Skip to main content

Scented Paradise

I was brought up in a different house, not the one I currently live in. The new house, I know it from only a couple of years ago. The old one, it was what I called home. Even when I dream now I see myself in the old house. It was cozy and it gave a comfort my new house could never give. The Sundays were perfect there. My home used to smell of marigolds when I would go by the room where the idols of Lord Krishna was kept adorned with flowers and a censer containing a burning incense spreading its fragrance in the entire room. Mother would be in the kitchen cooking my favourite dal and the smell of the chicken curry being stirred would make me hungry and eager for lunch. The parlour would have the TV on being watched by Dad sipping a cup of Darjeeling tea just before lunch, a peculiar habit. The smell of the tea would somehow remind me of a beautiful sunrise on a faraway field sans people but birds and cattle. And my room would smell of nothing else but books; there were five bookshelves in my room filled with nothing but books of all sorts – novels by various writers, encyclopedia, magazines on various topics, religious books, et cetera.

But there was this particular smell I never liked – our neighbour smoking like a chimney and the polluted air entering my room through the ventilators and windows. I am an asthma patient and hence my tolerance level to cigarette-smoke is negligible. Being an asthma patient also keeps me from enjoying many things in my life, particularly when it comes to being able to identify various smells. And when the smell is not strong enough it, without a trace of doubt, escapes my senses.

“Noticed that smell?” I have often been asked while the answer invariably has been a “No” with a shrug.

“Nose block,” I would reason.

Because of my frequent nose-blocks I’d sometimes apply a little too much deodorant as I could never tell how much would be too much. Sometimes Mom would tease me that when I use the deodorant it acts as an air freshener and the whole house smells of me.

This reminds me of my first date. May be I had sprayed a lot of deodorant on myself that day or may be just the adequate amount; I can’t tell but this is what happened. That day when I returned back home I received a romantic text from the guy that my fragrance reminded him of all the good things in the world. I, since that day, made it a point to wear that deodorant every day and to my utter surprise he would always compliment me on the smell I have (the credit goes to the deo of course). Too bad they do not make that deo anymore. 

Ever since I switched my deo, I do not get compliments anymore on “my” fragrance.

But then dates and fragrances always have some connection. So when my deo wasn’t the same anymore, the notice came to the cosmetics I use.

 So this is what happened – I love to brag about how little or no cosmetics I use. I would keep on telling that I go outdoors without applying even a dab of talcum powder. So one fine day, when we were sitting together, he asked, “what’s that smell?”

As usual, I had no idea what he was talking about, “what smell?”

“Aah.. lacto calamine. I love it. You put that on for me?” He guessed the smell of the product I used on my face and to my utter dismay, he was right. I was embarrassed and he had a great laugh seeing me giving in to the contradiction.

Another day, he just guessed the shampoo I used on my hair and that too quite easily.

But of all the compliments I ever got, the best one was a text that said – “when your hair is open, it smells of heaven.”

But then if there is a heaven, a paradise, I would like that to smell like my home, our old house, which is dilapidated due to a sudden earthquake, and the remains sold out.


P.S. This post is written as an entry for a contest conducted by Indiblogger and AmbiPur. Click here for more details.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Self-Help Book

He slicks his dark black hair back with his fingers. Outside, it was broad daylight, offering his dark brown eyes a view of the western part of the city. The neighboring tall buildings remind him he is on the 22nd floor of his workplace. He finishes off the remnants of his black coffee, already cold by now. The half-smoked cigarette burns out on the ashtray. He pulls the ropes of his French window and his cabin is no longer reminded of the world outside.
 He turns his swivel chair with the support of his desk to face a laptop in front of him that wastes no time in taking him to another world altogether. The white striped shirt he is wearing with his dark grey tie match the colors on the back of his laptop that flaunt the initials “S. R.”.
* An unexpected knock on her door wakes Sheena up from her siesta. She reaches for the yellow dupatta lying carelessly on the other side of the bed, as if it was equally tired from the previous day’s work. She wears the dupatta around her neck cove…

The Boy in the Train

"You'll always be late for the previous train, and always on time for the next.” 
― Piet Hein

I rejoice whenever I get a window seat on Indian trains whenever it’s a chair car (otherwise Upper Berth would be my spot), more so when it is the last seat near the door, usually marked 4. There’s always more legroom for those who get the last seat. The TTE (Train Ticket Examiner) sits in the same seat on the other column, marked 1, which feels quite safe for a single woman traveller. When I need to leave my seat for a short break, it’s the TT (in short for TTE) who would watch over my luggage. When I need to ask how delayed the train was, it was again the TT, my neighbour for the journey.
However, sitting near the TT comes with other experiences too apart from the sense of security. There would be travellers without a ticket, looking for a vacant seat, who would sit on the TT’s seat itself pretending it’s theirs and later being laughed at, when busted. There would be people coming t…

Atrocity in a Smart-City - Bhubaneswar

Related Post - Atrocity in a Metro City - Hyderabad
I haven’t had a decent cup of tea in a long time – the kind that refreshes you within seconds. Bhubaneswar has no dearth of tea stalls that do not shy in putting enough milk in the cup. However, the hot weather doesn’t allow one to drink as many cups of tea as one would have while living in Guwahati.
After the third cup of the day, I feel nauseas. And when tea isn’t there to sweep you off your worries, everything else starts bothering you.
When I first landed in the city last year in September I was impressed by how the cabs arrive just minutes after you’ve booked one, how the roads are free of potholes in the major parts of the city, how the highway helps me travel anywhere in twenty minutes even when I live a little outside of the main city.
Perceptions do not take long to change and I am now often reminded of the quote in Sanskrit that says दूरस्थाःपर्वताःरम्याः – the hills look lovely but only from a distance.For when you see t…