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On a late Sunday afternoon in December as I was seated on a chair by the window in my bedroom, I suddenly felt a gush of anxiety overwhelming me into a state of numbness that I wasn't able to shake off. As I was having a difficult time navigating myself away from these relenting feelings, I quickly got into my walking shoes and left the house to take a walk.
It was a chilly evening. I happened to notice a cafeteria just around the corner and without giving it a second thought I found myself choosing a seat at the corner table of the cafe. The menu card was already placed in front of me on the table and a waiter quickly hurried towards me to take the order.
Without going through what the café had to offer I randomly ordered a Filter Coffee. The waiter asked me if I would be interested in ordering anything else besides the coffee. I politely declined and said to him "probably later, thanks." He smiled and nodded his head and quickly walked away only to return with my order later.
The café had a pleasant ambiance. The beige coloured walls complemented the wooden furnishings, and the warm white light gave the room a warm cosy feeling. The café had a nice mix of aromas from freshly brewed coffee to an array of mouth-watering chocolate decadent cakes, an assortment of freshly baked pies to mini tarts and freshly baked bread of all kinds. All of this was just enough to divert and engage my overly overwhelmed mind with respite.
Shortly the waiter returned with the Filter Coffee, and he carefully placed it in front of me. It was served in a fancy small stainless-steel tumbler along with an empty container. At first I couldn't comprehend the idea of having it being served in this manner and after a few minutes of contemplating I decided to take a sip of the irresistible aromatic Filter Coffee.
I struggled to pick the stainless-steel tumbler as it was way too hot to hold so I then impatiently picked it up by its rim and finally got to savour a sip of my first Filter Coffee.
I quickly placed the tumbler back into the container and gave my fingers a bit of reprieve from the heat of the tumbler. The coffee had a delicious, refreshing delightful taste and I couldn't wait for too long to get back to my second sip.
The waiter came back to ask if I would be keen to order anything else along with the coffee. Once again, I politely declined, thanked him, and said to him that perhaps next time. He then asked me if I was enjoying the coffee and I smiled and affirmed positively acknowledging the fact that it was really flavoursome.
After mustering up his courage he politely asked me if this was the first time, I ever tried a filter coffee and I answered "yes, it is'' and then quickly he said that he had guessed so as he had noticed how I was struggling to hold the tumbler. At this point I must admit that I was embarrassed and blushed. He then briefly yet quickly described to me the art of drinking Filter Coffee.
He explained that the coffee is generally served in a "dabarah". The word "dabarah" is the name of the utensils which usually consists of a tumbler and an empty container used to serve the coffee. He also added that this unique style of serving began from South India centuries ago. Elaborating he continued further that the idea here is to pour the coffee from a particular height from the tumbler into the empty container that is given alongside it. This process is simply used to cool the coffee. Once it cools down one must pour a quarter of the coffee back into the tumbler, give it a good rotation and finally one is ready to sip it. Having said that, he quickly disappeared to serve another table.
Now it was time for me to practise what he had said, and I must say it made a lot of sense. I enjoyed sipping my coffee this time without burning my fingers, paid the bill, thanked the waiter, and began to walk back home. It was during the walk I realised that life is just like Filter Coffee, let me explain how I came to such a conclusion.
Let's admit it that nobody has a perfect life. Some people suffer from low self-esteem, lack of finance, poor health and also relationship failures. These pressures in life can often lead to meltdowns, frustration and can also bring one to a point of breakdown. But if we learn to accept the problem and change the situation in a calm and logical manner, we can save ourselves from the worst possible scenario presented in our life.
So remember the next time you drink Filter Coffee the stainless steel tumbler represents your strength. The hot coffee represents the volatile situation, this can be summarised by life's chaos. The container can be represented as a friend or a confidant. The role of the container is to listen to all of your dilemmas, worries and obstacles and to give you the necessary advice to easily navigate you through to tackle your situation. And it is after you pour the coffee back into the tumbler from the container when you realise that this is where your power lies. It is whereby you are able to calmly cruise through all the problems and come up with brainstorming solutions.
Furthermore, also keep in mind that there will be times that you cannot control every circumstance but instead after carefully re-examining the situations you are able to take the lead of the necessary steps to take action and to make meaningful decisions and that is the time when you really begin to enjoy the freshly brewed coffee. Just like how coffee has got a hint of bitter-sweet taste, our life too can be compared to the different shades of bitterness and sweetness too.
We all will go through life changing moments, there will be breakdowns and meltdowns but what matters the most is how we pick ourselves up against all odds just so that we can overcome these waves of challenges.
Buddha once said "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."
By Disha Sharma