A Mug of …..

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…..

 

I like big mugs

 

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

Comments

  1. Geets

    Haha! That was one incredible piece, Sid! And sure, your dear friend must be in peace somewhere.

    I too love coffee and yes, I’m obsessed with mugs as well. Though, the ones I get in the form of gift, I somehow don’t use them! I feel like keeping them safe, and look at them one fine day and recollect all the memories attached. I have other mugs though that I use for coffee and I too prefer the large ones!
    Who likes coffee in small mugs, anyway?

    Loved the post!

    Cheers

  2. Ramya Abhinand

    Ah! i can truly empathise with you.. I remember I had this cofee mug I had bought from Moscow. It had the Kremlin and the Red square on it and it would take me back to my days there. My tam brahm family( and inlaws) would often wonder how I could enjoy my “kaapi” without having it in a ” davarai” and “tumbler”.. And one fine day my little one broke it accidently. It was like as though my whole link with Russia had been severed ( I lived in MOscow for a few years).. it was painful . After that i could no longer pick up any other coffee mug… Got to the tam brahm way eventually:(

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      Sid

      Thank you, Ramya.
      And let me start by saying it’s a pleasure to finally see your face 🙂
      Oh – the davarai and tumbler – they’re pretty epic, aren’t they? For starters, they’re freaking hot to touch.
      Aww! Sorry to hear about your ‘Kremlin cup crash’. But at least you have a preferred way now.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

  3. Vidya Sury

    I would neva eva says “just a coffee mug” or “just” anything for that matter. I hold my mugs very close to my heart and actually cry when one of them breaks. Then I continue to use them as pen holders or junk holders somehow or other. I actually once stuck a mug that had broken into several pieces. Sigh. Luckily my favorite coffee “mug” is a very heavy steel tumbler. My Mom was smart – she knew what a hoarder I am and probably orchestrated it in such a way that the things I use were unbreakable. Been using the same steel plate to eat ever since I can remember.

    So, A big hug to you Sid. I totally empathize. I like big….cups, too, and I cannot lie! 😀 I have a beeeeg collection, each one holding fond memories, too!
    Vidya Sury recently put up this awesome post : What if self-pity was a choice?My Profile

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  4. Soumya

    From where do I find you a giant sized mug now?

    Mugs are something very close to me too. The comfort and the memories that come with it are quite something. Although most of my mugs hold tea instead of coffee now, the sentiment is the same. But it does with its fair share of OCD. Well, you know that now 😀

    RIP to your dear mug. I’ll try to find you a good replacement ASAP.
    Soumya recently put up this awesome post : Escape RouteMy Profile

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      Sid

      Haha! I’ve made my peace with it. You have them colour coded 😛 – I don’t think i have that sort of obsession.
      And don’t you think you can get away getting me a mug for my birthday 😛
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

  5. Modern Gypsy

    Oh no! I know just how you must have felt. I’m super possessive about my coffee mugs too. I have a special, American sized mug for the weekends,a more normal sized one for weekdays, and a slightly smaller one for afternoon coffee. So yeah, I know how losing a precioussss feels! And I’m also glad I’m not the only “freak” around! 😉
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  6. Rajlakshmi

    hahaha oh poor you!! I hope you find a good replacement 😛 Enjoyed reading this tale of mug which is no more 😛
    I have this beautiful flowery bone china tea cup on my desk, which came with a spoon too, BUT I don’t use it. It’s so beautiful that I just look at it and drink tea in some random white cups 😛
    Rajlakshmi recently put up this awesome post : Katoomba Falls, Blue MountainsMy Profile

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      Sid

      Thank you, Rajlakshmi. I’ve made my peace with it.
      Ah! The ‘don’t-want-to-use-it-because-it’s-too-pretty’ syndrome. Yes, it’s pretty common with creative people 🙂
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

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  7. Roshan R

    Sigh… why do all the good porcelains have to die *looks accusingly at smug steel glasses*
    I used to have a fav mug like this which a friend gifted me from Pune. It was a gimmick mug… when you poured hot liquids in it, the two eyes on the mug would appear to open up. As the drink cooled, the effect would disappear and it would look as though the mug was sleeping again 🙂
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  8. Nabanita Dhar

    Only you, only you could have written about a coffee mug but again not just a coffee mug. I think every time I read one of your posts, I end up saying something like this. Well, I don’t have a favourite mug. Maybe because coffee or tea are not that important for me. Still if I were to pick something as precious as that coffee mug was to you, I will have to say, my kindle. I will cry for days if something happens to it. I really will!

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  9. Shantala

    LOL. We have that rule too – get rid of something, before you buy something. And of-course it’s mostly applicable to the men of the household – that’s the fine print – you should have read it.

