Monday, 26 August 2013

Smells from the Past

On Sundays fine, as we all kids played, scents floated in, that oft drew drools,
Good old chicken curry, or biriyani ruled;
So we peeped into kitchens,
We wagged our tongues,
We asked each other, whoever was having a gala lunch?
And all Bengali households in neighborhood,  prepared for an elaborate afternoon brunch!

Old grandma had this oily mane, she prided herself on its sheen,
'Prim & propah' , she was with herself, she said coconut oil kept her head clean,
So she had her trademark smell,
Which ultimately did become pale,
Once she left for greater pastures, in some heavenly abode to dwell!

lip-smacking 'green' affair with
chilli flakes & salt
Scorching summers had their own virtues that no other season could bring,
Our adjoining mango tree was huge, the scent of its fruits soothed the being ;
And post a squall,
We ran to loot,
As on the ground,loads used to fall! 
Oh the joys of feasting on them, quite certainly did enthral!

The Loot

As sessions changed and in school we progressed, 
Time for new books, time for new school dress,
The new lot arrived, the first thing to do;
Was to remove the packs, & put to nose;
The scent of books,
From their inner nooks,
Was inhaled with a lot of pride!

The queer kid in me had time, to wait for the daily mopping of floors,
I sat intently at my study table as the maid came knocking on the door;
I knew not why,
I loved to feel,
I hereby reveal my addiction to this entirely cheesy smell,
I adored the pungently sweet odour of Phenyle, used to mop the floors !!

And my uncle was a Yankee dude, who loved to live life King size;
He had this huge haul of exotic perfumes, a rather costly enterprise;
His visits were special,
For their 'odourific' value,
He kept us intrigued,
With his prolific taste ,
Never did he dress up in haste;
'Coz h
e never repeated a single perfume in a further visit to our residence!

Our home was bang opposite a petrol pump, a rather sordid fact;
We copped the traffic fumes, we nosed the smoke,we might have done our lungs real bad,
When the tankers came,
To refill the hub,
We shut the windows,
It was too tough,
To sit and breathe in the combined rampage of petrol & diesel smells!

We had daily flings with fried street food, our souls craved for the stuff ,
The fast food joint down the lane, made us junk food buffs,
We dont lie,
And very hard we did try,

To keep off it!

Every evening as the seller opened his shop,
We gave in to our cravings, when he made rolls & chops,
Their divine odours were couriered to our homes,
And kachoris, samosas, kebabs , were wiped off bowl after bowl!

Rolls, whose aroma got the better of us

Incense sticks were integral to the dusk affairs of our household,
Small black stuff, called 'agarbatti', had powers to fill a complete floor,
Rose or sandal,
All prevailed,
As Mom lighted some, the ambience was transported to divine shores!

'Dhoop-dhuno' : this smoke is an
integral part of puja
As monsoon made way for autumn, in the air excitement loomed,
we were tipped off of its arrival,by the morning aroma of Shiuli in full bloom!
Maa Durga was a saviour,
All of us had our prayers,
Her face through the "dhoop-dhuno" had just that subtle charm;
We never could quite understand, how the smell of this smoke could calm!

The days passed by I became a doc, and had a role to play,
In midst of human sufferings, I had to show the way;
I smelt blood,
I hated blood,
I ran away from the bloody Ward,
But I dealt with revulsion with an iron fist ,
I realised I must make myself stand the salty smell of blood & gore,
If I had to make my crying patients go back to laughter as before! 

Written as part of the 'Smelly to Smiley!' contest by Ambi Pur India . You can connect with them here on their Facebook  page.

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