Filter Coffee

An annoying and compelling sound suddenly drilled into unknown corners of my subconscious mind, which until then was busy playing distantly possible but soothing moving images of an amusing event. Before I could let that nice feeling take over my entire body, my mobile had already conspired to seek its attention to me by shouting in high decibels and dancing like a wild woman in my Sleep well mattress. Frustrated by my mobile’s indecent behavior in my bed, I decided to shut it down. I desperately tried to run that beautiful movie in my mind again. However reality started taking its control in me and I realized that it was after all a dream. I let out an inaudible cry and tried to move my legs towards the edges of the bed. 

After several futile attempts, I collected all the remaining resources I had and pushed my legs to the ground. My legs moved as if it were chained and moved towards the balcony where my wash basin is. My hands quickly found out the white tooth brush standing so desolately in one corner of the plastic stand. I moved my brush inside the frontal areas of my teeth as if I was cleaning the black board with a duster. After several minutes of work out I became confident that I can show some of the teeth to the outside world. I pushed in my brush to the interiors of my mouth to decimate all those dancing gems which I see in the Pepsodent ad in the edges of my teeth. I spat the partly white froth coming inside my mouth into the belly of my sink with the contentment that those gems would now crawl their way to the gutter. I gargled the water to jettison the dirty left over of the germs and give myself a fresh breath. After sprinkling some drops of water in my face to remove the vestiges of sleep, I entered the kitchen and sat on the floor dragging my ass slowly with the wall. Only then did I realize that I was the only soul in my house. 

My mother had left the previous night to her mother’s house. My nose suddenly started to fish for the sweet scent of the decoction which would harbinger my mother’s loving presence in the kitchen. I looked at the steel filter cosily sleeping upside down on the wooden frame of the kitchen. I grabbed the filter in my hand and saw through those sieved round plate if I by some strange stroke of luck I could find some dregs of decoction. My eyes also grabbed the attention of the traditional davara- an open mouthed rectangular steel ware with circular base. The tumbler was standing near the davara as if posing in an old studio for a black and white photograph. Both looked like one typical south Indian couple with tall husband and f(l)at wife sitting by the side. They seemed very lethargic today. I remembered the previous day how both were in action taking turns to caress the browny liquid in their laps. I also looked at the white granules of pleasure stacked glamorously in a plastic SHRIPET bottle. The sugar bottle provocatively displaying the granules of pleasure reminded me of a temptress in a bikini flaunting her assets. All these conspired me into heights of frustration in my dry parched throat. I could begin to hear my throat yelling to usurp the gorgeous browny mermaid. Disgusted by all happening against my will, I decided to do the impossible. I decided to make my own coffee. I had never attempted this. I have made tea several times in my life. But I never had the gumption to try making filter coffee. With this sudden found enthusiasm, I went to the refrigerator and took out an brand Aavin 1 litre packet of milk. I kept it outside near the stove. 

After painfully watching the second hand doing pradakshanam several times I grabbed the amul cover. As usual it stinked. Till date it remains a mystery how a simple innocuous milk packet from the famous South Indian Dairy company could have such intolerable odour. I wondered if the maid who used to carry the packet from the collection centre to my door step groped the packet with hydrogen sulphide. As I was about to cut the edge of the packet with a small opening, I got reminded of my mom’s caveat.. Not a drop should be spilt when transferring the contents of the packet to the steel container. Over the years I have perfected this art of transferring the contents with six sigma accuracy. After placing the contents in the stove, I lit the stove with lighter and kept the regulator at HIGH position. Milk is now ready. Now comes the most difficult part. I have not much of an idea about filters. I vaguely remember studying about the filters in my data warehousing classes. However I knew for sure that this filter would be more difficult to comprehend. Filters should have appropriate mix of water and powder. 

A small miscalculation of quantities could desecrate the age old tradition and ruin the taste of the coffee. I know that coffee powder and water should be mixed in the ratio of 1:2. Now it’s the time of action. I found the bottle containing coffee powder. As soon as I opened the top lid the seductive aroma of the coffee caressed my olfactory nerves. The aroma seemed to rush my senses as a wife would rush when she sees her husband returning after several years of military service. I took a spoon and put into filter. My confidence gradually began to diminish by then. I started doubting whether my coffee would give me the same pleasure it used to give when my mother used to prepare it so religiously. I looked at the powder thrown into the filter. Hot water needs to be poured in perfect quantity and then the magic would begin. The powder would surrender to the hot water steaming with passion and their divine union would beget the hot decoction. I was unsure whether the magic would work under my inexperienced arms. I abandoned the entire process and simply poured a glass of milk to give some temporary relief to my throat. I decided to have it in my company’s cafeteria. My company’s cafeteria has been blessed with a degree filter coffee vendor which serves authentic coffee. I however have to wait for more than an hour to drink the coffee. I need to travel more than 20 kms in bus by the banks of Indian Ocean and trudge through the stairs of my company basement to sip my cup of coffee. 

However the coffee was worth the wait. I decided to abstain my throat and tongue from the insignificant pleasures of my life and give nirvana to them through coffee. I got ready and caught aboard the bus for the arduous 20 km journey to nirvana. I didn’t let the distance ruin my spirits. I was just an hour away from ultimate bliss of my senses. During my journey I couldn’t stop thinking about coffee. Coffee is indeed an amazing phenomenon. Its tryst with India began in the 16th century when Baba Budan, a pious muslim discovered this amazing drink when he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Agog by his discovery, he smuggled few beans out of the Yemeni port of Mocha wrapped around his belly. He settled down in the hills of Karnataka and started growing coffee beans. The fact that this coffee brought by a muslim has traversed deep into the lives of the Tamil Brahmin house hold strongly proves the eclecticism of Indian ethos. The word degree attached to the coffee doesn’t truly belong to coffee. It is actually a standard of describing the purity of the milk by the lactometer. During my college days when I was de-mylaporized, I had deserted coffee and taken refuge under the North Indian tea. I couldn’t get the original trade mark coffee there and I had to settle down with bowdlerized versions of the filter coffee- Nescafe. During those four years I began to like the Nescafe unmindful of the great tastes and the bliss my senses had experienced. During this odyssey I faithfully went back to my old lady love. I have almost reached my company campus and I get down. The excitement started building up and I ran through the stairs to reach V.V.Degree Coffee house in my cafeteria. I gave him a 5 rupee coin and I grabbed the elixir of my senses. I gave a close look at the plastic cup which was brimming with coffee.

The froth were bubbling in rage to cheer me. They looked like those cute smileys I see in the chat windows. I opened my mouth and swept the froth off the surface of my coffee with my tongue. The froth, so smitten by love remained in my tongue for long time. There were few small circles of froth left in my coffee. I twisted the cup clockwise and consumed all the remaining froth which was there in the coffee. As I sipped a small quantity of coffee every time, I experienced the transcendence of my senses to a higher plane and I heaved a huge sigh of contentment. Every time I sipped, my breath let out a wild cry of bacchanalia and it enriched the experience of drinking the coffee.