Chai on the trains in India.


Dale Woodard





Having traveled more than 12,000 miles by train in India, the word chai can be a blessing and a curse. The chai wallahs announce their product in a way that is distinct and difficult to reproduce. They are at every stop and they will circulate through the boggie selling chai in low fired clay cups (that you throw out the window when you are finished) and jumping from the train as it is pulling away from the platform. Their occupation knows no time schedule, if you stop at 2:00 am there will be a wallah yelling chai! chai! They will even wake passengers to try and sell their milk tea.

Chai is such an integral part of the Indian cultural that you cannot get away from it if you tried! Even in the most remote places you may not be able to get food or drinkable water but there will always be someone there to give you a hot cup of chai.