RK Narayan in one of his short stories from the “Malgudi Days” spoke about the coffee that his grandmother used to make. Typical South Indian coffee, the decoction one. He went on to describe the aroma, the taste, the colour and how as a kid he (RK Narayan) used to love to just take a sip of it. I read this story about 20 years back and to this day I can recollect the taste and the aroma that was described in the story. Such is the power of R.K. Narayan’s story telling or can I say it is the power of Coffee. This is a story of a cup of Coffee.
It is said that coffee was brought into India by Baba Budan, from Ethopia, he brought a handful of these coffee beans and planted them in Chikmagalur- the place where coffee first originated in India. One of the largest producers of this cash crop today, Coffee is the largest source of income to this district in the state of Karnataka, a state in the south of India – to be precise this state is squeezed in between Goa in the north and Kerala in the south.
On a recent drive to this place I see glimpses of an India that I just love to see. Villages pass by, Green fields on either sides of the road- which by the way are far better than say a couple of years back. The air is fresh, I actually put my head out of the car to get more of it, getting my driver totally annoyed and my co-passengers screaming at me. Villages pass me by treating me to a visual delight, bright coloured houses, cattle tied outside, folks sitting under trees watching me drive past. There were moments i felt like an actor on a stage and these villagers my audience, watching this drama.
Chikmagalur. which means the Little Daughters Town has an interesting history to it. The town was given as a dowry to the younger daughter of the local king. Chikkamagal in Kannada (the local Language) means the “The Younger Daughter” and “Uru” means town. History does peep into our car as we zip through these lanes in all its forms, temples, Walls with history painted on them reminding the local folks of the rich heritage that they came from. Catching a glimpse of them and trying to make sense of these. I later on decided that the best way to learn about this beautiful place was to just walk see, touch, taste and smell in this place. Basically evoke all my senses and get all excited! This is my diary, and its called “My Cup of Coffee”.