I first heard of Anamika when a dear friend Marryam Reshii (also featured in this series) messaged to tell me I simply must meet this genius of tea. She had just been on her tea course in Dharamshala and was incredibly impressed. Knowing how hard that is to do, I immediately followed up. I’d been in communication with Anamika but didn’t have the pleasure to meet her in person until March this year, when she was also at the Namaste Orchha event, where she had helped curate various tea experiences, including developing some tea infused cocktails. That’s what I love, someone who thinks beyond the norms!
- Who you are (naturally!)
Someone who is in sync with nature and appreciates silence and solitude far more than I am allowed to, in my day to day work life.
- What inspired you to create/join your business?
I think it happened organically coming from space where Tea was such a part of our daily life from the time i was a child. My father Shri Abhai Singh inspired me to choose the path less traveled.
- An anecdote which epitomizes your India?
The ability to help a stranger without blinking an eye or even thinking for a second. I remember ages ago I was in Bombay, the one city that is always on the move and people do not have the time to while away. And here i was new to the city trying to find my way around. I remember I was already late for a meeting and I was in a cab. Those were days when google maps were not known to us. It so happened, that the taxi driver too didn’t know how to reach the address that I had shared with him. We asked this lean, middle aged man who was in a car himself but was waiting on the side of the road to talk to another person. As soon as I asked him, he said “follow me, I have to go to the opposite direction but I will show you the way.” The gentleman drove for close to 5 minutes. Reached a junction where he stopped and explained to the taxi driver the way and then took a U-turn and went back. I was on time for the meeting and by the time I entered, I was still trying to process what had happened. But I have seen not only in Bombay, in Calcutta too and smaller towns too, people are around to help. And every time things like this happen to me, I am just left loving my country more! People are always out there to help 🙂
- One thing that you can’t live without?
Sunshine in a cup, Tea!
- One thing that you hate?
Having to interact with people who live a superficial life and have no substance in their conversation or their behaviour.
- If you could change one thing about India what would it be?
I would try to create ways to reduce the disparity in the various strata of life across the country.
- Who is your greatest inspiration?
My father. He inspires and I respect him for who is he and his incredible tryst with Tea.
- What is your favourite quote?
Be you ~ Bravely
- I have noticed huge changes in India over the last few years but what is the biggest change you have noticed in India over the last 10 years?
People in general seem to have become more aware and the change has happened with the help of technology. There is a shift in gender equality, education system, options to choose various paths to create a career far more than what used to be 10 to 15 years ago.
- What do you think are the biggest challenges India faces over the next ten years?
With the current situation, the economy has dipped like never before. It will take few years before tourism, trade, businesses is revived. Skill development is going to be a key point to look into. Water scarcity is a big problem that looms large. Indian farm economy is already in a problem, keeping in mind suicides and debt burden for the farmers.. And many parts of the country face flood mismanagement. To add to this, is the term I read not too long ago, “political arrogance.”
- Which is the destination at the top of your bucket list?
- What is the one place you visited that you have NO desire to return to?
- Book or Movie?
- Just for fun! I am doing a survey to find India’s most popular breakfast, what is yours?
There are two!
Homemade gobhi ka paratha (the cauliflower has to be chopped rough rather than the usual grated cauliflower) with a generous dollop of Amul butter accompanied with single Estate first flush Tea
Homemade waffles topped with thick sliced juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, generous portion of bacon and maple syrup drizzled over it. With this id love a single estate pour over.
- In retrospect, what is the one thing you wish you could have told your 20 year-old self?
Go out into the world and explore. Make mistakes and learn and live.
Y0u can find out more about Anamika and tea at Anandini Tea.