Comfortable Smells

You know, there are smells that are comfortable. Smells that feel like home. I know the smell that permeates in each and every one of my aunt’s homes. My friends’ homes. And if you really observed, that smell/scent is particularly strong in the kitchen. I don’t know how many of you are already familiar with the comfortable smell of your home or favourite book or sweater, but I, for one, am very aware of these different smells.

But my home doesn’t have a particular smell. I don’t know why that is. I think it is to do the fact that my home is very open. It has way too many windows and doors, it doesn’t pack the smell in. I have forgotten if my previous home smelt like anything in particular.

There is the fresh soap smell that hangs lightly on my bathrobe that makes me feel fresh and content. There is the smell of old parchment and books that I love. I remember very vividly that I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in my parents’s bedroom in Malakpet. The book was newly published and it had a strong smell of paper and gum, that with the smell of summer heat (don’t ask me what that smell is like, but, if you asked me to attempt to describe it vaguely, then it is smell of dry heat of sultry afternoons).

Summer evenings, however (unlike winter evenings), make me feel very nostalgic, like right now. The absence of breeze, sounds/noise suddenly amplified because of the absence of it, the whizzing of the fan, whistles of cookers, children playing, ah summer evenings! It makes me think of my childhood, a time when even the hordes of mosquitoes did not deter us from playing i-spies, (local name given to hide and seek).

I would like to request my readers to become aware of these smells, if you aren’t already aware of them. I know the scents of my favourite people and places, and not one scent is alike. They are unique, like the people and places. There is a secret joy in knowing how they smell, I don’t know why that is, it might be the light flowery scent of your mother, or the crisp scent of your dad, the sweaty scent of your brother/sister, or the smell of old pages, the dried scent of wilted roses pressed between the pages of your books, the sandalwood smell of your clothes, thanks to your mother who hid those scented sandalwood powder sachets in your wardrobe, or the smell of milk, and powder that hangs on babies.


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