The Perfect Time to …..

The Perfect Time to …..

I read with great interest the following news report,a few days ago.

11 am is perfect time for coffee break”

Press Trust Of India, London, March 11, 2010 (HT)

If you are among those who desperately need a midmorning coffee break, then go for it at 11 a.m., as scientists claim a formula they have devised proves that ‘elevenses’ is the best time to drink your brew.

The Oxford University research also shows that a tasty Americano is not the only requirement — lights, music, aroma and good company need to be added to the mix.

The experts developed the formula (M = 0.5 x F + (0.5 x E + 0.3 x P + 0.15 x C + 0.05 x T) by combining various factors such as great flavour (F) with the perfect environment (E), the container it comes in (P), who you drink coffee with (C) and the time of day you enjoy your coffee break (T) to create the most enjoyable coffee moment (M).

After applying this formula, the scientists found11 amis the best time to have a coffee bream, in a well-lit room with friends and nice music in the background, the Daily Mail reported.

Prof Charles Spence, from the Department of Experimental Psychology atOxfordUniversity, who led the research, said: “The formula describes how to create the perfect coffee moment at home or at work. We have known for some time that our taste buds are a vital part of the taste experience. “However, we can now pinpoint the exact sensory conditions required to enjoy coffee, or any other food and drink.”

This set me thinking…….

Is there a a perfect time for writing a poem…? Is there a perfect formula for a perfect poem…?

I feel, there are some factors in common with the coffee formula discussed above.

1. F- the Flavour of the poem one is trying to write, is important. Is it a sad poem? A happy poem? A funny poem? A serious poem ? How is the writer/poet exactly himself/herself feeling at that point of time, is also important. What is inside you, comes out in the form of poetry, I believe. Very often, one’s own real-life experiences dictate the tone and flavour of the poem under consideration. Sometimes, we hear about someone else’s problems and we sympathise with him/her and our thoughts take a concrete shape and out comes a poem.

2.E-the Environment under which he/she is working, has a great role to play in the ultimate end result-the poem. I am attending a “Hasya Kavi Sammelan” and I hear a quip or a joke that reminds me of a similar situation I faced sometime ago and out comes my funny poem. A lover boy has just broken up with his last girlfriend and if he is the sort of guy who loves putting his emotions on paper, out will plop a sad piece of gut-wrenching poem. You are sitting in a bar and having your daily dose with your group of friends and some one recites a lovely sher. You are a poetic soul and being touched with the central idea of the sher, outcome will be a serious piece of poem. You are in your bed-room with you know who, and she is cooing sweet nothings into your ears. You smile ….and put your bedroom musings on paper the next morning-a love poem !   

3. P- the Container in the coffee episode needs a slight modification here. Here P should stand for the Plight of the poet’s heart/mind/body/mood etc. at that point of time. If you have lost a heavy amount in the stock market, your feeling of having lost everything will be reflected in your poem, provided of course, you are in a state of mind to pen your thoughts. If your wife has gone with the kids to her maika for a month’s vacation, you feel like a free bird and express your feelings in a chirpy little poem. The Editor of a local magazine, has returned your last poem with a regret letter-and you want to call him names and vent your ire on the entire breed of editors-out comes a poem full of anger at how the world functions and how talent is not given due credit etc. You are having a cold bath in your bathroom and recall a funny song from a Hindi movie- “Thandey thandey paani sey nahaana chahiey,gaana aayey yaa naa aaye gaana chahiey…” Your heart soars with naughty thought and as soon as you are out of your bathroom, you rush to your desk to pen your musings…a naughty little love song about a monsoon shower with your beloved-you know who!  

4.C-stands for your Companion, with whom you are sitting at a point of time. Your secretary in your office for example. She is lovely, nicely dressed in trendy clothes and takes your dictation without any complaints. Involuntarily, and quite naturally, you start comparing her with you know who-her dowdy looks, her out of fashion clothes, her no-nonsense approach to your requests, she dictates, you accept all her commands unconditionally….Well you can imagine what sort of poem you will come out with…! Your mother-in-law has come visiting your home and she is having a cup of tea with you-her son-in-law while discussing some secret agenda she has prepared in connivance with you know who. You will be secretly saying: “Atithi Tum Kab Jaogey ?” (Thats the title of a recent Hindi movie..).When she has gone you will come out of your reverie and compose that poem oozing oodles and oodles of vitriol against the entire clan of m-in-laws. Won’t you ?

