Dew drops on the leaves shining like diamonds,
Reflecting the first rays of the Sun,
Smell of fresh South Indian filter coffee
MS Subbalakshmi’s Venkateshwara Suprabhatam
Can a morning that starts like this be anything but a joy? Many a Telugu movie, start with that scene where the swirls of the coffee is shown with ‘kausalya supraja rama’ playing in the back ground. We do not know who is being awakened, the Supreme Lord Narayana or the ‘aham’ – the coffee connoisseur.
Having said that this is not to trivialize the divinity in the voice of MS waking up Lord Venkateshwara or in the magic of the swirling aromas of filter coffee to create the right atmosphere. The combination creates the right setting which takes us to the door step of heaven, worldly or of the other world. The mesmerizing voice melts the soul even when the entire meaning is not known. Sharp aromas and the scalding hot liquid – slightly sweet and bitter and the same time, awakens the entire being. Soul stirring and soul awakening simultaneously.
The best coffee we had was in Sringeri, close to Chikmagaluru where it was supposed to have been introduced first. The recorded appearance was credited to Babu Budan, a sufi saint who planted seven beans on a hill that is now named after him. Having freshly brewed coffee, in a coffee estate, on the banks of river Bhadra was an amazing experience. The rolling coffee estates of Chikmagluru produces one of the best coffees in South India.
Suprabhatam in MS amma’s voice feels as if God will just wake up and come when she sings. My personal favorites are her rendering Bhaja Govindam and Sreemannarayana. Tears of bliss come streaming down making one feel lighter than a bird singing the praise of the almighty.
I am waiting eagerly for the clock to strike 6am to relieve this experience all over again.