As twilight approaches, signaling a new dawn a couple of hours away, a new day filled with new dreams, new life and new hopes, new things to be achieved and newer relationships to be nurtured, I canâ€™t help but feel an ache in my heart. Some of you know that my big day is approaching, when I would embark on my journey with my soul-mate.
I know it is a dream come true for every girl, every parent and her friends to see her living a new life, one of joy and comfort, love and contentment, but how can you overlook the fact that this also means that you have to let go of all the wonderful things associated with your own home, the one where you grew up and spent your childhood, the one where you fell down and broke your limb, the one where your mother lovingly nurtured you back to health ignoring her own health, the one where your daddy always brought home an ice-cream on your smallest achievement, the one where you fought over the tiny bit of sweet with your brother.
The wafting fragrance of the incense stick announced it was sandhya. My brother had lit the lamp and was praying, doubtless, that the girl in class whom he has a crush on would smile at him the next day. Does he know that his sister is praying that he doesn’t miss her much when she no longer lives in the same house? Would the smell of the new home and the agarbathi there be the same? Would I miss something as trivial as a familiar agarbathi fragrance?
Dinner would be served promptly by 9 and its just 8.45 now. The yummy smell of the tomatoes and the coriander leaves frolicking in the sambar filled up my home. Freshly roasted papads, still glistening due to the oil they were fried in, would be gone even before dinner time as daddy and bro had the habit of munching on them while they were still hot. Motherâ€™s admonitions were futile, for such was the inviting fragrance emanating from food cooked by her that we could never resist nor did we ever try to hold back.
The familiar, comforting fragrance of the room freshener lurks in the bedroom which I share with my darling bro. On those nights when Iâ€™d be sleepless, all I had to do was to creep into his bed, sure of the fact that even in sleep he would stretch his hand out to hug and hold me close. Almost always I would drift off into deep dreamless sleep comforted by his hug, encased in the fragrance of love.
For our mother, it is a ritual to plant kisses smelling of her minty toothpaste on our cheeks while we are still sleeping. Though she is careful not to rouse her sleeping children, the mint flavor does it for us and we roll over and try to catch hold of the end of the blanket to cover ourselves and delve back into dreamland.
Sweet are the mornings when daddy would wake me up before sunrise, the hot steaming tea made by him all ready. Accompanied by the strong heady smell of the tea, we sit in the hall, I chattering away while he is busy listening to me and reading his newspaper, making sure that he doesnâ€™t miss out a single word that is printed and ensuring that not a syllable from his daughter goes unheard.
The goodbye hug from the tall, lanky brother of mine leaves me smelling of his after shave about which I often complained to mother that while in office I would smell like a man all thanks to her son. Flashing his teeth, he would hug me again, closer, harder. No matter what perfume I used after that, I would still smell of him, his after shave.
Holding onto these traces of memories and nostalgic moments is all I feel I can do right now. Maybe tomorrowâ€™s fragrances would be richer, but that does not mean I can or I will let go of these olfactory pleasures I have indulged in throughout my life.