    On a different note – I love my mug, and totally understand where you are coming from. I would be heartbroken too – until the next one, that is. In my case, I like quotes on my mugs. Preferably quotes from books. Mischief Managed from Harry Potter is my absolute favorite so far. 😀

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  10. Shailaja Vishwanath

    So much drama over a single cup 😉 At this rate, I’d have to be in eternal mourning considering my maid broke one almost every month for a year 😛

    Jokes aside, I understand the sentiment that goes with certain things. It’s more than the object. It’s the memories associated with them. My condolences. May a new cup take its place and do justice to the role of the departed.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently put up this awesome post : 4 Simple Ways to Stop Multi-TaskingMy Profile

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      Sid

      That’s probably because you are ‘detached’ from everything 😛
      You’re right – it’s not about the object or the item; often the memories associated with them take more precedence.

      Thank you for dropping by. I was starting to think you’d forgotten my site 😛
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

  11. Shilpa Gupte

    Aww, that’s sad! I, too, love my coffee mugs, though there aren’t many; just a couple of those. But, they are special to me and my heart too would break in a thousand pieces if those babies fell to their death! My most favourite ones, I have kept those safely , hidden away from prying eyes and rarely bring them out to be used! some lovely memories are attached to those.
    I loved how you called your mug a porcelain equivalent to a hug! Awww….who could come up with such a sweet thought if not you, SId?

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      Sid

      See! I knew I couldn’t the ony one. They all have their special places in our hearts, right?
      Well, it was..I couldn’t think of any other way to describe it.
      Thank you, Shilpa.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

  12. Kaddu

    Big coffee mugs are TOTALLY the best!
    And I so hear you, my friend! A favorite coffee mug that’s broken causes no less pain than a broken heart!
    This one’s my all-time favorite…
    http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com/2013/01/wordless-wednesday-my-winking-mug.html
    A maid broke its handle one day. (It was a miracle I didn’t kill her!) Thankfully, it didn’t break into too many pieces, so I could fix it up with Fevikwick. I now use it as a pencil-holder in my shop. And some of my customers have even offered to buy it!
    Please post pictures of your mugs. And DO investigate that mystery.

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  13. Dagny

    I don’t have a fav mug… nor do I collect them. But I can well understand your grief. I’m generally possessive about my stuff and I can totally understand how you must be feeling.

    Hang in there Sid! *sniffles*

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  14. Novemberschild

    I like to mix it up often. I have a collection of mugs in different sizes and shaped- from large bowl-like ones to small cylindrical cappuccino mugs. Some come as a pair, some are singles.

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  15. Vishal Bheeroo

    I am very possessive about my mugs and keep collecting. I just got a thin white cup for coffee plus my Nescafe red cup. Once I brought a Nescafe mug from India but was broken with the water tap in the sync that got to be fixed. It broke my heart.

    I am with you on that. It’s not just mugs but everything, emotional connect.

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  16. Dashy

    How sad! My condolences for your dear mug. For me the big mugs are kept aside for special days when I’m in the mood for a long reverie with hot chaai. Each mug has a story yes, of how I acquired it…for there is not a single one which I bought. I can imagine how much your mugs would mean to you. ^_^ Hugs and mugs!
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  17. Chandnimoudgil

    Ah now I know what to get you when we meet !!
    Problem solved .. phew .. You know how someone’s misery is other person’s joy.
    speaking of joy .. my cuppa joy is a big tall chai in the morning. which I dont get as many times as I ‘d like to . drink in peace that is. anyway.. just like you I have a collection of mugs [that I guard with my life] . They are safely kept at my mom’s place [wink wink …shhhh!] one from every organization Ive ever worked at . I am going to click those pics and send it soonest .
    Till then I guess follow your wives sound advice and get a new one .. that says keep calm and drink coffee

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      Sid

      My wife has threatened to throw me out if I bring home any more cups 😛
      You keep them away – nice one. I would too; except my parents live like seas away.

  18. Saumy

    I don’t have such affection with my coffee mug but incredible to see how beautifully one can express his love for a “mug”! Loved the way you put up your feelings in such a simple and poised manner, Sid! Loved it to the core! 😊😊

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  19. Parul Thakur

    I have not one but many coffee/chai mugs that are used at specific times of the day. Of course when I am home. Morning cup in white one, evening one in brown one and such rules. Each of them has a story and there is one that dates back to my Engineering days. So, good over 10 years old. Also, you throw one thing, you buy the other is my way too to keep the house clutter free. 🙂
    A good post, there!
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      Sid

      You use different cups for different times of the day? Woah! Okay! That’s …well…cool. I must think about doing that too.
      You too – declutterer? Hmpf!

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  20. Richa Singh

    Sid after a long time I am reading a non fiction post here. And believe me your writing soothes me. I cannot explain what about this post just flew into my senses. I read a lot of stuff online but I keep saying to myself people forget that writing comes from heart. And heart is idiosyncratic. They are all so busy being factual or emotional when actually in a day to day life you find thoughts being a lot more random.

