Saturday, June 12, 2004

Turkish Coffee

I usually drink coffee black, without sugar. My friends and colleagues usually express their…hmm…( disgust, actually, but I’m looking for a nicer sounding word) wonder at this. They ask me, but don’t you feel like throwing up? It’s in such situations that I describe the making and drinking of Turkish coffee.

Turkish Coffee:

If there is one thing that I can describe as completely Turkish, it is Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee is the most popular drink in Turkey, more popular than Ouzo and even goat urine. The Turks swear by their coffee, or at least its ability to completely knock out the unwary and the uninitiated. The recipe for Turkish coffee is fairly straightforward.

Ingredients ( to make 2 mugs of coffee)

Coffee Beans


A kettle

A stove


1. Roast the coffee beans until they are black and smell faintly of charcoal

2. Grind the coffee to a coarse powder.*#

3. Pour about half a liter of water in the kettle

4. Light the stove

5. Place the kettle (with the water) on the lighted stove

6. Let the water boil

7. After the water boils down to about half a cupful, add the coarse coffee powder to it. Let the water boil for about a minute more

8. Turn off the stove, and pour the coffee into two cups

The Turkish coffee is ready.

“Hey. Turkish coffee doesn’t need a recipe at all. Anybody can make it!!” says Ramesh, a colleauge. I completely agree with him. I’ve just given the recipe above to warn off people with really weak stomachs.

Initiation to Turkish coffee: The initiation to drinking Turkish coffee a very complex procedure. If somebody is helping you try it for the first time, he’s either a Turkish contract killer or somebody else who’s heard about Turkish coffee and very badly wants you dead. If you are trying it out for the first time by yourself, I know a good shrink who has a high success rate treating cases suicidal depression. If this isn’t the first time you’re drinking Turkish coffee, either you’re Turkish or you’re from Canis Major.

If you still want to go ahead, here’s what you do.

1. Let the coffee cool for about a minute

2. Make sure that your wife is not trying to kill you for the insurance( so that u can change the beneficiary of your insurance policy if needed)

3. Give me a call.
4. Arrange for a strong dose of general anesthetic.

5. I’ll come over (with a good looking nurse(female)****) to where ever you and the coffee are, let the nurse give you the anesthetic. Both of us( the nurse and i) will then pump the coffee into you stomach. **##

6. When you come around, I’ll collect ( forcefully, if needed,) 1000 US$ in fees and transportation charges.

7. The nurse and I will then depart the scene, leaving you to your throwing up (refer **##)

Most friends would have thrown up at least half a dozen times by the time I finish narrating this. I treat those who haven’t to a cup of Turkish coffee.

** by now you would have realized it doesn’t matter one bit if you use potable water or goat urine for the coffee

*# Method of preparing coarse coffee powder

1. take a knife or a blade

2. take a coffee bean

3. cut the coffee bean into two, using the knife from step 1.

4. repeat steps 2 & 3 until all the coffee beans have been cut. (repeat step 1 if needed)

5. the coarse coffee powder is ready

**** the good looking female nurse is there for my entertainment when you’re out cold.

**## if you really don’t want to throw up after the anesthetic has worn off, we( the nurse and I) will pump the coffee right back out of your stomach when you’re still out cold, at an extra charge of 300 dollars.

My fingers are working!!

If you're a computer consultant, and your fingers have not yet been cut off, you'll know what I'm talking about. Especially if you're in a 30,000 strong organisation (29,996* of whom are computer consultants like you, and yes,the organisation is striving really hard to achieve complete process dependence**).

Having been in the "field"** for a little under a year now, I have been doing things that on an average, require the mental abilities and IQ of a 3 hour old retarded dung beetle.

So, in a fashion similar to the change of cacti spines into leaves under favourable conditions, my fingers have grown into leaves...oops, sorry, my fingers have become intelligent. They actually have.

The work that I do involves a lot of coding, most of it simple. It also involves creating 16 documents for every line of code that I write. Now all the contents of the each of the 16 documents are the same, expect for the title of the documents, the line of code which might appear in one of them occasionally, and the date and time of the creation of the document, correct to the nanosecond, irrespective of the number of lines of code written.

My work also involves 3 hour long coffee breaks every fifteen minutes.

Anyway, in a display of high speed(it took me 3 hours) adaptation, my brain became a vestigial**** organ. And my fingers have been in control ever since. So much in control that they have absolute say in what goes into the mails that I send my girlfriend, what I'm having for lunch, and of course, what code to write and how to name the documents. My brain is still a vestigial organ.

The only situation where my brain works requires some explanation. We Indians are very firm disbelievers in toilet paper. So we...erm.....use our hands for a few things that the Europeans and Americans don't. We do wash our hands afterward, but due to the general unpleasantness of the task, the fingers relegate all thought to the mind for about 30 seconds.

Anyway, as I was saying, my fingers are in control right now. And they're working like mad, hoping to get paid overtime.

And yes, in less that two months time, I'll stop going to work. Only my fingers'll go. Of course, that means they have to be cut off, but it is all for process-dependence**.

* The 4 employees in my organisation who are not computer consultants: The watchman at our development center, the receptionist, my manager and Dogbert (the management consultant)

** Process dependence or people independence, as it is known in most computer consultancy firms, is the state of existence where it doesn't matter whether you go to office or not, work'll just get done. And it is also the state where one “process” blames another “process” for a delivery schedule slippage.

*** "Field" actually happens to be a 5x5x5 cubicle.

**** My brain, when it becomes a vestigial organ, doesn't actually shrink or anything, but just becomes absolutely useless