Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Scents, sights, sounds and memories.....
The inspiration for this post should go to chai anyone? and Enyur who originally brought up the question of what scents remind us of. Opinionated also talks about it. I left a comment at chai's place and it was long enough that I thought, might as well put up a post about it. What do scents, sights and sounds trigger in you? Obviously memories both pleasant and unpleasant. Here are some of mine....

1. smell of rain = bombay and the the green shayadris after or during the monsoons, where I would frequently go hiking to escape the city.

2. Smell of Batata vada (potato fritters?)and/or garlic chutney, of times spent grapping a quick vada pav on the streets on the way home or some days just for the heck of it cos it was good dammit!

3. Onion Bhajias, the same as above but always reminded me of having them on a cool rainy day in Bombay while watching that amazing, crazy city and it’s inhabitants go about their daily lives.

4. Songs from the movie Gaman almost always make me sad, and sometimes reminds me of the sense of alienation I might feel about certain things around me. Read Chai's excellent post on this and my comment (she talks about being a psycho magnet but the issues she talks about are heartfelt and important).

4. Scent of lit or burning charcoal .. of a evening a long time ago on a cold evening in Bombay at home spent with my dad baking papadams on a sigri (coal fired small stove) and going thru a whole lot of them and just generally talking about stuff like a father and son. We have not done a lot of that, he is a quiet person and not always communicative and neither of us are given to a lot fo that, but we hope we still say a lot without saying it in so many words thru our actions.

5. Dimples when a woman smiles. reminds me of my classmate Renu in school, who I thought had the deepest dimples I had ever seen on a girl. This was when I was just 11 or 12 and just waking up to the fact that girls were attractive. I was hopelessly smitten and at that point not quite sure what was happening to me.

6. Sounds of a sewing machine, reminds me of my mom, who ran a small business from home stitching womens clothes to help put me and sis thru school.

7. Sounds of a locomotive, reminds me of a childhood spent growing in a house close to the railway track, watching trains go by (explains my love affair with trains)

8. Sounds of fresh snow crunching below my feet, remind me of a day I went jogging after a snowfall, no one about and how the snow has a way of muffling all the sound around me. I recall it being so peaceful and quiet just the sound of me breathing and the snow crunching below my feet of being able to run better and longer then I ever thought was possible on my bad knee.
Sigh.. this is already too long. I could go on but oh well...

13 comments:

Chai Anyone? said...

seems to be turning into a trend. go enyur. lol. you should have gone on. its fun to read these things.

Enyur said...

Nice!! I've noticed a lot of people said the smell of rain (I guesss almost everyone has an experience with that!!)Interesting!!!

Wild Reeds said...

Did you read Suketu Mehta's 'Maximum City'?

karmic_jay said...

Wilds reeds, No I have not read it but I heard an interview about it on NPR. I will try and get that book.
Thanks for the recommendation.

Mr. J said...

Someone's getting all nostalgic huh.

Silvs said...

awww! sniff sniff!

Intern said...

Well yeah; and this post made me nostalgic. Miss bombay!!!

Ekta said...

Awwwww,
Karmic...ur making emk wanna go back to Bombay NOW!!!!!!!!!
U have no clue how Much i miss the vada pav's and onion bhajia at home...yummmmm!!!
Full sadness happening...
But ur post was sooo bang on-all the points that I could think of!

~River~ said...

k_j,
This was a very evocative post. It was so beautifully redolent of the past. Loved reading it.

karmic_jay said...

Thank you all for your comments.
River, coming from some one like you who is so much more gifted in putting thoughts into words, is encouraging.

opinionatedinjerzee said...

wow!! damn.. i want to eat some chaat and listen to old songs and smell Spring!! hehehe!!

MAKHTUB said...

It was really a good post
And yes how can anyone not have smell of rains on their list~!! It has to be the first one, unless ur not born in MUmbai

I loved the sewing machine one, coz I had the same thing in mind

Cheers

Have a good weekend

White Magpie said...

The fresh fragrance of the earth after the rains..Creates a longing..

And moi nose starts twitching a mile away from the beach. Water and me have some connection methinx.

Wada pav - I didnt realise how mucho I loved the taste till I was stranded for 4 months in Nashville..Taste buds went bonkers on moi return...

Goodie post!!