Sunday, August 25, 2013

Smelly to Smiley: Memories Reloaded !!!


If one carve out pieces of memories from the backyard of our mind and arrange them in a cardboard, we invariably will end up in reviving some beautiful and interesting tales. And especially when it is about your home . A place where we have grown up – bundle of childhood memories from being a kids to our adolescence. Somewhere we tend to outgrow these memories as soon as we step out of our house to an external world – in different cities, places, environment for our studies, careers but somehow they are deeply embedded in our subconscious minds and heart. And it takes just one trigger to refresh all of them – and probably smell is one of those catalysts that plays an activate role to redeem those memories.

In our houses we have what we called this small room or study room – in mine too we had such a place but along with books it was an abode for God too. In India, deities holds utmost social status and hence we are always found overboard when it comes to pleasing them. And where we have deities, it is unlikely incense sticks won’t be found. The smell of incense stick in fact is a signal that God lives somewhere nearby. Over the years that strong smell of amber has kind of stayed in that room. So till today whenever I enter the room, it hits my senses and takes me often to a nostalgic trip – my granny used to offer those amber- scented sticks to Gods as a mark of her devotion. She is no more but her aura is still there in that room though that smell - Her affectionate smile and her silent beckoning at me to join her in offering prayers to God. And my secret temptation for the “Prasad” – delicious Ladoo offered to God, made me listen to her each time.

Today we have different brands of personal care available in the market – be it Body Shop or Lush or Forest Essentials. These brands have conveniently found way to my home back in Kolkata also. However till date when I am at home and enter the wash room for a bath, the first thing that binds me is a strong smell of Sandal – The Mysore sandalwood soap still lies in a corner as it has been for last 20 years. That smell has a strange charm that can hypnotize you. It used to do that to me as a child as I used to use that every day and spent long hours bathing with that soap until Maa had to literally pull me out. Despite all the luxury brands, that Mysore Sandal wood soap still manages to rekindle my memories and allows me to get lost in the sweet memories of growing years. The post effect of that fragrance was awesome.

As a blogger, my relationship status with Books has been “Committed” for a long time. Probably it is hereditary as my father also shared a similar status. The Book Cupboard was a testimonial to that - his treasured collections, consisting of Tagore, Satyajit Ray and Sharadchandra found place there. Ask a bong and they will tell you, the perceived values of those books are nothing short of gold. Luckily my fairy tale stories also found place there. So over the years the books has been lying there and it now literally a treasure hunt to find out a particular book. So whenever the cupboard is opened, that famous old book smell grips us and opens up Pandora’s Box. I have read somewhere that Smell is chemistry and that Old Book Smell is combination of Grass with tang of acids and hint of vanilla. Dont know about the same but definitely very powerful. 

Powerful enough to take you back to pleasant childhood - Dad reading me stories on Sunday after-noon. Specially my Grimm Brother Collection of Fairy Tales – Hansel and Gretel or Snow White – and to add to that strong smell that came out of its hardcover. It also allows me to transcend into memories of excitement on getting new school books every year and how much I loved the smell of it. And promised to myself I would take studies diligently this year. It’s another story how with gradual fading away of the fresh smell, my interest too evaporated from studies.

Food is one of the core members of Indian household. From spicy to sweet, Indian Kitchen is a wonderful blend of different smells And my kitchen household was no different. I was one of the few privileged kids who have had the guilty pleasure of eating Donuts long before Mad about Donuts made way to our hearts. Of course from my Nanny’s kitchen and finally to my Mom’s kitchen…..that sweet smell of it when it was made…probably that of mixture of flour and yeast.....always rejuvenated my spirits. 
When I am there at my home, my Mom makes it and it brings back my fond memories how impatient I used to be to eat and I used to go from behind and give a surprise hug to her, and pleads her to give me one. I struggled to get hold of her because of my height then. And another delicious offering from my mother’s kitchen – was orange flavored cake. Peeled Orange cover was used for fragrance. That orange flavor used to seduce my senses so much so that once I burnt my finger touching a hot oven in an attempt to see if cake was made or not.

Such are memories – Mostly sweet and sometimes bitter. And Fragrances has always been part of our nostalgic trip adding a zing to them and we hope that Ambipur set of offering, being a part of our household will help us to create new memories in the coming years

This blog is submitted as part of Indi blogger Ambipur Contest. Pl visit http://www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia to know about the details of their products. Spread happiness in your lives through sweet fragrances of AmbiPurIndia. The images used are taken from Google.Com