Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The third and the best

Of the five of them the nose works the fastest. I will tell you why.

Growing up in Kolkata meant that trips to Puri were a regular affair: I was very, very young when I was there for the first time. I was possibly (I have been told so by my parents; and "parents don't lie" is the golden rule in Indian households) very excited at the concept of actually watching a sea.

After we left the hotel, way before we could actually be in front of it, even before we could hear the waves splashing ceaselessly on the shore, I was hit by something I had never experienced before.

The smell of the sea.

It was built of sand and water and salt and earth and shell and magic. It made me come to an abrupt halt and inhale deeply, allowing the aroma to seep into my olfactory system. It build up a desire inside me that I, even at that age, knew I could not discuss with your parents.

It was a fragrance like none other.

It has been three decades.

Since then I have been in a frantic search of re-living the aroma: I have ran across the lengths and breadths of my city; I have tried forests and rivers and mountains and big cities; I have braved the winters, been drenched by the monsoon, and been scorched by the summer in pursuit.

It was nowhere.

It needed the vastness, the infinite depth, an entire horizon to hug and kiss to make things happen. It needed its waves to splash into the shores with relentless tease and then run away, day in and day out.

It was elusive. It was seductive. It was mysterious.

In other words, it was Woman. Not a woman, but Woman: Woman, who creates, destroys, recreates Man; Woman, who makes Man melt with a quick, stolen gaze; Woman, over whom wars have been waged and entire cities put to sword; Woman that has become the ember that has scorched Man to non-existence and has then become the shadow that has soothed him.

Yes, that smell was Woman.

You can bury your nose in it, go deeper, deeper, further inside... in pursuit of that unknown realm of Womanhood unknown to Man. You know it's there, somewhere deep, but you cannot reach there - and the futility of the effort drives you insane.

It is that small.

You won't find it anywhere else.

Unless you immerse yourself in the sweaty bosom of your woman of desire in a lazy Kolkata afternoon for hours with only the mindless, monotonous squeak of the ancient ceiling-fan and the persistent flapping of an a Bengali calendar on the coarse wall interrupting your passion.

The next time I went to Puri it reminded me of home.

***

Gurgaon summers are hotter than their Kolkata counterparts: back home summers drenched you with sweat; here they scorch you with their arid ruthlessness, making you bend into submission: it is a kind of feeling that you desperately want to get away from but cannot.

You can feel the unforgiving noose of the Gurgaon summer strangle you with every passing day. Along with it comes the power-cuts, which, on weekends, leave you with no option but to lie on the bed, too exhausted for any activity.

It is then that you rediscover home: as you lie for what seems like an eternity with your face deep into the mattress you are teleported to those lazy summer vacation afternoons in Kolkata where the power cuts used to cripple you to the same extent as they do you here, right now.

The aroma penetrates your system - the aroma of the sun-baked mattresses. The Sun has already slid towards the west, but on its way it has somehow left the bed rich with chaste memories of the Kolkata summer.

Of all memories of the summer days of my childhood this blazing, pure smell of the mattresses and bed-sheets is probably the most lingering one. You can grow up, go places, toss around restlessly with the inability to go back to your childhood days tormenting you: but this is one thing that will never cease stalking you.

Summers vary across time and space.

The mattresses, once kissed by the Sun, do not.

It's the same Sun, you see.

***

Everyone knows that Kolkata has the prettiest February in the Universe. It's so well-known a fact that I won't spend words explaining.

February in Kolkata is that time of the year when sweaters are at war with common-sense, the latter eventually prevailing. There comes a day in every household when the sweaters get packed and sent away in a whiff of mothballs.

Kolkata does not erupt into blossoms in February: you may catch a glimpse of the first polash here and there, surprising you with a sudden dash of red; the Saraswati Puja, bolstered by the innocent faces of young girls clad in yellow sarees; but ultimately it's about the smell.

You can inhale a Kolkata February.

