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Monday, October 25, 2021

More than just a cup of tea

“When I was six,I looked forward to the weekend as it meant I would be allowed two cups of tea a day instead of one.

Written by Sharon Fernandes |
June 11, 2011 3:24:45 am

A fan of the cuppa,Delhi-based Sriparna Ghosh turns the tea cup into a model for her photographs

“When I was six,I looked forward to the weekend as it meant I would be allowed two cups of tea a day instead of one (no school meant tea was allowed even in the morning). As far as I can remember,tea is still one of my earlier memories. And today,I look for tea everywhere,in every small town,in every small village,over every big mountain,” says Sriparna Ghosh,a graphic designer based in Delhi,who,well,simply loves tea,and travelling. Ghosh has merged her two passions into a website called ‘Travelling Teadom’ (travellingteadom.com),where she puts up images of tea cups,taken in different locations across the country,from Tamil Nadu,Kerala to Jammu and Kashmir.

“Whether it is the flavour or the delicate smoke from a piping hot cup,I strive to box the essence of a place. The idea is to take a picture of every cup of tea (a lot of times,coffee) that I drink or am offered on my travels,and it helps if the location is beautiful,or the cup is exotic,” says the NIFT graduate,who runs her own design firm called tiffinbox.in.

The ‘Travelling Teadom’ project was started a year back and has over 60 pictures with detailed captions. The images give a feel of the landscape that surrounds an orb of milky tea,sometimes it is just the greenish — kahwa glinting in the sun,or just liquid gold in a glass at Padum,Zanzkar. Coffee also makes an appearance,like the white cup with dark coffee placed above brown tiled rooftops and green mountains of Valparai in Tamil Nadu,the steam vapours from the cup merging with the low hanging monsoon clouds.

“I never click people,it is only landscapes and tea,sometimes maybe the food served with the tea cup,” says the 25-year-old,who adds that she does get “weird looks and guffaws” from people who don’t understand why the tea cup is the “model”. “They laugh at me when I pick up my cup or glass of tea,and walk around to place it near a window ledge or on a log,many dhaba owners ask me if I want to drink or click,” says Ghosh,who uses a Nikon D5000 and photographs only “full cups,that are steaming hot”.

Train chai also finds a mention on www. travellingteadom.com,where the Rajdhani or the Shatabdi seats with their trays of the chai thermos and biscuit and a full cup,makes for a picture. Ghosh travels around six times a year. “Some trips are short and some extend over weeks. I started travelling when I was in college and the Himalayas are my favourite destination. I have been to Ladakh over three times,and the whole trip gives you enough cold spots to snuggle up with a warm cup,” she says.

While Ghosh loves tea,she is quick to add that she is not a coinnnoseur. “People say why don’t you write about the details of the tea leaves etc. But for me it is more about the place where I shoot my favourite drink,” says Ghosh who hopes to make ‘Travelling Teadom’ into a book one day.

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