Unisex apron with strings attached!

JS Raghavan

Sooner or later, even an alpha male, treating the kitchen as an unexplored terrain in his residence, may have to venture into it, with no more protection than an apron. For an executive who had handled such befuddling topics like GST that feature gobbledygook like reverse charge mechanism and zero-rated supply,  a chore in the kitchen would appear to be a cakewalk. But wait a minute…. 

Being a crossword buff, my wife rattled off collocated words, ‘If you can, without creating chaos, confusion and commotion, brew a cup of hot, authentic, aromatic, frothing, filter coffee, that would not taste like dishwater, instead would make me sit up like a jack-in-the box, I will clap, praise, acclaim, applaud, laud, eulogise, extol, high-five with you and post it on Facebook with your mugshot, with a minimum guarantee of 300 likes, 40 comments and 10 shares.’

I gingerly stepped into the kitchen in the morning, all groggy and my eyelids glued together. The wife was still enjoying her pre-dawn pet snooze in the arctic air-conditioned comfort. When I switched on the light, a cockroach, twitching its antennae, hurriedly slithered into a crevice; an anaemic lizard on the tubelight vanished into thin air, perhaps bamboozled by the sight of a sturdy human specimen, instead of the wispy, sleepy, dishevelled usual. The gas oven, cylinder, grinder, toaster, coffee paraphernalia, fat rolling pins and such would have registered their wonderment and reacted if they were not inanimate.

Nothing will be more foolhardy than undermining even the simplest of simple tasks. Being a planner from childhood, I thought of lining up the ingredients, instead of hunting for them after the process was set in motion. To my bewilderment, I found the tin marked ‘coffee powder’ contained chili powder; the one marked ‘tea leaves’ had mustard, the sealed stainless jar marked ‘sugar’ (may be to hoodwink ants) contained salt.

However, thanks to my fervent prayers to the Remover of Obstacles, I managed to prepare the boiling water in a kettle, never mind the blister collected on the right palm. I spooned four measures of freshly ground coffee powder into the brass filter and poured hot water into the chamber. I boiled the milk without any accident. 

With the natural inquisitiveness of her ilk, my wife appeared at the threshold, arms akimbo, a body-language of invigilation.  ‘What goes on, Shriman Nala, where is my Sunday morning hot, invigorating cup of filter coffee?’

I blinked. ‘Something had gone wrong. It is over an hour. The upper chamber is still full and the bottom one yet to collect a single brown blob.’

She checked the filter and clapped. ‘Superb! The one with the perforation should be on the top and the brew collector at the bottom. Only then there will be percolation. You had reversed their positions. The situation is absurd, farcical, ludicrous, risible, preposterous, silly and stupid.’ 

I half-expected a barb like a ‘filtered oaf’ to spill out. Mercifully it didn’t.

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