Every morning, a devoted woman in our colony starts her day with a ‘mandir ki ghanti’. And, as my grandfather calls it, I start mine with a ‘ghanti’ of my own: the clanking of a spoon against my mug, a valiant effort to produce ‘phitti hui coffee’.
Without this frothy, milky, albeit strong pick-me-up, I turn into one of those people who paces corridors muttering incoherently to herself.
The story of this morning cuppa goes back about five years, when an enterprising substitute warden saw us crouched over our books during exam-time and decided to help us pull an all-nighter. My eyes opened to the sheer joy of beaten coffee, the true Indian way of making it. Not, as my roommate put it looking disgusted, “just mixed like Bournvita”.
From then on, we competed for the frothiest coffee. It sounds tragic, I know. But it gave us great happiness in getting coffee mustaches. After a point, it wasn’t just the caffeine that woke me up. The process of making it was just as invigorating. I’ve passed it on to friends and family with extremely perky results.
If you haven’t already tried it, please humour me, and do. I put in 2 spoons of Bru (nothing else cuts it), 1 spoon of sugar, a few drops of milk to make a paste and mix it all up with a spoon like my life depends on it. When the mixture turns from brown to beige, you’ve hit gold. Add hot milk, stir and take a sip. I guarantee instant happiness.
– Gayatri Shrikhande