Saturday, January 07, 2006

Making Filter Coffee and 'Main Gandhi Ko Nahin Maaraa'

What has the one got to do with the other? Well, of course nothing. Anyways, its a blog and that gives me the freedom to relate them together. I was making my daily filter coffee every day and that set my thoughts on to my very first trysts with the south indian "filter coffee" and the very first times I saw a "Coffee Filter". As a kid in typical south indian families, initiation to the intoxicating and ethereal filter coffee is unavoidable. The taste of "filter coffee" is something that is different for different homes. However one thing that is constant is the effect of a filter coffee. It always woke me up (or should I say 'shook me up') from the stupor of the transient effect of a night's sleep.It was the ideal jump start for an active day in my childhood and any mishap with the milk or the coffee powder is bound to destroy the happiness of the day for all the family members alike.For all elders in the family, it still is the first medicine for headaches, stress and tension. At the core of any good filter coffee are... of course you guessed it right, an instrument called 'filter', the coffee powder and good milk preferably that of a buffalo. Among the three the most key ingredient is the powder and this is very every person who makes coffee fircely identify their "kai pakkuvam" as they say in thamizh, or hand taste, their unique flavour. Ultimately it is those supremely sweet smelling but hot and humid coffee stores in corners of every street in Chennai and Bangalore that hold the jugular of coffee connoisseurs. A switch from one shop to another is not only unimaginable, but also highly intolerable and an act that is just a whisker short of heresy. The filters used are no high tech gadgets as one tends to find in the premises of modern offices, but a utilitarian combination of two matching tumblers assembled one top of another with the top one having perculations for the coffee essence, a solute of the coffee powder in super heated water. Now the delicate physics and chemistry involved in coffee making cannot get any more complex with hot water playing a very crucial role. Ask anyone from chennai they will swear on the good rainy season in chennai also as the bad coffee season as the drinking water comes with a generous dose of chlorine. So much for the "filter coffee"... The art of making a good coffee is also such a good clearing exercise of mind and from my personal experience, I can say it rivals the tea making seen in Japan, process for process, move for move and totally experience for experience.

What can I say about the movie "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara", which i guiltily watched in the local cable TV of Bangalore "in-Movies". I must say I badly missed watching it on a larger screen with no ads scrolling around in the bottom. Anupam Kher came up with a "Sethu" like performancefor a story which is so close to "Sethu". Easily it is one of the performances of the year. The beauty of the movie was the way it worked on many levels of my intellect without making an obvious statement that it has a clever screenplay, like those Quentin Tarentino's movies and its clone concepts used by Manirathnam. One example. Prof. Uttam Choudhary , an eminent hindi professor walks into a Chemistry class and starts a lecture only to realize that faux passe. The next scene one gets to see Prof.Chaudhary getting ready to go to he college and his daughter Trisha discouraging from doing so as he is retired. Prof. Choudhary refuses to beleive and says that he is only contemplating retirement due to the chemistry class faux passe. Trisha says that the chemistry class incident happened three years ago. An interesting way to tell the viewer the passage of time without adding a caption 'Three years later...". The movie will definitely remind one of "A Beautiful Mind" and 'Kudaikkul Mazhai'. However where it scores is the clever use of external events as sub-texts to pass a comment on the sad tale of an old man caught up in a cob-web of forgetfulness and turmoil of a childhood memory that emerges again due to the loss of memory associated with personality. I felt really bad on not having tuned into the channel earlier and also the feeling of letting the opportunity of viewing this movie in a theatre when I had the oportunity a few weeks earlier go. Special mention must be made about Urmila Matondkar's performance which unfortunately will be compared with that of Jenifer Connelly in "A Beautiful Mind" and to put it down for that reason will be an injustice.
Coming back to the first line, Making a good filter coffee and the process of viewing a beautiful movie like "Main Gandhiji ko Nahin Maara" definitely have a connection in that both these processes involve and engross.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nostalgic memories of unchicorified filter coffee made from aavin paal. I especially love the second dose that follows after fighting over who gets to read "The Hindu"!


7:47 PM  
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