Aah….for a whiff….

Posted in Facebook on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 7:49pm

I think I mentioned this before….my being a sucker for good smells. And its such a bliss to be able to smell things after what seems like eternity (had been suffering from a cold that deadened my olfactory senses for good)… Or maybe it has to do with my watching the movie “Scent Of A Woman” today (will come back to that later)…whatever be it, somehow I find myself thinking about all the smells that I love, that make me nostalgic.

My earliest memory of a smell must have been my Mom’s (that’s what science says) but what I do remember is warm mustard oil being rubbed on my back and up my nostrils (man, that was something….made my eyes water like crazy) as we sat under a guava tree in our backyard…sometimes I feel I can actually smell the sun… And then I remember that typical way Mom’s hands would smell right after she comes out of the kitchen…of ginger and onions and green chillies.. But better still, the way she smelled as she cuddled me in her arms to put me to sleep every afternoon..I remember digging my nose inside her wardrobe and smelling deep whenever she would be away from home for a long time, just so I could feel her close to me.

I seldom forget smells…specially ones which make me feel good. That’s why it kind of surprised my parents when I told them I still remember the exact way the “paneer ke pakode” smelt in a brother’s wedding which we attended when I was all of six years old….just like I can never forget the sweet cocktail of smells wafting in the air in front of the florists’ where we gave orders for flowers for the same wedding. Speaking of which, I do have to mention that nothing beats a “breathful” of “shefali”s in an early autumn morning….not even the sight of the same white and orange flowers scattered on dew covered grass. And when it comes to fresh smells, I guess the one smell that always puts a smile on my face is that of freshly cut grass…reminds me of days when I would come back home from school to see a freshly mowed lawn and trimmed flower beds..

But that was about the long long time ago….over the years I’ve developed a nose for quite different things (the classic favorites intact, nonetheless). Have become addicted to coffee off late, but more to the smell of coffee that lingers in the mouth AFTER one has had coffee. And…well, have become partial to a few perfumes..feminine ones, all of them, with nice blends of roses and flowery scents and some with citrus notes (oh, by the way, its my dream to have at least half a dozen of those ridiculously expensive perfumes which come in nice crystal bottles on my dressing table…dream of having a different one for each mood..). But then again, I also opine that all expensive perfumes in this world cannot beat that one whiff of scent of a freshly bathed baby (one of the million things I love about them balls of flesh)…maybe that’s one reason I have not been able to give up the Johnson and Johnson’s range of baby products!!!

Strange how I always remember the people close to me by the way they smell. I can never forget that one evening when I had had a big fight with the dude, and all it took me was one sniff at his old jeans jacket….and I found myself forgiving him without even him asking me to!! I can still smell my sister around even though she’s thousands of miles away…and wish I could smell like her. But somehow, the one smell I can never ever forget is the way my Aita’s lap smelled, as we spent countless evenings talking about mythology (of all things) with smells from Mamma’s cooking drifting in from the kitchen….even though its been what,nineteen years since then. I wish I could still get just one whiff of that again.

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