Magic in a brew

Location: Bombay Blue, Mumbai

Today, in the evening, as I made my 2nd cup of filter coffee of the day, I realized how important a role this one cup of coffee plays in my life. As I poured in the dark decoction into the mug of milk, allowing it to fold into the whiteness, darkening the milk with its erotic bitterness I realized that I’ve often associated coffee with nostalgia and romance.

I pride on the fact that everyone who’s had a taste of my coffee has only had good things to say about it. I like to believe that whenever they’ve lifted their lips off the bitter-sweet concoction of coffee I made, it’s made them fall in love with me, just a little bit more. I believed that my mother made the best coffee in the world; ie, till my grandmother, whom I called Ammammai, came along. Ammammai , who otherwise had trouble walking or moving about swiftly, seemed almost possessed when she brought herself to make me my evening coffee. The way her arms swung with the steel glass and the dawaran as she tossed the coffee hither-thither still plays like magic in my head. She taught me this tiny little magic trick to make the ‘best filter-coffee in the world’, which I like to believe is her legacy to me. And the little, selfish girl in me refuses to part with that little secret which I shall keep to myself like my dear life. So, every beautifully made bitter-sweet glass of filter coffee served in a steel glass and dawaran reminds me of that beautiful woman, my ammammai, who taught, me to make ‘the world’s best filter-coffee.’

But coffee in general is about romance, isn’t it? It’s a comforter, a pacifier and a conversation starter. I remember, one of my friends fondly quipped that he’d marry me just so he could have my coffee first thing in the morning to start his day. Those words did not just make my day, week or month, sometimes, even today, I think of his words as I make myself a coffee after a long tiring day. But, thank god, he found himself a coffee-machine and got married to a fine woman, the love of his life! But, there is nearly nothing as good as coffee when you are in pain, physically and emotionally. I shall never get tired or have enough of my mother’s coffee and the smile she serves with it. And, I shall never forget the sweet-bitterness of the instant coffee I had with my ex the very last time we met. It tasted exactly like the coffee he once fondly made me. That’s when I realized, that come what may, somethings in life remain beautifully and faithfully unchanged. That whenever I add coffee to milk in my desired proportions it’s going to make me happy and content. And those are the things I need to hold on to. As a hot steaming cup of coffee fills you with warmth, pushing away all the trials of the day, you need to remind yourself of all the joys in life that are just a breath away and that you only have to be happy from within to have all the good things come to you. So, whenever in doubt, hot or cold, drown them in a cup of coffee!

Smiley face on a Cappuchino from ChaiCofi, Kochi

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