After a winter punctuated with difficult pre-bath minutes in bathrooms, February is when you can step out of bed the moment you wake up: you open the windows and are greeted with the smell of fresh leaves; you step out of the house for a barefoot walk in the sensuousness of the dew-clad virgin morning grass: you know what dew and grass smell like, right, when kissed by the early morning sunshine?

The Book Fair, with its aroma of new and old books, of dust and smoke, of fried fish and bland coffee, and in recent years, of money, adds a new dimension to the all-too-special month.

But that's the Book Fair. That's not the Kolkata February I'm talking about.

February is about switching on the ceiling fan for the first time in the year and letting the faint smell of soot and fresh sweat spread across the room. It's supposed to be acrid but somehow melts into a pleasant aroma, possibly because it comes as a refreshing break after a month devoid of the fan. You're back to your comfort zone now.

Kolkata is home. But a Kolkata February is homecoming.

***

Then, as the spring gives way to incessant heat, you will find the packed buses filled with a combination of sweat, deodorants, talcum powders, and stale tobacco. The smell will suffocate you, especially since you will realise that there is no breeze anymore.

There are days like this at a stretch.

Then it happens, suddenly, out of nowhere.

You may be in a bus, inside a classroom, or lying peacefully on the bed, contemplating the meaning of life or thinking about your past relationships with a smile on your face.

Then you smell it.

The smell of fresh earth, brewed in the Sun, beginning to simmer as the moisture content builds.

They carry a message of the approaching Nor'Westers. They're coming. They will be here to engulf you and the city in a violent storm followed by a refreshing rain that you have been craving for the last month or so. Soon.

It is April now. Move aside. Make way for nature. She has sent its scout ahead to spread the message. Can you not smell her?

If the smell of the ocean is lust, this is unadulterated love. Of course the two cannot be separated: they come hand in hand. This one, however, comes with a dash of innocence the other has not known in ages. It's not the inviting mystique of Woman: it's the smiling innocence of a girl breaking into that endearing laughter.

You inhale. You smile. You rush to the terrace to embrace the first rain of the season. You sing and yell like there is no end to the world.

She has got the fragrance to lead her. She is on her way.

***

In those dark days of power-cuts in the 1980s and 1990s power cuts and mosquitoes were a frequent menace to Kolkata. Power-cuts meant that you were deprived of the ceiling fan: not only did this let the smell of sweat-soaked talcum powder spread across the room, it also invited smells from outside.

City nights come with their own sounds and smells. The occasional gust of wind from the North-West brought with it the aroma of some unknown flower; in monsoon you could sense the faintest trace of moss; and of course, the terraces and verandahs of old buildings had their own distinctive smells.

But that was only if you stepped outside the room. Why would you?

Power cuts were when the smells that were hitherto warded away by the rampant ceiling fan came into prominence; the mystique of old, wooden furniture, slightly damp; The Father's shirt, lying in the washing-bucket, smelling of tobacco and perfume and sweat and detergent, ready to be washed the next morning; the distant fragrance of a blend of spices from the kitchen; and the lure of the rich odour of shoe polish.

All this were, however, dominated by Tortoise-Brand Mosquito Coil, burning away to glory to save the humans from malaria. Liquidators and mats had not yet shown up, so it was all about mosquito nets; and mosquito nets were not really ideal for reading inside in candlelight.

The coils have always reminded me of armed soldiers with bayonets ready at their disposal: their angry orange eyes gave us the reassuring idea that someone was constantly on the lookout to ward off those tiny demons.

More than the angry eyes, however, it was the smell. The smell was alluring; however hard you tried to concentrate on your book the smell lured you, made you look deep into that orange eye that moved slowly into oblivion as the night moved on.

You could hear the clock tick; you could see the eye look back at you, reminding you that there was someone keeping a vigil; and you could inhale the smoke that was poisonous and soothing at the same time; and dissolve into the deepest of sleep.

