow, you are off to Provence, a place I have only read about! Lucky you! :) Have fun! Looking forward to read all about your adventures in France. A trip without an itinerary or a map sounds just gorgeous!

    1. My memories of Ooty are very special too. It's the one family holiday I remember with absolute clarity - walking in the mountains, eating strawberries and marshmallow for the first time. Year later, I took D back there, but it had become much busier by then.
      Well, now you have to read 'A Year in Provence' - it'll take you there in the most beautiful way.
      Thank you, for loving the poem.

    2. Strawberries and marshmallows? Really? In Ooty? Where????

      I have already read A Year In Provence. Loved it. :)

    3. Strawberries in tiny boxes on the street (sour as hell), and marshmallow from a shop in the center of Ooty. Don't remember the name but it was a large, longish shop selling everything from shawls to lozenges.

  2. Wow! Loved that little impromptu tea musing!! Hoping for gorgeous photographs and travel stories, have a safe n happy journey u 4 precious ppl <3

    1. Thanks, Misht!
      See you back here in a while :)

  3. You know I am a copy editor and always looking for edits whatever I read. But this one, I will not change a thing. It's beautiful, beautiful how you can swing words so easily and that too with just a cup of tea. :)

    Hope you are having a great trip. Waiting to hear all about it here!

    1. I'm honoured and much touched by the compliment, Meera.
      Now that I know you're a copy editor, I better be careful before unleashing my posts on you, eh? :)
      See you after the trip!

    2. I am sure you will give me a tough job Pia!

      I just read your comment about the book in Provence, I have read your post on list of children books and you talk and instagram about so many books. Ever considered making a list of must read books for your readers? I know each one of us have different tastes but I would love to try out!

  4. Lovely, Pia. Enjoy your wandering in Provence.

  5. You know Pia I was at the place you mentioned in your poem just one month back. The whole week it rained. My first monsoon in the mountains. I did not know the words to describe my feelings. But as usual you wrote it for me. You always write stories for me. Thank you. Do you remember me? By the way I will wait for your pictures and tales from south of France. You are going on my dream vacation.

    1. Thank you for such a beautiful note. I'm glad my words found an echo in your memories.
      I hope you enjoy the post on Provence.
      I'm sorry you didn't leave your name - I'm sure I'd have recognised you if you had.

  6. Beautifully evocative - thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! And it's lovely to have you here :)

  7. What beautiful words, and beautiful tea... Enjoy Provence. xx

    1. A late thank-you, Emma.
      The tea's been on repeat.

  8. I fear I may be repeating myself...but your writing is so very visual, it's a delight! Have a wonderful time in Provence! <3

    1. I like your repetition - it keeps me writing, AD.


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