5.T – is for the Time of the day. Yes it is quite similar to the coffee episode. You have just got up fresh from sleep on a Sunday morning and over your morning cuppa you read the day’s headlines. India beats Pakistan in a hockey match. Your day begins on a happy note and you write a winner too. Sachin makes another record, you read. You salute the young master’s spirits and out comes a poem with an equally stunning words full of promise and looking forward to a rosy future. You have just returned home after a hard day at office. Your, you know who, has a long list of complaints-our son has failed in English in his final exams, the maid servant has eloped with a watchman from the locality, fridge has conked out, but the mechanic has not yet come because you did not have time to lodge a complaint etc. You curse the school teachers, the agency that provided you the services of a maid servant, the poor quality of after sales service from the dealer from whom you had recently purchased the fridge, and your venom against the world at large, comes out in the form of a long narrative about the travails and trifles of a married man and the hassles he has to go through to maintain office and home life balance. Sounds familiar terrain, no ? Yes you can read the unwritten poem aloud, I feel.   

6.M-is for the most enjoyable Moment-the moment when you have composed a poem whose quality or content will be governed by the afore-mentioned 5 factors. 

I know there are many learned members on this forum, so I leave the final derivation part of the equation to them: ie:

M= a x F + b x E + c x P + d x C + e x T 

Of course, each one of us will have his/her own variable like in the perfect coffee hour equation. 

By the way, there could be other factors than those which I have discussed above, but I have used the coffee equation model and so have restricted them to five only. 

So let me have your comments please. Incidentally, this piece has been written late at night when all have gone to bed and I am at last in peace with my self for having achieved my purpose in penning this stuff. Hope it is up to your taste.  


  11 O’clock          Coffee
              A Poem
This entry was posted in Comments to print media, Humour, Social Commentry. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Perfect Time to …..

  1. I can’t say I agree 100% regarding certain thoughts, but you sure got an interesting writing style. Anyway, I enjoy the quality you add to the blogosphere and that this isn’t just another abandoned, made-for-adsense site! Take care…

  2. Shernaz Wadia says:

    Jitoo, This is C L A S S I C! like Nescafe’s instant coffee. You have made a smooth, interesting and amusing transition from coffee to poetry – two of my favorite things. Thanks for the enjoyable treat.

  3. Who wants papers when they have such a good site to read. I was really asking myself on this topic so I went to Bing, typed my question and voila, here I arrivied. Such a pleasant surprise to get to your site. Thank you for your time and for this informative post. Thank you sweet search engine for bringing me here.

    So long!

  4. jasneet kaur says:

    An interesting read. I really liked the similarities drawn between the ingredients for perfect coffee and for perfect poetry. Warm regards,

    Jasneet Kaur, New Delhi
    Mar 17, 2010

  5. t s chandra mouli says:

    Nice read, friend.
    wonder whether you slept comfortably after finding the effective formula for writing poetry.Shows creativity peaks when no one speaks.Lovely, may be the feeling when one is lonely.
    14th march 2010

  6. g s p rao says:

    Brocaji, somehow I had missed this one earlier. You are at your witty best here, as usual. I am amazed at your creative ability to see the lighter side in almost all situations. This is a rare ability indeed of which I feel envious! The article on perfect time for coffee which normally would not have commanded much attention by others (may be other than a passing smile), put you on path to this interesting line of comparison between the two – poetry and coffee – that brew. In the process you have also discovered the best time for your thoughts to spill over to paper, may be past midnight or nearer 1 am? Thanks for a good read. Regards,

    G S P Rao, Hyderabad
    Mar 17, 2010

  7. Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

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  9. Wycieczki says:

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  10. You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

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  17. Nilouffer Rana says:

    Dear Jitoo,
    Oh I luuuv the way you write. Though coffee has nothing to do with Poetry, the way you have merged the two soo beautifully, you should be given an award. Kaisa award chahiye — bolo.
    My efforts at poetry writing are very erratic and headless. Like I told you I write wn Im happy, hurt or in love. I could never even think of the way you write and how you come across with such beautiful thoughts.It must give you immense satisfaction to read the comments you get. You are an intelligent writer. I am just a weepy one. No comparison.

    Nilouffer Rana
    4th March 2012

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