Coffee, a way of life

There are two types of people, those who love coffee and the rest who don’t. Cliched though it sounds, coffee is one such drink that either creates loyalists or enemies. There are hardly in-betweens. Because coffee is not just a drink for people like me, it is an emotion. (A cliche again, but please bare with me.)

Drinking coffee is not like having any other drink. It is a way of life. It represents harmony, happiness, laughter and probably life itself.

For me, the aroma of filter coffee that permeates in air during morning spells home. It brings about memories of those banal early morning hours where I see my father sipping coffee in a davara in one hand and reading Op-Ed columns in The Hindu sitting at the far end of our black dining table in the kitchen. I would see my mother hurriedly making kootu and boiling milk in the two burner stove, half-cursing, when boiled milk spills onto the stove. My grandmother, who is 90, would be getting ready with flowers, water and kishmish for her regular pooja near small yet auspicious thulasi plant, the only decoration in our backyard. My sister, still half-asleep, would sit beside me with toothbrush in her teeth beckoning my mother to bring her coffee. These events are so ordinary that it brings smile to my face every time I have a cup of coffee I as I live alone. These moments, like other thousands, are etched in anyone’s heart and smell of coffee is enough to evoke these memories.

As long as I can remember coffee had always be there in my life. I can only connect it to wedding vows that (almost) translates to ‘In sickness and in health, at good times and bad, we promise to share and be for each other.’ Coffee is one such drink for me. The drink knows my each and every mood, ups and downs, and happy and sad times. It is an elixir for the depressed mind and nothing cures a bad headache as fast as a cup of strong filter coffee.

In a fast moving world where no one stops to look back, I kind of miss that lethargic rhythm coffee is supposed to be associated with. My mother always tells me I never drink fast enough. I feel that you are supposed to not just drink coffee in one gulp. You should take your time to savour each sip. That is why coffee is served super hot that you could literally see steam gushing out. (Coffee that is not hot is not coffee at all.)

Coffee is like a drug that arouses memories of good and bad times, your childhood memories and those embarrassing moments you think you had already forgotten.

I remember the time when I lived only on coffee five years ago. The work schedule was so tight that I had lost my appetite for anything else along with a very bad headache. Even drinking gallons of coffee did not help alleviate that.  I faintly remember wishing that I would have to have a cup of coffee again. Funny considering I’m addicted to it and have exhibit withdrawal system when I try to abstain myself from having a cup. 

I still remember Narasu’s coffee ads, where legendary Usilamani says, ‘Besh besh, romba nanairuku’ or Leo Coffee ad where the handsome Aravind Swami plays the role of a new husband, playing on our Onida TV when I was probably a 10-year-old kid. You probably can still fish these ads out in YouTube. But I find it very difficult to find good advertisements in recent times that touches you like these two. 

It makes me nostalgic. I suppose, coffee is one such drink.


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