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More than Just a Cup of Tea

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). Tea remains one […]

Written by Sharon Fernandes |
June 13, 2011 2:23:52 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). Tea remains one of my earlier memories. And today,I look for it everywhere — in every small town,village or even over big mountains,” says Sriparna Ghosh,a Delhi-based graphic designer,who 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.

“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 that I have 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,started a year back,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 liquid gold in a glass at Padum,Zanskar. Coffee also makes an appearance,like the white cup with dark coffee placed above brown,tiled rooftops of Valparai in Tamil Nadu.

“I never click people,it is only landscapes and tea,sometimes maybe the food served along,” says the 25-year-old. She does get “weird looks and guffaws” from people who don’t understand why the tea cup is the “model”. “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 the website,where the Rajdhani or the Shatabdi seats with trays of chai thermos,biscuit and a full cup,makes for a picture.

Ghosh travels around six times a year. “Some trips are short and some extend to weeks. I started travelling when I was in college and the Himalayas are my favourite destination. I have been to Ladakh more than thrice,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 connoisseur. “People say why don’t you write about the finer details. But for me,it is more about the place where I shoot my favourite drink,” says the artiste who hopes to make ‘Travelling Teadom’ into a book one day.

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