    P.S I so loved it I cannot put in words. even if I tried..

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  21. aarti

    Aww Sid, i hear you and i feel you.. I get heart broken when my favourite mug breaks more than when a guy and i part ways… And over the years, i have begun following the policy of buy something new give away two old stuff – this applies to all things I own… But know what, I don’t have a favourite coffee mug anymore.. I have a few that have been with me for years that i use… and then there are the ones i got from colleges and brands that i use now and then, which am ok to lose [no heart break for em]

    Go buy that one kickass mug i say…
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      Sid

      Aww..whatte comparison 🙂
      That’s a good policy if you can follow it. Giving away old stuff to buy new one. I must really practice is more often.
      Yes – one kick ass mug coming up.

  22. Pixie

    I haven’t had such an intense relationship with a coffee mug in a really long time! 😀
    I do have a red tea mug which I use very carefully and I love that mug. So. I’m being careful.
    I do have a favorite plate that I love. Does that count? 😀

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  23. Jaibala Rao

    I die a little inside every time one of my coffee mug’s break. Okay I might be exaggerating a little. But I get you. I have what is best described as an eclectic collection of coffee mugs, my favourite being this huge mug that is – yes you guessed right Purple. I remember when the old one broke, I cried like a baby.
    Jaibala Rao recently put up this awesome post : LostMy Profile

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      Sid

      You are. But then again, so is this post 😛
      No, no…I completely understand. I have such ‘strong’ emotions for my cups too. You have a purple cup, eh? Now, why doesn’t that surprise me, I wonder!

  24. Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710

    ‘Porcelain equivalent of a hug’
    How do you even come up with these lines!?
    I don’t like drinking tea, and coffee is a once off occasion. So the glass/mug doesn’t remain a constant for me.
    But I have a weird fixation with this one spoon that has a crooked handle. I always eat only with that spoon. Every breakfast, lunch & dessert. And soup. So far, nothing evil has happened to it, but the days it goes missing, I can forego eating till I find the spoon.
    Really crazy, no? 🙈

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      Sid

      I have no idea, Mithila. Just wanted to compare that to something and thought it best described the feeling of a hug; and those mugs are all porcelain ceramic – so there 😉
      Spoon, eh? Here’s to hoping that the spoon accompanies you life long !
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

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  25. Mayuri

    I hear you, Sid!
    I need my tea in a big mug (bucket is more like, as The Husband points out) and I have a few favorites too.
    I have taken to washing them myself as i can’t trust heartless people , who think it’s just a mug, anymore.
    So I know what you must feel. My sympathies.
    RIP , Mug.

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  26. Rachna Parmar

    Oh my my! Such a lucky coffee mug. 😉 I actually love those sturdy China mugs. Have a free of them for G and l. And you bet they break so easily. If not break, chipping is so common.

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  27. Varsh

    Oh my! Such a cruel thing happened to you and you survived that! How brave you are! *sniffles* 😂😂
    On a serious note, I understand the emotion. It is said we shouldn’t keep damaged or cracked pieces of glass in the house but I never threw the mugs that somehow didn’t ‘break into a thousand pieces’.
    Memories drive us, don’t they? Everything that has a tale attached to it becomes an integral part of our life. Try being more careful next time. Tsk tsk…the maid could’ve been bribed but I suggest you investigate it for your own good. 😜

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      Sid

      Yes, yes…chuckle away! 😛
      Memories do drive us – especially the pleasant ones. I’m sure I’ll be investigating it further. Must get to the bottom of this.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

  28. Obsessivemom

    Such a storm of emotions – all for a coffee cup. Well I do have a favourite mug – only, its tea I fill it up with. That pinky-in-the-air- cup-with-a-saucer thing isn’t for me too. You’re right how each mug carries a memory of where/when it was bought, who gifted it.. and each one is special. Condolences for your loss.
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  29. Suchitra

    Loved it. Looks like you did decide to write about your mug after all. I get it though…the attachment to inanimate objects for comfort. If I was a psychiatrist, I might shrink the reason behind it but I am not, so on a purely human-to-human equation, I can definitely empathize. Reminds me of my broken lipstick – something I put in so many emotions into only to have it broken by my son who could care less. I had to eventually go into my “it’s only a thing and can be replaced” mode. You’ll find your rationale too.
    Btw, your wife is a genius. That is my philosophy too in theory, but I am also the judge and the jury of those decisions so there’s that.

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      Sid

      Ha ha! Yes, I sort of had to. Well, I reckon that after everything that the mug and I had been through – it deserved a proper send off 😉
      Thank you, for not attempting to ‘shrink the reason’ being this attachment to inanimate objects.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : A Mug of …..My Profile

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