Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Crime called Coffee

'A lot can happen over a cup of coffee', goes the cliched tagline of a chain of Coffee shops. Truer words have never been said. Coffee is a crime for me, and a lethal one at that. Karma plays its cards well when it comes to retribution, and coffee justifies that perfectly in my case.

Most people I know cannot function properly without their morning dose of caffeine. In fact, it isn't too hard to state that the levels of caffeine in the body is inversely proportional to the grumpiness in a person. How a simple drink can change the mood of people, I really can't fathom. The seemingly simple brownish liquid manages to elevate even the Scrooge-est of moods I've known. Oh well, I make do with an Apple (which, according to Scientific reports, has an equivalent amount of the 'waking-up' ingredient as a cup of coffee, or several even.)

So why did I bring in Karma for a post on Coffee? Fair enough question to be asked, if you didn't know me. Since childhood, I've had this urge to drink what the grown ups drink. After having fussed and fumed, I would have my wish and my grandfather would dilute some of his special coffee. (incidentally, at my grandparents place, the only person authorized to make coffee was my grandfather. No one was ever allowed to touch his little coffee making corner. And his coffee was the best I'd ever had, so no one dared infringe upon such culinary mastery anyway!).

When no one would look, I would add about two huge tablespoons of decoction to my Bournvita and sip it like it was the usual healthy drink I needed to live the life of that ideal 'kid' in TV ads. I've abused coffee to the extent of even adding excess of it in this homemade Tiramisu, several years ago...creating a masterpiece that could cause war between Italy and India.....a more lethal and poisonous weapon you wouldn't find.

Cafes have also played a role in building up Karma against Coffee. From trying out every single coffee shop near home in Bangalore and laughing about them, to replicating horrendous recipes at home, clearly, the God of Coffee was not amused with me blatantly abusing his gift to mankind. (Why do I feel that Coffee has a male creator? Because of what happened to me. I would like to take this moment to regress back to childhood and think all boys are snot. Therefore, Coffee has a Male god.)

So today, as I write this, I can no longer taste another cup of Coffee. No longer experiment with the marvels of random coffee related desserts. No longer agree to meet people in Coffee Shops unless they have more than just coffee to order. Why, you ask?

I'm allergic. To Coffee. When I tell people that, they look at me incredulously. How can someone be allergic to 'Coffee'?? Aren't people allergic to Peanuts and Strawberries and seemingly common but exotic things that are respected in the field of allergens? Pollen, even? But no. Of all the allergies I've had (and believe me, there have been quite a few...I went through a phase when I was allergic to Chocolate. *shudder*), I had to pick the one ingredient that I loved so much, I would twist and turn and change its shape to fit into any comfort food I ate.

So I walk into a coffee shop and order tea. And bury my face inside the menu until the waiter walks away after giving his customary *Oh-my-god-she's-ordering-tea-in-a-coffee-shop* look. I begin my mornings with Bournvita (which, if you have a creative enough imagination, could come very close to resembling a cup of coffee.). I make do with Cocoa in all instant vending machines as people pick out coffee and tea. And the worst of all, Tiramisu is a long forgotten dream now. Unless, I can manage to master a way of making it without the coffee....but that'll just be incomplete. And don't even get me started about how I cannot eat Coffee Ice Cream.

I now have two extremely bleak options waiting....continue to be the old lady drinking cocoa as the cats watch her outside her lonely apartment, singing 'All by Myself' in a slurry tone (Sigh. This technically shouldn't happen, but it fits the 'bleak option' category brilliantly). Or just sit out this allergy spell and wait for my auto-immune system to pick out something else in a couple of months I'd have to abstain from.

Till then, Coffee, my love, you are a but a Caffeine induced memory of a life that's behind me.