Tonight my friend Susan and I enjoyed one of our favorite monthly events, the A Taste of India Fundraising Dinner for The Learning Tea at Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party.
The Learning Tea is a non-profit organization, created by the owners and staff of Dr. Bombay’s, dedicated to providing housing, tuition, clothing, food, opportunities and a supportive family environment for young orphaned women in India.
Why do we love these dinners so much that we mark them eagerly on our calendars and snap up our tickets the second the first email invite goes out?
First of all – it’s an amazing deal. A delicious 3-course vegetarian Indian meal for $20. While I certainly like vegetables, I do like meat as well, especially for dinner, when I’m expecting something substantial. The Indian food served at A Taste of India is freshly prepared, flavorful without being too spicy and varied enough in texture and flavor that you never “miss the meat.” With appetizers, entree and dessert included, I always end up leaving stuffed and quite happy.
Secondly, they throw in a glass of wine (or two) along with the dinner. Plus they’ll let you bring in your own bottle – tonight we were celebrating Susan’s birthday, so I brought a favorite rose sparkling wine.
Thirdly (do you still need reasons at this point?)
It’s a warm and charming atmosphere, filled with a good-natured, happy bunch of diners. Seating is community style, on long trestle-style tables, so you are surrounded on all sides by groups of friends, often celebrating occasions of their own.
But most importantly, with each bite, you know you’re helping someone create a life for themselves, against the odds. The girls helped by The Learning Tea “life scholarships,” come from a world of extreme poverty. Without the safe home and educational opportunities provided by the non-profit, they would at best be consigned to a life of unskilled labor, carrying bricks, breaking rocks for concrete or rolling cigarettes – at worst falling victim to child trafficking or prostitution.
So why do we love these dinners so? It’s simply, “our cup of tea.”
“Where there’s tea there’s hope.”
~Arthur Wing Pinero