Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Over a cup of chai

On a lazy Sunday morning, onlookers did a double take when Soul Chai, a brand new women’s group in Bangalore kicked off their first event, a treasure hunt, to the loud whoops of a group of 50 women gathered at the Barton Centre.

Girls like to have fun, and how! The next two hours saw five teams dashing around MG Road, deciphering clues which were integrated with life philosophies. It had them solving puzzles, taking the metro and sipping chai at Adigas.

Soul Chai was born over the delicate aroma and comfort of pudina chai, as four women put their heads together to figure out how to just be.

“We are a bunch of friends from varied backgrounds - author, photographer, interior designer, IT professional - who want to meet to do something unique each month over chai. We have become so busy in the rat race of our lives, with augmenting responsibilities of home and professions that time for ourselves started becoming scarce. One snatched cup of tea, a sigh…led to an entire kettle, ideating conversations and here we are,” says Kuntal, an IT professional and the lady behind Soul Chai. Her buddies, Roopa, Arati and Gayatri joined in to get it off the ground.

Participants at the Barton Centre
She says, “Soul Chai is for women who want to live this year to the fullest, to make 2012 count. Our theme for 2012 is Be Alive.” The debut theme was ‘Begin – Live a Fuller Life’. The treasure hunt was a no brainer; Arati and Roopa pointed out that there was no better way to get bonding.

Back in Matteo Coffea café, it was no holds barred fun as repartees flew around, with the exuberant Team Orange winning the race. Stealing their thunder was dentist Priti whose rendition of Kolaveri Di had the women in splits.

Ritika and Divya, a mother-daughter duo, agreed that the event was a blast, while Roshni said this was a great way to step out of her comfort zone. Kez, who has been a part of similar communities in Germany, was excited about Soul Chai’s forthcoming events. 

Former RJ and journalist Vasanthi Hariprakash
It was chai and conversation time with former RJ and journalist Vasanthi Hariprakash, Soul Chai’s first speaker. She spoke about her career and being a mom, reminiscing about her student days when she popped in for a plate of rava idly at Chalukya and her first chat with her idol, Chitra Subramaniam. She talked about how it takes courage to take a pause to say you want to do something else to the wise nods of what was just moments earlier a riotous crowd.

And the treasure, you ask? The sweet rush from sharing banter and laughter over what else but a cup of Assam tea. There were takeaways too, a packet of organic fennel green tea by Dancing Leaf and a mug branded Soul Chai. Basking in its afterglow Gayatri said, “I feel invigorated. The run up to the event was fulfilling and it was great way to make new friends.”

Next in line is ‘Be-loved’ to celebrate love that begins with you, with more events and chai planned for each month. To be a part of it, you can check their page, Soul Chai on Facebook.

By Anuradha Prasad/ Raintree Media Features/ www.raintreemedia.com

Read the story on the Goa Herald on the link below:

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