***

True-blue Indian families do not use oil for cooking: it's always ghee. Which possibly explains my girth.

Long, long back, when the family members were less busy and had ample time in their hands, they often managed to convert kitchens to heavens. They produced all kinds of divine products, and with my brother still young, they used me as the taster-in-chief.

All the adults in the family had reached a common consensus: it's not worth purchasing ghee from the market. So, after boiling, the milk was allowed to cool every day, and the rich, thick layer of cream at the top was carefully removed and stored away in the refrigerator.

Then, when the ghee seemed to be running out of stock, The Father and The Mother and The Grandfather and The Grandmother - all four of them - took up various roles in the kitchen: the cream was churned and converted to ghee.

Have you ever smelled freshly prepared ghee? It's an aroma so strong that for a few seconds you're left wondering whether this is the same household that smelt only of tea leaves, coconut oil, and tobacco till an hour back.

I was summoned to the kitchen after the ghee was safely tucked away in small jars. My hour has come. The Grandmother scraped out the residue of the ghee - a rich, brown, aromatic powder (we used to call it khnakri) - and handed it to me in a small bowl.

Solid, concentrated ghee in a bowl is certainly the crème la crème of any cuisine. It really doesn't get any better than this. You either know it or you don't.

And if you do, passing by the otherwise humble Gurgaon sweet-shops won't be an easy task for you. I mean it.

***

Durga Puja is a clichéd concept these days: one can drone on about it for hours and still not get bored. The fresh smell of new, expensive sarees, the overly made-up teenagers involved in a frenzied clamour, the ubiquitous chilli sauce, strong perfume, expensive cigarettes, sweat, and the occasional stench of stale alcohol.

You get bored by the monotone and break away from the crowd. The more you distance yourself the less the fragrances become; after a while it doesn't feel like Puja anymore.

Then you meet them: a group of excited teenage boys, possibly out together for a Puja evening without parents for the first time. The shirts are inexpensive, the jeans possibly old, the shoes dusty. Nothing about them is glamorous.

Other than the purity of the smiles, that is.

They do not reciprocate to your cold, glassy look; they walk past you instead. As they do that smell hits you: the smell of new clothes, freshly unpacked from transparent plastic packets, purchased from an inexpensive outlet in Gariahat or Hatibagan.

Possibly their only one for the Puja. Tonight is the night they are wearing it. Hence the enthusiastic, unadulterated joy that manages to outshine the artificial smiles that crowd the big pandals.

This is when you remember The Father and The Mother taking you out on Sunday afternoons; the shopkeeper willingly taking down one shirt after another, all sparkling new; The Father looking bored; my getting bored; The Mother carrying on with a fervent passion, and eventually selecting one, or at most two, from what looked like a million.

They were then tucked inside the Godrej steel cupboard and forgotten till Puja. When they were brought out they smelled of Durga Puja and of joy. I used to wonder why The Father and The Mother looked at me, beaming as I smelled it before eventually putting it on.

I now knew why. I turned around, looked back at the children, and beamed in an all-too-familiar fashion.

***

It's difficult to tell on whether a well-oiled bat smells better or a seasoned cricket ball. Both of them marked the beginning of a cricket season, though: the suffocating, musty mats laid out and fixed to the ground by rusted nails; the ancient, reeking pads brought out of nowhere; and the gloves laid out in the winter Sun to allow the sweaty smell to subside.

You are assigned the responsibility to buy the cricket ball. You go to the shop, and ask for a selection. When they lay them out the first thing you is take a whiff, ignoring the bemused look of the shopkeeper.

Does heaven smell any better?

You pay for the ball and walk back home with it nestled smugly inside your pocket. You feel tempted to play catch once you're back, but a seasoned ball is too sacred for that. You hold it with the utmost respect it deserves, and smell it unabashedly.

You go to bed with the ball next to you that night and a smile on your face. Ten hours from now this ball will get hurled at a batsman; till then it, along with its aroma, is all yours.

