It is strange and intriguing how an image or a specific place or taste or fragrance can transport us back in time. It is as if we have associated one of our sense organ with a particular episode in our life and have allotted a storage place inside our mind. And when our sense organ is tickled on that particular mind slot for some reason, it revives old memories bringing us an immense sense of pleasure. One sense organ that often comes into the show brightening up our day is the organ of smell. I often get carried away freezing the present time to live in the past playing back and forth some memorable pieces of my life when I come in contact with certain smells be it at home or outside home. The immense sense of pleasure that I feel cannot be explained but only can be experienced by the concerned individuals. Here, it is Me. And it is worded as Nostalgic !
A wonderful memory of “Home Sweet Home” haunts my kitchen every now and then. As I sauté the cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds for making my lunch, I tend to get absorbed into the combined odor that these spices produce tickling my mind activating some sweet memories that is associated with this smell. The smell of home made food by Mom, nostalgic feeling of my childhood days guessing the lunch, waiting for food and wanting for more. Those were the carefree days where my mind only knew about foods, books, play and sleep. This smell associates me with family and relatives with hours of fun, laughter and games. And keep in mind, Sunday smell was my favorite on those times because it was a holiday :)
The smell of seasonal and exotic fruits especially Jack fruit has its own intertwined memory stored inside me. One Jack fruit being pulled apart by two people sitting on either side of the fruit with all their strength is the fun part of finding who is the strongest in the house. About two family members will be holding each end of the slightly cut Jack fruit to pull the pieces apart. Then, each member of the house is given work; some will pick the pulp one by one using knives and oiled hands and the rest will scarp the extras that surrounds the yellow juicy pulp. Then, we remove the seeds out, clean the juicy pulp with water and then we go on to eat our shares with lots of fun. The seeds that is removed is dried under the sun for a week and then is used with food. As I am typing now, I could feel my taste buds drooling over the thoughts of Jack fruits and the nostalgic events surrounding it.
Petrichor! Does this name ring a bell in your mind? I am sure that many out there would associate this smell with pleasant sensation and warmth. Yes! I am talking about the moist fragrance that emanates when the dry refined sand comes into contact with water droplets falling on them in form of rain. Should I say the multitude of nostalgic memories that these smell brings in? It was the first love, the joy of innocence, the days when we tugged close together as a family chatting in the dark powerless night under a single lighted candle with opened doors for fresh air and stories narrated by the passers-by. With the incoming rain, the power goes off in our home and around the streets but it paved way to engaging stories, hours of fun, togetherness and meeting new peoples. Otherwise, I too hate power cut-off. Nostalic it is! Pertrichor - First rain - Candle light
The first few months of being a Mother made me embrace few smells like baby soap, baby powder and Mont St Michel parfum "Eau de Cologne" used for the baby's skin. Whenever I come across these smell, it captivates my mind to those wonderful phase of motherhood wherein everyday I was digesting the fact that I am a mother to this cute little baby smiling at me. It might sound cliché, they say that only when a daughter becomes a mother she becomes much closer to her mom than she was before. And having experienced and tasted motherhood, I fully acknowledge this fact and the smell that entwines these wonderful bonds.
I don't know how many of you would agree, but I seem to have some fondness for the petrol smell. And this smell carries me decades back where my dad's grey Bajaj scooter would leak petrol producing a deep distinctive smell and discharging liquid with spiraling rainbow colors. I who smell Petrol will run with the news to my dad. My dad will then rush out and turn some knob below his vehicle just to stop the leaking petrol and then he pats my back telling me that I saved him some petrol. Soon after he goes inside, I will play with the colors using little branches from the plant until my grandma yells and runs after me. This Bajaj scooter is so precious once since it always had me on its back going for rounds at the night time with my dad. The cold dark night , the speed of the vehicle on the lonely road and the fresh unpolluted breeze are some other memories that are associated with this smell.
This flower Jasmine is special to every girls and women. For me, it was much more special because this plant was a part of my home. It was the only plant that grew over the semi-circle grill on top of our entrance gate giving out refreshing smell as we enter in and out of our home. I along with my siblings and cousin would climb the gate picking the Jasmine buds for our grandma every week thus helping her to make some Jasmine garland. She will take the biggest piece for adorning the God and the small pieces of jasmine flower will be hanging on our tiny heads jiggling with joy as we play.
In Tamil, Vibhuti means Thiruneeru [திருநீறு] which is a sacred grey ash used in all Hindu Pujas. It always accompanies with another sacred ash called Kumkum, red in colour to be applied on our forehead. Keeping the history of these sacred ashes apart, let me just tell the reasons of my association with this smell. Honestly I can't tie up any particular reasons for this Vibhuti smell, but every time I come across this smell, it feels so nostalgic and nice. It might be because of the festivals wherein the Puja becomes a part of it as well as temples. This smell is highly lifting and nostalgic.
Last but not the least, being an ardent book lover especially grabbing one or two from my Dad's library I love the smell of old vintage books. The smell arising from the foxed Magazines and Novels always transports me to the spider webs found on the last book rack, haunting stories of Famous Five and Hardy Boys, silent nights wherein I submerge myself into the character of the books and the satisfied feeling of reading a good book. I always have this thought whenever I come across some tanned books in my home self . It was like the old has turned into a gold.