This poignant short story by Rafi is a beautiful glimpse in the day-to-day life of a student and the challenges they go through while witnessing the ugly facet of life closely.
Pawan woke up from his power nap at six o’clock in the evening and started freshening up lazily. Pawan, an M.Sc. Biochemistry second-year student at College of Sciences, Osmania University, Hyderabad, can’t help but fall asleep for a quick nap when he returns to hostel from the college at around 5 pm every day. He got ready and headed to the café at the northern gate of the university for his evening cup of tea.
Pawan loves his evening tea, not any tea but Irani tea, to be precise. A cup of Irani tea makes him fully awake after a nap and brings the zest back no matter how tired he may be. He loves Irani tea so much that he researched its origin, history and how it influenced cultures on its long journey to Hyderabad. “Its origins can be traced to the Persian region. Maritime traders brought it to Bombay, the famous port on the west coast, in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Subsequently, a few traders moved into the Deccan plateau: first to Pune and then to Hyderabad. Along with them came Irani tea to Hyderabad, where it took permanent residence,” he once told the zoology department Saritha who listened to him with awe.
The Café is next to the northern gate of the university, known as NCC Gate, after the University College of Engineering. In the evenings, the Café usually brims with the students of different colleges of the university.