Baskar Seshadri

Almost fifty years ago when I was a lad my father used to make me work on a fascinating equipment which I loved most for reasons unknown at that time. But the fascination for the same is still even today. That simple equipment is the portable coffee powder grinding machine which we had in our house.

My Father with his highest level of technical brilliance used to make something strange and innovative at the drop of the hat. This powder vending machine is normally fitted in a place and we used to rotate the handle to get the best of the powder.

Since I was too young I can apply a little force but my dad in his late forties used to apply such a force to get the powder perfectly ground and I used to get wonderstruck both at the machine and the man. I could never get the way he did it.

He used to get the coffee seeds well roasted in the shop and grind it little every week. For a while he loved chicory but later he dropped the idea and it was plain robusta.

Later he insisted that coffee seeds Plantation A and peaberry be mixed at equal proportion and be roasted to be grounded later in the house, but on the same day.

No fridge those days to preserve it safe in a cool place either.

Coffee is life line since sixties to us like in any other family of Madras.

Today when I chanced upon a bill of early eighties of Leo Coffee time rolled me back to those days of Old Mylapore. And the rate of a half kilogram of robusta was Rs 13.50 / from Leo. Today you can only get just a little chai for that. Much water had flown today under the bridge and I could see the same Leo and The Mada street but not my Father who passed away ten years ago.

A pain no pill can cure.

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