Crazy about coffee

Meghna Chatterjee explains the effect of coffee on our hearts and minds


Sorry to paraphrase Jane Austen, but it is a truth universally acknowledged by all coffee-lovers, that a person in office at 9am must be in want of coffee. Knowing little of the feelings of this greatly misunderstood creature, people perceive their BC [Before Coffee] and AC [After Coffee] avatars rather strangely.

How did Scrooge at 9am turn into Mr. Sunshine at 9:15am? Why the Jekyll and Hyde transformation? The secret to this strange alchemy lies in the mystical brew, the elixir of my life!

Let me explain to you the effect of coffee on our hearts and minds. Picture for me if you please my typical day.

The alarm rings at 6:55 am [I set it so because at night I tend to think of myself as an obedient saint, who’d do stuff like wake up five minutes earlier so that I have an unhurried morning… disillusioned soul] but I press snooze.

7:00am: Alarm rings again and since I have already crossed over to the dark side, another five minutes won’t hurt, will they? Snooze.

7:05am: Snooze

7:10am: Snooze

7:15am: Definitely have to wake up now!

7:20am: Brush and oh look at the branches of the trees moving to the breeze outside the window. The breeze, the dogs out for a walk! Wonder and awe!

7:35am: Shave and shower. Have cereal. Think of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” lyrics about having cereal. Curses be upon her! Contemplate today’s cultural influences.

7: 58am: Lock to leave home.

8:00am: Re-open the door to collect the metro card. Leave home again.

Wait for a 100 years for the lift to come. Rush to the metro station. Nudge the old woman ahead of me. Oops! Buy tissues off a blind guy to balance karma. Train is here! Shove a slow poke at the escalator [oops, more tissues later!].

Reach office just two minutes before my boss. Saved!

8:45am: Meeting. “Update software blah blah”. Me sweating like crazy. “Maintain industry standards”. Drowsy! “Provide value added services”—Taaaaree zameeeeeeeeeeeeeeen parrrrr…

9:00am: COFFEE BREAK. Seeing the pantry woman has cleaned and refilled the coffee machine [pure joy!].

Placing the coffee cup and pressing the cappuccino button. And the aroma hits me! And it is Christmas! I love everybody. I solemnly swear to strive to maintain industry standards. The soul is awakened and the mind is without fear. [C’mon! I am a Bengali, how can I write anything without bringing Tagore into it?!]

And I take the first sip, and life is as it should be. All is well. Elizabeth marries Darcy, Sherlock catches the baddie and Voldemort is dead.

So essentially, that’s what coffee does for me. It adds that sparkle to an otherwise boring day. It makes things extraordinary. It changes the drudgery and monotony to limitless possibilities. It is as refreshing as petrichor for the weary soul.

Every single waking moment of our lives, I am either thinking about my past mistakes or missed opportunities or anxious about the future. But in the act of drinking my cuppa, I am entirely in the present. The warmth, richness, aroma and taste of coffee… all make me intensely aware of my present, and in those brief moments of consciousness, I view the world just as it is. I enjoy the respite of not worrying about the past, or future [that report, which is due before lunch!]. I am aware of just the sheer joy of being in the present and I love it.

This was first published in the April 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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Meghna Chatterjee
Meghna Chatterjee is a programmer analyst, and a lover of coffee, dogs, murder mysteries and recycling. She is currently living up her life in Singapore.