Tag Archives: Tea

The Bitter Truth

By Titas Mazumdar

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Books, music, movies and the afternoon siesta after a heavy Bengali meal, is all that I crave for on my Sundays. Once the evening sets in my heart starts becoming heavy with the thought that another week to toil in office.

I always wanted to be free just like a bird and to some extent I enjoyed the taste of independence during my college days. But once I started  working my life felt all in chains. Everyday I reach office 10-15mins early so that I am not marked late and a part of my salary gets deducted. I can feel my phone vibrating in my jeans pocket yet I cannot pick it up or even check who had called up. Scared to open the news site, lest my IP address is being scanned through and my evening break is munching biscuit while researching for my next content. Ah that’s my life in office , working as slaves for some billionare.

Whenever my colleagues and I feel sleepy for working hours in front of the computer we take refuge to the nearby tea shop. The owner of this tea shop sell such a refreshing cup of tea that most of us simply ignored our office coffee. He might own a small tea shop by the roadside but the conversations with him are always  interesting. This man downloads films from the internet and watches them . To our surprise he even discussed Rittwick Ghatak and Rituparno Ghosh films with us. At times the topics would revolve around politics, current affairs and even spirituality.

On a gloomy Monday when one of my colleagues and I visited this tea shop found it to closed. Disappointed at this we had no other option but to sip the infamous ‘phenyl tea’ of our office. The next day when we enquired why he didn’t open his shop, he answered that he just wanted to stay at home with his family. We were quite surprised that he incurred a days loss but this man was unperturbed by it.  And the next thing he said simply got etched in my mind and I think its going to be there foreover.

‘My life is not like yours!! For the slightest mistake or absentism you people always in the tension that your boss will shout at you or in the worst case sack you from your job.   But here I am the boss no one is there to tell me anything. It might be just a small tea shop by the road but at least its my own’.

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Goodness Gracias Green Tea

By Tahira

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Consumption of tea originated in China nearly 4000 years ago and as far as Green Tea is concerned, it was first brewed in 2737 BC, during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Chen Nung. Over the ages, Green Tea has been known and extensively used for its medicinal purpose long years together. But what makes Green Tea so popular and endearing. Lets take a look.

Green Tea and Weight Loss
Wondering that consumption of a liquid can actually do such a wonder? Well, yes it does. Regular consumption of green tea increases the rate of metabolism. The substance named polyphone present in green tea works towards intensifying the levels of fat oxidation. It also intensifies the rate at which our body burns calories.

Green Tea and Cancer
Consumption of Green Tea is known to reduce the risk of oesophagus and breast cancer. However, the cancer fighting abilities of green tea is not only limited to these two. Flavinoids present in green tea helps reducing cancer risk. The antioxidant in green tea has been proved to be 100 times more effective than Vitamin C and nearly 25 times better than Vitamin E.

Moreover, Catechins found in green tea help deactivate certain carcinogens, prevent cell mutation and reduce the formation of tumors. Drinking as many as four cups of green tea in a day can help reap the benefits.

Green Tea and Cardiovascular Diseases
The lowering risks of heart diseases and stroke has long been associated with Green Tea. According to Harvard Health Publications, regular Green Tea consumers develop lower risks for heart diseases. The presence of the strong antioxidants in green tea, blocks the oxidation of bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol thereby improving arterial functions. A Chinese study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed nearly 50% reduction in hypertension risks in those who consumed Green Tea on a regular basis.

Green Tea and, Oral and Bone Health
Presence of flavinoids, natural fluorides, catechins and polyphenols are known to kill bacteria that are responsible for causing tooth decay, gum problems and bad breath. A study published by the European Journal of Nutrition, found that those who consumed at least two cups of Green Tea everyday, developed less risk of tooth decay. However, it is advisable that you consume Green Tea without sugar or honey.

green tea 1Though researches are still being undertaken about the Green Tea’s association of promoting bone health, but some studies have found that routine consumption of Green Tea for more than five years can help in reducing the risk of diseases such as osteoporotic fractures. Green Tea is also thought to reduce bone loss through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It is believed that Green Tea also helps in bone building cells.

How to Reap the Benefits
In a cup of  hot boiled water, add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves. Keep for five minutes and strain. You can add ice if you want to have this beverage cold. But, always remember to be able to reap the benefits of Green Tea to the fullest, have it plain, without sugar or honey.

Calcutta Chromosomes – II

Sampurna Majumder continues with the series about her stay in Kolkata.

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Since the Boi Para or College Para was a new addition in my daily routine, I used to look forward to it, every evening. Reaching the university campus was an adventure in itself for me. For I somehow, always felt the ride to be bumpy all along. Though I boarded the same bus everyday, and got down at the stop nearby, I invariably lost the way, criss-crossing through the by lanes of the famous Kolkata locale.

After much ‘tribulations’ and walking through almost all the by lanes I would finally reach Ashutosh Building. Our classroom was in the first floor. Walking down the long, dark corridor was enough to take me down the stairs of nostalgia. As I entered the classroom and occupied a seat for myself, I found myself sitting amidst unfamiliar faces. Minutes later I saw K and S making their entry. My eyes greeted them and vice versa.

presidency-collegeI always found sitting in the class to be quite boring. Specially the lectures on printing. Though this was a completely new arena for me, I could not help but to doze off in between lectures. I yearned for the break very much so that I could rush down to grab a cup of tea. K and S would invariably join me. Me and S shared a common interest, tea. We both just could not stop having enough of this beverage.

Somehow the tea stall down the road just below the university building, had its own charm. Sipping tea from a kulhar (small mud pot) on a busy evening had its own magnetic appeal. Me and S would sometimes bunk classes only to catch a sip of the heavenly tea, or at least it seemed so to us. We would spent hours chatting over numerous cups of tea. We loved each other’s company.

Sometimes we would walk down to footpath lined with bookshops to indulge in shopping which would simply touch our intellect just like a tangent. We would spend hours with the bookseller to reduce the price of a second hand or probably a third hand John Grisham thriller to almost seventy-five percent. Nonetheless we loved it. I was finally experiencing what I possibly missed out as a college going Kolkatan would indulge into.

The hours after class was a welcome change for all of us. We would sit at the staircase of the central library and go on chatting for hours together. We actually indulged into what the Bengalis fondly call an adda session. Finally I was blessed enough to taste the Kolkata College Life or more precisely life at the famous College Para. I was living my young adolescence and of course loving it.