Unlike popular opinion, brewing a cup of chai tea kadhaa is extremely smooth. First of all, use a pestle and mortar to slightly grind the doubts (persistent against getting sick), elaichi (cardamom), kali mirch (black pepper) and laung (clove). Then, take a saucepan and add half a cup of water to it, bring the water to a boil. To the boiling water add slices of adrak (ginger) along with the grinded mixture.
After a while, add a teaspoon of chai patti along with the optimism to obtain the desired flavour and colour. Finally, you can add cheeni (sugar) and some confidence (to fight against the illness) according to taste. To conclude it all, add half a cup of milk to the tasteful chai.
After 2 minutes, boom!
The soft, muted, sun-soaked yellow with a dandelion undertone colour, the miraculous chai tea kadhaa is ready — a kadhaa, which can tackle ailments as bad as Covid. My mother insists that I drink the magic chai every morning before leaving for work.
Besides regular sanitising, wearing double masks and following social distancing, drinking kadhaa has become a custom in my family for the last one year, like many other South Asian households. These dadi and nani ke nuskhe unequivocally shielded us from infection and instilled in us a sense of false optimism. The optimism consequently bred confidence, a confidence to neglect Covid-appropriate behaviour in this appalling condition.
Currently, India is dealing with the ramifications of our recklessness. The second wave of the epidemiological crisis, which has been compounded by socio-economic and political factors, is exhibiting an unprecedented growth. To the best of my memory, a few months ago, everyone around me was confident that they have ditched the virus by unfolding the hidden immunity using the ‘gharelu ilaj’.
With the health infrastructure on the priority list of the government, they forecasted a better tomorrow. The level of confidence reached a new pinnacle when the newbie vaccine precociously threw itself into the market and turned out to be a doubtful candidate for many. Therefore, under the hood of delusional ideologies, a bunch of people decided to dodge the vaccine and stick to their guardian angel ‘kadhaa’.
When the government was busy writing victory speeches and citizens were busy self-congratulating each other, the condition exacerbated. Apparently, scientific experts had overlooked the requirement to inform the government about the worse case scenarios of the second wave (read as tsunami) just like when they had failed to deliver the actual picture of the pandemic-hit country to its citizens one year ago and (false) assured everyone that the situation was under control.
The cascade of false assurances, ideologies and beliefs has hollowed our system to the verge of collapsing. The direct linear relationship between increasing fresh cases and the panic is as old as time, but the relation between panic and the number of people getting vaccinated is recent and yet to be analysed. As the data of reality struck, people dropping the baggage of paranoia is obscure.