Hot tea Across India

An avid traveller, writer and photographer – Rishad Saam Mehta strongly believes that the time and money spent on a holiday is an investment towards indelible memories & wider perspectives. And this is what his stories and pictures leave the readers with, with a yearning to be where he has been, do what he has done, and grow richer in experience that only travel & exploration can bring. Rishad’s forte is driving holidays, but he does not restrain himself to this genre; he also writes about history trails, food and drink, street markets, entertainment & lifestyle, personal encounters and adventure sports. His stories appear in Jetwings (the in0flight magazine for Jet Airways), Hindustan Times (In Cafe and Brunch supplements), The Hindu, Mint, (In weekend Mint Lounge supplements), National Geographic Traveller (India edition), Travel + Leisure, The Man, Imperia (HDFC’s in-house magazine for HNIs), The Times of India (Mumbai Mirror Supplement).

“If there is one certainty about roads in India, it is that no matter where you are or what the hour – if you want a cup of tea, you’ll find a chai ka dukaan within a few kilometres. With this underlying thought, Rishad Saam Mehta takes you along on his journeys across the country, from Manali to Munnar, from Rann of Kutch to Khajurao, downing cups of tea in different tastes and sizes. Be it enjoying the honey and saffron laced tea with a shepherd in Kashmir or a kadak brew after almost being lynched by a mob in Kerala, seeing the buffalowala who brings the buffalo to the chai shop to deliver the milk fresh, you feel as if you are a fellow passenger in the author’s journey. The author is never judgemental, he enjoys the beauty and the charms of the country as he travels along on his Royal Enfield. When he meets the nomadic Pathan in Pehalgam, and a cook in Kashmir who becomes his friend there, or when he is being chased by local folks wanting to buy his bike, you feel the joy and the hilarity of the scene, you enjoy every bit of it.

The book is written in a very simple, easy going and natural manner, it is full of folksy humour and feels absolutely real at every page, every word. You can see everything happening before your eyes, and like me, you might also end up laughing out loud, literally, while reading, much to the astonishment of the people around you. Even though the book lacks pictures, the writing is very visual and vibrant. For anybody who loves adventure and travel, this book is an absolute must read. Royal Enfield lovers, please make sure you grab one too. For Rs. 150/- this book is a great bargain and a must buy.