An apt title for a book that describes one’s travels across India, a country where tea is a daily ritual, without any rules or restrictions attached. ‘Hot Tea across India,’ is Rishad Saam Mehta’s unique account of following the tea trail across the country… with a unique sense of documentation
The blurb very interestingly quotes – ‘On Rishad Saam Mehta’s journeys – and as a travel writer and all-around road –trip junkie, he has been on many- there’s a particular thing he noticed – There’s not a highway, a road or dirt track in India where you can’t find a cup of chai whenever you want it. And with those cuppas come encounters and incidents that make travelling in India a fascinating adventure…” (The font is rather difficult to read…)
From the cover to the last page of the book, there are no room for any misunderstanding, as the title suggests it is an account of ‘Hot Tea Across India,’ however there is no detailed description of the tea but there is a description of the travels, as a travelogue should be. Tea is just a companion on the author’s journey… something that is essential possibly in any kind of journey in India! The writer beautiful uses tea as a catalyst for story-telling and conversations with friends old and new.
A book that caters to myriad of readers and a wide cross-section of people, the writer’s background in automobile industry is seen in different parts of the book, especially the love with which he writes about suspensions, gears, cars & bikes. It is not a mystery that he is as passionate about his automobiles as he is of travelling.
While tea connoisseur and serious travel writers might look at the book with little disdain, ‘Hot Tea across India,’ nevertheless brings in a great source of understanding and discovery of the less travelled territories of India. For many amateurs and beginners, the book serves as a rather great and informative guide to different destinations like the Dal Lake and Leh.
The stories in the book are rather riveting and gripping and at some points even awe-inspiring, while tea plays a central part in the whole book, the soul and mystical beauty of the destinations are not hidden and clearly available to the reader… Rishad has loving given time to explain and discuss the different characters that have made an impression on his mind during his travels. His accounts of the places he stopped at are rather interesting and descriptive.
Extremely visual, entertaining and borderline fiction, ‘Hot Tea across India’ is a definite must read!