Wisps of coffee heaven


When the dawn sky transitions from the deep purple of night to the blue that signifies another new day, I amble in a state of semi-awakedness towards my kitchen. I open the filter coffee maker and add water. I then open my coffee jar, and in that first whiff of invigorating coffee powder, day dawns in my life.

I measure the required scoops into the filter, and switch on the power. The hot water interacts with the coffee, and sends out wisps of coffee heaven.

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I stand there, with an empty mind, just absorbing the aroma of the decoction into my every pore. What a beautiful wait it is. When the filter coffee maker turns off, I start heating milk to that perfect temperature. I pour the hot milk into my stainless steel glass, which has thick, aromatic decoction at its bottom and just the right amount of sugar. I transfer the hot coffee between two glasses to build up froth. The coffee is ready, perfect, frothy and strong. I carry the glass and walk to the sofa.

I sit down and take the first sip, my eyes staring at the walls in my living room. The coffee is perfect, all components blended in total harmony for that exquisite taste. And on this short coffee sojourn, I explore the deeper meaning and purpose of life. I ask questions of myself, I seek answers. I try to make sense of the chaos of everyday life, and the relentless onslaught of time. I think about the past, I envisage the future. I take another sip. I am peaceful and content.

Life is perfect, just the way it is. It may bring challenges, but none so big that my everyday coffee-sojourns cannot resolve. I finish every drop of coffee. And another day officially begins!

My Grandma’s friend


When I was growing up, we lived in a big joint family with my grandma, aunt and uncle. Life was always exciting; the house was always filled with people visiting. The kitchen was a bee-hive of activity. From 6 am to around 2 pm, and then again from around 4 pm to late at night.

Picture courtesy – 123RF.com

My grandma, mom and aunt were permanently busy, and we tried to keep out of their way. Life was simple and fun.

My grandma’s house was the third house in a long line of houses; neighbours we knew from birth. In the third house from ours, on the right, which was the sixth house in the row, lived one of my grandma’s dearest friends.

My grandma’s friend was referred to as ‘the aunt who lives in the third house from ours’ (loosely translated from our language).

So, when there was a festival, we became errand girls, as we ran to distribute sweets to our neighbours. We frequently visited “the aunt who lived in the third house from ours”, as, being dear friends, my gran and she exchanged a lot of things – sweets, vegetables, sometimes change for currency, sometimes grocery….

Also, nearly twice or thrice a week, “the aunt who lived in the third house from ours” called on my gran during the 2 pm to 4 pm lull time.

She wore lovely vibrant sarees, and a big pink Bindi on her forehead. She usually carried a bunch of keys, that had a long metallic keychain. This used to fascinate me. She had a distinct cough, and she coughed on and off. We were not allowed into the living room, so we peeked from the window sometimes.

They caught up on their everyday lives. At 4 pm, after her friend left, my grandma and mom would head into the kitchen to start preparations for dinner. All meals were prepared at home, and there was no concept of eating out.

My grandma and the “aunt who lived in the third house from ours” went back to their chores, totally rejuvenated after their afternoon chit-chat.

But it wasn’t until much later, when I had started working, that I heard about the passing away of my grandma’s friend. It was then that it hit me; that I did not know her name!

But, she continues to live on in our memories as the “aunt who lived in the third house from ours”; and evokes many lovely moments from my childhood.

What time is coffee time?


My love affair with coffee did not start until my final year of high school. In our home, it was ok to drink coffee occasionally, but I remember smelling the coffee cup sometimes in my early teens, and grimacing in disgust.

I do not remember when or  how I came to love coffee. But I know that there was no looking back.  After that, any time was coffee time.  Strangely, coffee has also become an indicator of how healthy I am feeling on any particular day.  If I wake up in the morning and do not crave coffee, I know for a fact that I am coming down with something. 

Picture courtesy – Clipart Panda

I can wax eloquent about coffee,  but just thought I would jot down a few of my favourite coffee moments.

Coffee time is when I get back home after a long, tiring day of work.

Coffee time is ‘me-time’ in the quiet hours of the morning when I look within.

Coffee time is when it’s raining non stop and I sit on the couch and dream of everything and nothing.

Coffee time is also those hurried sips between chores on a chaotic morning.

Coffee time is catching up with friends on a lazy afternoon.

Coffee time is sharing some quality time with my spouse.

Coffee time is that ‘salivating time’ of anticipation when my filter starts percolating and the heady smell of coffee reaches my nostrils.

Coffee time is when my head is pounding and I know that only coffee will work that magic.

Coffee time is also trying to convince my son to smell coffee and become a member of the coffee club (right now he grimaces)….I am still working on him. 

Coffee time is family reunion time, after a wedding or engagement, when we gather for what we popularly call in the South – sweet, kaaram (spicy snack) and kaapi (coffee).

Coffee time is during picnics with friends, sipping from disposable glasses having lots of fun.

Coffee time is marathon catch-up sessions with my sisters..that stretch late into the night.

Coffee time is catching up with my mom, when I visit her.

Coffee time is …pure bliss.

Bliss between two lists


Once or twice a year, there comes a day, when I realize that all my work projects are done, that my ‘things to do’ list is ticked off, and that there is just ONE DAY before school holidays start, after which the children will rule my life for three weeks. 

Today was that day. I woke up lazily, plodded through my chores, ran a few errands (there is no escaping these), and then felt a frisson of excitement. I had nothing in my ‘to do’ list. All this means is that I am done with my old list, but mercifully  have not added the hundred other things that need to be done.

I think I was quite sensible by cutting off the list at such a point, where ‘today’ could become a reality.

Courtesy – Clipart Kid

I giggle at this absurdity of suddenly having four hours to spend. I decide to do a little bit of each of the things I love. I read, I watch some of my favourite shows on youtube, I stare into space and ponder about life, allowing myself to drift away with my memories, and sit down to enjoy a great cup of filter coffee, on my easy chair, watching the heavy rain outside.

In what seems like four minutes, the children are back, in a high state of excitement that their holidays are within touching distance.

I smile, as I ready myself to become a referee to their squabbles over pencils and space and air, in the room they share. I prepare to get started on packing for our trip. I prepare to hoard the refrigerator and stock up on food supplies to feed two children, whose constant refrain over the next three weeks will be, “Is there anything to eat?”

The holidays will fly, and the New Year will glide in, and we will all get back to the grind.

But such days, the one between two ‘things to do lists’ are pure bliss.