***

Coffee.

They preferred tea. All four of them. The Father and The Mother and The Grandfather and The Grandmother. I preferred coffee.

They only had coffee occasionally. So did I, since my staple diet used to be Complan. It was only on special occasions that I was rewarded with a taste of the magical bean.

Coffee had become synonymous to my existence over time. It's not only a fuel, it's the force that keeps my brain functioning till the wee hours of the morning. Coffee does things to my brain that nothing else can. Had I been properly equipped I could even have made love to an espresso or an Americano.

That is not the point, though. It's not even about the divine smell that embraces you the moment you open the glass door of any cafe.

It's about the containers.

Even now, when I open the seal of a jar or slash through a packet containing coffee the first thing I do is smell the fumes and the almost invisible coffee dust that fills the air. Sometimes it's so mild that you have to dig your nose inside to let the aroma reach out to you.

I know it sounds obnoxious, but I cannot help it. It's something I've been doing since I was ten.

***

Mullick Bazaar is the place where AJC Bose Road and Park Street meet. Both are significant arteries joining the crucial organs of the city, and between them they dominate the heart of the city to a great extent. As a result Mullick Bazaar is one of the most important crossings in Kolkata.

It's perpetually crowded with shops and people and various forms of transport, making it one of the most polluted crossings during office-hours. Fifteen minutes of smoke and dust in the crossing is enough to reduce your lifespan by six months.

But.

There were two humble shops located in the South-West corner of the crossing: Rahmania, a shop that has produced the best shammi kababs in the city; and Shiraz, which used the undisputed champion of biriyani till Arsalan came along to transform it into a two-way battle.

When The Father (or anyone else) went to Mullick Bazaar (it is also the area that sells motor parts at retail prices) I always volunteered to accompany him. He never knew. Eating out was virtually a crime in those days - but there was no harm in basking in that smell. Can you think of the combined effect of fresh biriyani and fresh kababs?

The Mother used to prepare biriyani at home; it was good enough to challenge both Shiraz and Arsalan, but she never acknowledged the fact (she took pride in her doi-machh - fish prepared in a base of curd - instead, which nobody liked). The clash was always there, you see.

Biriyani did not end with the meal, though. The Parents were naive enough to assume that I would wash my hands diligently. How little they knew of me.

I used to sprinkle some water on the soap to make it look like an authentic wash; I did an absolute joke of a hand-wash afterwards, and never used the towel. Then, after pulling the sheet over my head, I fell asleep with the lingering smell of homemade biriyani on my greasy palm being the last memory...

***

Indian households almost always smell of spices. They have been doing the same for millennia and used to dominate the global economy before the British came along. Then the British took away the Kohinoor and introduced us to Durex in return.

Spices have always attracted me for some inexplicable reason (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni had rekindled it with her wonderful book some time back). Their variety in looks, aroma, taste, and feel, and the exotic eroticism should be enough to make Spices a subject in school.

It was more of an academic interest on my part, though. Be it fenugreek or fennel, cumin or pepper, cardamom or cinnamon, they are all different from each other, but each contributing in their own way to help reach Indian food the stature it so richly deserves.

None of them, however, allures me from a distance. Unless it is asafoetida.

The Mother used to make (she still does that, but less frequently as age is catching up) an incredible alur dom (dum aloo). It was 'alur dom for the vegetarians', which meant one was not supposed to put onions or garlic in it.

So she used asafoetida: you could smell it from a mile away; and you had to give up whatever you had been doing and cast frequent, longing looks towards the kitchen window till it arrived on the table.

Need I say any more? Nobody makes it the way The Mother does, by the way.

***

Next to our house is a bakery. Not just a random bakery, but a bona-fide one that played radio through the night as the workers prepared bread. Very early in the morning the employees set out on bicycles with metal boxes full of bread attached to them. These would then get distributed to the numerous retailers, big and small.

