This week has been particularly trying. Yes, we’ve had those nerve-wracking riots, curfews around Bangalore, unavailability of food and lots of other problems. But we hung in there. We stayed strong, waiting for this storm to pass. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, calamity struck our household.
My favourite coffee mug fell from the kitchen counter and smashed into a thousand pieces.
Okay, maybe not a thousand, but I was too heartbroken to count it. Of course, my wife says I placed it on the edge and it must have slipped when the maid was cleaning. My wife often has this ‘You buy one thing, you need to get rid of something else’ rule applicable for most things around the house. Of course, I say most – but they’re all largely applicable only for my things. So yes, now and then, I find some of my mugs magically ‘falling’ to their deaths. Usually, this happens right after I buy a new coffee mug. (Hmm…maybe, my favourite cup was pushed. I must investigate this further.)
I know that you’re probably laughing away at the silliness of what I just revealed. ‘It’s a coffee mug. It’s just a coffee mug’. I hear you say. But that’s the problem. It’s not. To a coffee guzzler like me, it’s not just a mug. For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed collecting coffee mugs. No, not those tiny fragile little cups that we so often use for tea – yes, those delicate ones where I have to put my little finger in the air when I drink out of it. Those are ones that we always reserve for guests. Oh, no no! Those little cups are far too tiny for it to make any significance in my life.
But the coffee mug. Now, that’s something else. If there’s one thing that most people who drink coffee will swear by (apart from their coffee itself) is the vessel they have their coffee in. It varies from person to person. My mother, for instance, prefers her coffee in a very delicate little cup. My TamBrahm in-laws hate cups or mugs of any sort; they prefer their ‘kaapi’ in the traditional steel glasses (or tumbler, as I’ve come to realise they’re called); me, on the other hand, prefer them…well…let’s say…..big…..
See, here’s the thing. If I were to go through my collection of coffee mugs, I’d say that each of them held a special memory. Every time I look at them, they remind me of something. A trip. An event. A place. The list goes on. So every morning, when I pick up one of those cups, pour my steaming hot cup of coffee into it and try to savour the moment, I’m actually also reliving the set of memories that the particular cup invokes in me. So in my world, the mug that holds the coffee is as important as the coffee itself.
But most of all, to me, my favourite coffee mug – yes the one that so carelessly fell from the top of the shelf without even pausing to think how it would make me feel (*sniffles*) – signified comfort. To me, it was sort of like a porcelain equivalent of a hug. Except that this hug also provided the much-needed hit of caffeine to kick-start my brain and body. It’s like the death of someone special. And I need my time to come to terms with it.
Rest in pieces, my dear friend. Rest in pieces.
On a side note, do you have a favourite cup or mug for your preferred beverage?
Image courtesy: Love This Pic