Dripping drip by drip

Filling whole the hole with life

As blood, black coffee



“Large. Extra frothy almond milk with cocoa, cinnamon, and brown sugar.”

It wasn’t the first time that Ben bought, and Jenny handed him his boss’s beverage. In her four years as barista, countless Bens had rushed in with profuse requests.

As the afternoon rolled in, their bosses called them aside.

“What’s up?”

“You need to work harder. Unless you show some real progress, I may have to cut down on your pay.”

She’d missed her break, and he his. It wasn’t new—they’d skip meals just to ensure others didn’t. And they knew better than to slight each other’s work.

Up, up, and away

It was a bright and clear day. Great outdoors, but I had a lot of reading to do and some work to catch up on. Just the idea of staying tied to my computer when I could free myself and chase the air, made me sulk. I wished I was asleep instead.

As I sat on the bed unmotivated even by the brilliant book in front of me, I decided to grab some coffee. And thus began my awakening. After a quick search for the perfect restaurant for lunch, I started gulping down my liquid wake up call and finished my work. A day’s work done in a few hours.

Delatorre’s was perfect for authentic Italian food. Would recommend it, in case you’re ever in Pleasanton, California.



Coffee love

Coffee is an emotion. It’s what wakes you up and keeps you up all day. From where I am, typical coffee is a milk-laden sugar-infused chicory-blended concoction no one can live without. Although I don’t take my coffee that way, I do know its value in Indian homes. Coffee for Indians is what tea is for British. We’re snobby about our proportions and always willing for more. Having lived through all the drama that revolves around coffee, I felt prepared for what I’d experience in the US. At least I thought so.

On my first day in the US, my colleague showed me around, introducing me to the concept that is the K cup. I’d heard about and read about K cups before, but it was the first time I saw how it looked and learned how it worked. As my colleague picked up a fresh cup, flipped the machine open, inserted the cup and pressed the lid shut, I looked in wonderment at the amount of plastic waste that a one cup of coffee entails. I knew from a long-lost article that K cups aren’t recyclable, and wondered how much wastage that created. I could use up to five cups a day, and I was just one of the many hundreds at work. The math of how it’d magnify stumped me into silence.

Although at that moment I felt I should give up coffee altogether, when I saw the fresh black essence drip from the machine into my coffee cup, I felt little guilt. I felt more elated. Eight ounces of steaming black liquid waited for me to gulp down. Cupping the cup in my hands, I inhaled the scent of well-roasted beans wafting through the tall cup right into my nostrils. From there it travelled to my left and right brain spreading wakefulness all over my being. I sipped. Warmth rushed down my throat plummeting to fill up my empty stomach.

I ran about high in energy and joy. I’d experienced the real kick of coffee. I’d read about it before and I’d raised eyebrows at articles that claimed coffee disrupts sleep. None of the coffee I’d had so far had the such an invigorating effect on me. It wasn’t until I tasted the drip coffee that I understood the real power of it. It didn’t take me long to get addicted.

In Seattle I fell in love with fresh brewed coffee. My host’s medium-roasted coffee felt rich and yet less toasty in my throat. Portland gave me the taste of the bitter and sour Colombian coffee. Both were far different from the dark-roasted K cups I’d had in Pleasanton, and they were both comforting. I’ve no idea how many cups of coffee or kinds of coffee I tried while in the US. The only thing I do know, however, is that every cup delivered its promise. Every time I needed something to lift my spirits, coffee came to my rescue.


Sunday’s dying embers started waning inspite of daylight savings. He switched on his table lamp, mother’s advice ringing in his ears; “don’t work in the dark.”

He sat with a straight back, a stiff neck, rigid arms resting on the keyboard. The laptop remained open, the tiny, bitten apple still alight since seven that morning. Facing him was a white page, the next chapter of his book—the first chapter of his book.

His phone lit up, a notification pushing for attention. His regular coffee shop had a discount: “Midnight orders: 60% off. Jolt your week with a shot of caffeine.”