The Grandfather (whose idea of early morning used to be 3.30 AM) used to buy both sliced bread and loaves as soon as the factory opened, often from inside the factory. I attended morning school those days, which meant that I was around and awake when the bread reached home.

Have you ever opened a pack of fresh, hot (not warm) bread and let the aroma subside slowly inside you? It opens up a whole new world for you: it sort of teleports you to the world of Hansel and Gretel and those Russian Folk Tales where they used to have only loaves of bread for meals.

The richness, the freshness, the softness - they all combined to form an incredible combination that surprisingly lasts for about fifteen minutes after it has been baked. Then it's just another loaf of bread.

It's not addictive magic. It's the closest to mush I have ever got in my life. Soft bread. Soft aroma. Tenderness. Dreams. Warmth. Bliss.

Unlike others I got to know at a very early age what "sold like a hot cake" meant. It couldn't have been much different from "sold like hot bread".

***

The Daughter used to smell the same as any other child, which was essentially a combination of all sorts of Johnson's products. You got used to her smell with changing of diapers, staying of nights to hold the teat of the Morrison's bottle to her mouth, with hugging her to your chest in an effort to make her burp, with holding her limbs tightly to make sure her vaccination got done properly.

She grew in age. I grew as a father.

The Johnson's bottles disappeared one by one and gave way to other brands I was completely clueless about. She learned to use the bathroom, she started having cooked food, and Lactogen gave way to cow milk. She also burped on her own.

Her smell changed.

I hated that.

Then, one day, as she walked out after having her hair shampooed, she cuddled close to me; the television was on; we watched Doraemon.

I could smell her hair. For some inexplicable reason I realised a lump forming somewhere near my throat. I have never smelled anything so innocent, so pure.

It wasn't the shampoo working on The Daughter.

It was probably how the hair of all daughters smell after they are fresh after a shampoo.

Engrossed in Nobita and Shizuka, she probably never noticed her head being kissed softly. She never knew that she had given me a new home that day.

It was then that I realised why Walt Disney was so obsessed about making princesses out of young girls in his movies.

***

This post is an entry to the "Smelly to Smiley!" contest hosted by Ambi Pur India and IndiBlogger.

62 comments:

  1. Very nice! And moving, vivid imagery. Quite enjoyed a "different" avatar from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Oh, the kind of things we do for contests...

      Delete
    2. And oh, the smell of the sea! It smells freedom. It smells love. It smells passion. I am so overwhelmed smelling all my favourites one after the other. But there is one more that you missed.a favourite of mine. The smell of cooked molasses before preparing the narkol nadus :)

      Delete
    3. I love the fact that you share my passion for the ocean (I think I will copyright this phrase).

      Also, I'm not really a dessert person.

      Delete
  2. This was beyond beautiful! The 'February' part is so emotional and nostalgic. I love that part of the year so much. I agree with you in each and every line. I can't tell how happy I am to read this post. God bless you :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anwesha and I dreaded. She kept on asking, "Is your Abhishek Mukherjee writing for the contest?" And we both panicked.

    This post evoked two three things: insecurity, childhood memories, happiness, tears and jealousy. The foremost and the last reasons were perhaps because this post is so good that I realise that I don't even stand a chance.

    When I was discussing my post with Joydeep, the first things he said were: the smell of a steam engine, the smell of wet Book Fair ground after it was drenched by hosepipes to help the dust from rising and the smell of asafoetida. :)

    I haven't read "Mistress of Spices". Can I borrow it from you when you are in Kolkata?

    Lastly, your post reminds me of a very famous Bengali saying: "Ostader maar sesh raate". The last and the best.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. - I really feel that both Anwesha and you have done a better job. This was very, very stretched. Your posts are a lot more compact.
      - Somehow asafoetida is the richest aroma from my childhood. In fact, few other things smell so rich.
      - Of course you can borrow it. Is that even a question?

