Tuesday, November 1, 2011

0 Smells that carry you away

My evening bus journey takes me through a narrow street dotted with small tea shops, cycle repair centers, and all things crowded . Yesterday, one whiff of air and I was transformed to the place where I had bhajjis the last time. Smells, especially one associated with close friends and thus packed with emotions, have a strong way of tugging at the heart.

There are fragrances that make the wheel turn back and for a moment you wish it will stay that way forever. Yesterday it was Mulagai (Chilli) Bhajji at the tea stall combining effortlessly with the pouring rain. And you would imagine relaxing in your huge balcony sipping nice warm masala tea with the bhajji.. hmmmm.. heaven. Or the local vendor who packages the bajji with Podi (a traditional bread) and you share it with a friend near a jetty.

Another strong catalyst for "feel-good" is Coffee. The images are Baristas and CCDs and the special coffee chocolate that my brother brought. Its synonymous with the comfort of my gang, those late night outs with the guitar in barista (none of us knew how to play it though) and the subsequent gliding on Bangalore roads in the crisp chill air.

The smell of "just blessed with rain" mud and grass doesn't spare me either specifically when I look at the rain enveloping a wide grass field. It pulls me to another wonderful life stage when I graduated. Rampant rains that used to pamper nature for most part of the year, the rivers, the beaches, the boats. The time when four of us were drenched with surprise rain but thoroughly enjoyed, and we had nowhere to run because we were in the middle of nowhere. It would be just a strong breeze one second and the next you could see that you are being being approached by a curtain of water.

And that favorite old shirt or sweater that smells just that - favorite. Its warmth is unprecedented by any fancy new wear. You don't want to give it away. Its almost like your identity - they seem to define you and your memories.

What are your cherished fragrances? You don't need a time machine to remember. The humble nose does the job in an excellent manner.


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