Coffee & Me
And then I grew up. However, there was a climax. My family satisfied their early morning caffeine urge from tea. Those long-brewed black tea which had sugar, so little that the producers would want to call it a day, and a few drops of milk, just enough to label it as ‘milk tea’. One of the early instances, when the romantic in me was hit with reality.
Then I moved out. (No, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t leave my family for something like that.) I joined the university and moved to a different city altogether. Since I was living with my friends, I was no more under pressure for carrying forth the legacy of drinking morning tea. Or so I thought. My flatmates, most of them, turned out to be tea drinkers. Those who liked coffee, well it was the cold ones blended with loads and loads of milk and sugar. Or a pinch or two added in hot milk. Not bad for a start, I figured. I just had to buy that red cup and realize that idea.
I was successful. To an extent.
There were days when the good souls (took over my friends) woke me up and I would smile, sit up, stretch, take the coffee, smell and sip. And then realize that the taste wasn’t really doing any wonder. But I held on. I didn’t let the build up of my much dreamt thoughts go away. But honestly, it wasn’t doing the magic I had expected. Those guys in the commercial had a gorgeous set-up around them too and here I was drinking something super un-orgasmic (if that is a word) and looking at my girlfriends bitching about the girl who was pretty but how we were hell-bent on proving that she was not.
Alright I’m not demeaning those conversations. It was a source of oxygen. When we burnt the midnight oil – and let me clarify that I’m not referring to the phrase here but if you have lived your Delhi University days then you would know I mean cooking maggi over the heater at midnight – these were the important issues we sorted, strategized and snapped about.
Coming back to the romantic in me. My undergrad days strengthened my obsession for the childhood dream, if I can call it that. Being a student of English Literature, I was surrounded by the works of Romantics like Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, Blake and many more who were out to turn even a dead falling tree into a source of here I was just trying to stir up some coffee romance.
I have to admit that over time I did explore the varieties of coffee, in terms of taste and the way they are made (remember the ones that were stirred till the brown coffee turned into white and had the taste that everyone would want). However, waking up to that red cup and the perfect coffee in it too, never dramatized the scene the way I had always wanted.
Life went on. I couldn’t hang on to that dream forever. I had other romantic ventures to focus on after all.
In the final year of college after burning the midnight oil for endless nights, this time literally, we decided to give ourselves some breather by going on a small trip. Absolutely unplanned and unbooked we reached Pushkar, a small but beautiful town in Rajasthan and still on my list of favorite places. The morning was chilly, fresh and everything beautiful. We sat at the small road-side stall to have breakfast overlooking the vibrant and gorgeous city waking up, getting started and creating magic. Even till this day, years later, that memory kicks me out of inertia.
And then, ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, I took that sip of coffee. Breathed out. Saw twirls of smoke fly away. I smiled. Gradually laughed. And guess what, I heard the Nescafe commercial tune fill up my head – “ho shuru har din aise…”
I’ll be honest. It was one of the worst coffee I’ve ever had. It was far from being a cozy coffee shop. It was not a place that I would have gone back to. Yet it stirred up that much sought after magical romance that I always dreamt of.
It was the company. It was the situation. It was my relaxed frame of mind. It was me being away from the routine. It was about being out and away. I figured that every time I needed that magic, I had to get away, get going and travel.
I was born to travel. It brings out the ‘Happy Me’. Always.