Something I have utterly missed in the US is my morning chai(tea) ritual. With a busy life trying to balance work, home and kids, I seldom have a moment for myself. Something always takes the priority and I would often put off my morning tea/coffee routine.
Now that I am home at my moms, the first thing I got to do this morning is guzzle a piping hot cup of chai. The routine of chai-biscuits is ingrained in Indian lifestyle immensely, so much so that your day almost never begins without it. It is akin to the usual morning visits to a nearby Starbucks in the US. The only difference is, in India it is almost always a family affair. You get to sit around with your parents, spouse, children, aunts, uncles, sometimes even neighbors and enjoy some small talk before you get on with the day.
Then there are street vendors parked in almost every street corner that set up their shop in the wee hours of the day, enticing the early birds. People from different walks of life gather around the chai cart and take a serving or two while discussing religion, politics, festivals, almost every thing under the sun. It has a mojo of its own as it evolves into a community affair.
No matter how busy your life is, or how many appointments you have for the day, the morning chai is never missed. It allows you to put a pause and self reflect, if only for 15 mins, before you go adrift with the day. To me personally, it gives a perfect kickstart to plan a perfect day!