      Delete
  4. After ages, this post moistened my eyes

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read the last bit a number of times. I kept on reading it.and then smelled my daughter once again to drown in the bliss of innocence. You made my day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it miraculous, what daughters do to parents?

      And thank you for the kind words.

      Delete
    2. Yes, the last part made me long for a child of my own. For a very long time, I wanted a daughter for a child. Later, the preference shifted to a male child...because I want to see a part of Joydeep and a part of Neel grow in him. And yes, I want to smell both their childhoods through the baby.

      Delete
    3. May your wishes come true. May all your wishes come true.

      Delete
    4. Be it a son or a daughter, that feeling of smelling their hair and kissing it softly when they cuddle up to you is heavenly. :)

      Delete
    5. I guess so. Children change everything.

      Delete
  6. Eta sink-in hote iktu time laagbe. tar pore abar comment korbo. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Abhishek, for the last bit about daughters... I *LOVE* you! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Would love to see your comments on my blog more often.

      Delete
  8. As I kept reading, it kept getting better, and better, and before I realised I had a lump in my throat.

    Left me with a bittersweet longing for something… something… I am not sure what… :)

    Beautiful.

    Also realised that I like your writing even if it does not involve Fardeen Khan, AK Hangal or Vampires.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Thank you.

      The bittersweet longing you have is for your past, something we all crave for. That is what nostalgia is all about.

      Delete
  9. This is, to say the least, outstanding. Just outstanding. Again, without exaggeration, it reminded me of Somerset Maugham and the freshness that Nabokov exhibited in his earlier stories. Well whose else is left? Hemingway? Possibly. My favourite post in your blog, and not surprisingly, it does not belong to the "Groucho Marx" genre. And that's why I was praising your "serious writing" more in a personal message, if you still remember.

    A medal! A medal! My kingdom for a medal! [So that I can give that to you]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. These are mind-boggling compliments. I mean, really mind-boggling. Maugham, Hemmingway, and Nabokov.

      However, the point is, I enjoy being a Marx than a Maugham. I'm more at home. :(

      Delete
    2. Sorry to cut in, Abhishek da, but it's Hemingway with a single 'm' and not a double. I am a painfully obstrusive grammar nazi when I see my favourite authors' names misspelled. So I take extra care in writing your name as Abhishek Mukherjee and not Avishek or something which you might loathe. Please do not mind.

      Delete
    3. I completely agree with you and I would have been as aghast had I seen anyone do this.

      My apologies. I hope you would not believe if I said it was a typo, would you? :(

      Delete
    4. Of course I will. I know you are extremely careful with spellings, especially when it comes to names. From one grammar/spelling nazi to another, I understand your feelings and the unintentional mistake. :-)

      Delete
  10. It is a beautifully written and surely moistened my eyes. Well written,poignant,reminiscent. You have excelled yourself. I have two teenagers,the smell that I associate with them is of sweat and school bags when they come and hug me after school.But I love them anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Unlike a lot of others I am not averse to sweat.

      Delete
  11. Whatever it is,my good man,you do not have a nose for sarcasm.
    It takes you a long time to smell the coffee.
    Your poor nose bumbles through life :<|)

    ReplyDelete
  12. If u keep writing posts like these,you'll soon be selected for personal category too.You'll win too,trust me.
    So,give us a post on teacher's day as well.
    And later on Durga puja.
    Okay,dear?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had written one on Teacher's Day last year. I really could not think of anything this year.

      Durga Puja, hmm, let me see. I do not think very highly of the festival these days, with all the consumerism.

