Omkar’s Sweet Chai

A week after their home was bulldozed along with a few hundred other homes, twelve-year-old Omkar insisted we drink a cup of chai with his family in their new hut. His weary mother, a fourteen-year-old brother, an older sister and Omkar moved into the hut near the river of sewage that separates the backside of the slum from the more orderly main pipeline lane way. Omkar’s sweet, benevolent nature, and his wide, charismatic smile always grab our hearts when we attempt to walk by his hut. One day, as we walked by late in the day, he pulled us in with unrelenting, soft chants to sit with him and his mother and drink chai. Chai is the elixir of India. Vendors, (called chai wallahs) of this icon

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