      Delete
  13. Tumi ki pagol? Aeto bhalo kikore lilkhle?
    One of ur bests I have read
    it connects and wraps u warmly in the process
    i again felt at home, i rememberd days gone by, I felt comforted, i felt freedom
    About the style, I loved the story, it was my story
    A question - Rains could be innocent and could define love, but i feel rains are mischief too
    It is one of the most personal write-s of u
    Kohinoor & Durex???? tumi e paro
    I loved the submission to womanhood part(you know its the same for girls searching for man-ism) and the Durga Puja part - it actually made me smile and think of Durga Puja, all emotions renewed
    IT FELT LIKE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
    Thank you Abhishekda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      Thank you for the kind words. And I really have no idea what girls think when they search for 'man-ism'.

      Delete

  14. If sea is woman,who is the man?
    Why are you not repulsed by the smell of sweat?
    Living among tea drinkers,what explains this shift from tea to coffee?
    If you are not a dessert person,why passing by Gurgaon sweet-shops isn't an easy task for you?
    You "turned around, looked back at the children, and beamed in an all-too-familiar fashion"-was your smile pure like that of those kids? Why we lose our smile as we grow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You ask very good questions, o anonymous. I wish I could answer them.

      Delete
  15. This was really good. I could actually relate to some of your experiences. Best part -- February.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Isn't Kolkata in February a beautiful place to be in?

      Delete

  16. Durga goes into the sea every year,year after year.She is the ultimate woman who'll quench you-it is her alluring mystique you cant unravel.In vain you search outside-but Durga is neither in the city or its length and breadth.If at all,you meet her in the primal act,momentarily, as the ultimate feminine principle --buried in the universal unconscious of the sea as her final dumping ground of bodies.The sea is durga,and durga is the sea.You are water too,seventy percent at least .One day you'll merge in her like all others.
    But for now, your thirst remains.

    ReplyDelete
  17. oneeeek kichu mone pore gelo.....bhishon bhalo laglo....

    ReplyDelete
  18. What's with the title,'the third and the best'?
    Are you a fish-eater but a vegetarian.
    It was 'alur dom for the vegetarians', which meant one was not supposed to put onions or garlic in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, touch.
      Chakshu, karna, nashika, jihwa, twak.

      And I'm a non-vegetarian.

      Delete
  19. Eh? :D
    Oh.I thought after Diptee and Parama's post,your post-the third-will be the best.
    The nose is not the best-eyes and touch get my vote.
    Eyes have their own lang,and touch is better than nose anyday.Nose figuratively denotes vanity.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Growing up in Kolkata, you probably wouldn't be familiar with one of my favorite smells: the smell of a desert cooler on the first day of its use every summer. sun-dried hay and a thick layer of dust made love to water whirling out of the small motor to beget a smell that reminds you of previous lives.

    Beautiful post. reflects your homesickness movingly. Once you are back I have no doubt you will celebrate even the smell of Sealdah station's back exit after 3 days of solid rain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa, had forgotten that 'aroma' completely. Yes, even that stench seems heavenly now. :(

      You're make me contemplate a Rajasthan trip seriously now.

      Delete
  21. The smell of food is the best because that makes mouth water.
    I like Dominos and always smell the box upon home delivery.
    Maggi is another smell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggi is a taste I've acquired at a mature age.

      I was always a fan of pizza. I think it's the aroma of oregano that makes you drool.

      I am an out-and-out friend chicken fan, though (yes, I'm aware of the calories).

      Delete
  22. Good morning Abhishek,
    Every area of your life is influenced by this great Law that "like attracts like". You attract to yourself that which you are in vibrational harmony with, not that which you long for or even deserve. There is no judgement call involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not get what you said, but it sounded quite imposing.

      Delete
  23. Downloaded woody allen books for freee.
    Very funny read :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. He is one of those that I have been hero-worshipping over the years.

      Delete
    2. Yet you never dedicated him a post!
      His name was woody but he certainly wasn't a blockhead
      :D

      Delete
    3. Indeed not. I possibly haven't even mentioned him anywhere in the entire blog.

      Some day I will write something major on him. I don't want to write something small on him: he's too special for that.

      Delete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank yo for the nice words. Thank you even more for keeping a count.

      Delete

Followers