The fragrances from the past

The eyes need not always assist you in distinguishing between black and white. The ears need not tell you that those waves striking your ear drums are not that of music but of noise. Sweetness or bitterness does not matter- as long as your hunger sets satisfied. A bite from the mosquito need not be intimated to your brain - all that you lose in the absence of the sense of touch is a few drops of blood. But if the nose refuses to smell - wouldn't it be a catastrophe?

Right from the moment you wake up in the morning inhaling the scent of the flowers outside the window hoping for a good day to the moment you sleep at night after lighting a fragrance spreading candle, every seconds smells, analyses and expresses; be it good or bad. You may refuse to inhale the smells, but the next moment your demise makes sure that you do not get another opportunity to refuse. What is it so special about smell - be it those good fragrances or the ones that spontaneously bring your hand over your nose to guard it.

The fragrance of a flower awakens the soft corner in your heart and bonds you with nature. The stinking smell of the garbage on the road side sets you running for your life making you a champion of running. The aroma of the tea or coffee drives the laziness out of you and sets you working with enthusiasm. The tasty smell from sweets and chocolates tackles your taste buds and turns you into a kid rolling on the floor crying for them. From a nature lover to a careless kid, smell brings out every part of you and so it is indeed special.

Now it’s time to sit back on a chair in a quiet room that resonates silence and recollect all those things I smelt since my childhood - form the good to the bad and the worst.

As a baby

It is perhaps the only part of one’s life that one cannot recollect. From a baby that struggles to even sit straight without support to the one that runs all around the house with the mother running behind, this phase of human life has stories abundant to be made into an interesting story. But incidents from this phase of life fail to get recorded in the human brain. The only source of information that can be used to recreate the past are the parents.

Contrary to many children, my parents say that I was a very quiet child who hardly cried, but that doesn't mean that I used to stay fixed to the place where I was aces do sit. Running all over the house and smelling everything that came in my way; hitting those things that emitted not so pleasant smells and then bursting into tears after getting my tender hands hurt was my favourite pastime.

There were some healthy foods like curd rice from which I used to run away. In an attempt to make me eat at least one spoon of those, my mother used to mould it to resemble a cake and add colours. But the smell of the food in the disguise of a cake was enough to make me smile at her innocence and refuse it a kind way.

If by any chance, the sprays and perfumes got into my hand, the house would turn into a cocktail of fragrances and my mother would come running to me to chide me and clear the mess.

The smell of diesel approaching our house would tell me that my father is going to arrive. In a few minutes, the smell of chocolates and cakes would clean the smell of diesel. I used to run around the house and everything in my way would get covered in melting chocolate and the house would turn into delightful place.

And then, there was the smell of Diwali - the smell of burning crackers which smelt horrible was most welcome, given the colours and sparks it brings with it.

As a school going kid

A few years forward and I was in a school ready to indulge in more smells - both good and bad. The morning prayers were the best time to indulge my nose in smelling things, when you are not supposed to make a stir and stand straight. Every day, fresh flowers from the school’s garden used to be placed before the photos of freedom fighters; the fragrance of these flowers was the only thing that could male one look forward to be a part of the prayers, apart from the smell of the moist ground, if it rained the previous day.

I always preferred sitting near the window outside which the lunch boxes of the students were supposed to be placed so that we do not get a chance to gulp down some food when we were supposed to listen to the class. The teacher used to go on blabber something and I used to inhale the smells coming from the tiffin boxes guessing the contents inside it. And most of the time, my guess would be correct confirmed by the survey I used to undertake everyday during lunch roaming around the class and peeping into the lunch boxes of other children.

The day before parent teachers meet was another thing that I used it look forward for. We used to dip the chalks in water and covert the blackboard into masterpiece. The smell from a moist chalk is one that cannot be expressed in words - on one hand it feels moist and on the other hand, hot.

Finally running under the sun with bats and balls was one thing I hated the most - the smell of sweat used to frighten me. My mother used to drag me to the playground forcing me to play and I used to run to a nearby tree and take a nap under it inhaling the scent from the green grass below which served as my bed.

Few more years later

Our family moved to a city after the completion of my schooling and then took place a big change in the smells. The air in the city smelt drastically different from that in the village. There was nothing worth smelling - no more mud walls, gardens and green grass. Or the actual reason may be that I become so much occupied chasing my goals - that I had no time to appreciate the little things of life and preserve  memories of them in the form of fragrances.

And now

I’m sitting on a chair and moving my hand with a pen held feebly over an old piece of paper, turned brown, recollecting all those fragrances of my life with the oil lamp filling the room with memories from the past..

This is an entry for the contest 'Smelly to Smiley' on IndiBlogger sponsored by AmbiPur. Visit AmbiPurIndia facebook page here


Vijay Prabhu

Nice article with beautiful sketches, voucher to pakka hai :) best of luck


That baby doodle is just sooo cute!!!
Very good post Ranjith, I saw Sorcerers favorite line too here!!
Best Wishes :)


Loved you doodles ,
Not to offend anyone but your post is so much better than the those who are trending
All the best ,
Thats me :

Ragini Puri

Loved the post and the doodles Ranjith! You drew them on phone or on computer?


@ Arti Yes! That was Sorcerer's line! :D
@ Vijay @ Disha Thank you!
@ Solitary Reaper I drew them using 'Adobe Ideas' iPad app. :)

Zainab Ummer Farook

This was extremely fun to read! The sketches added life to the thread of memories. Are they hand-drawn and scanned? Your drawing style looks like a hybrid of Quentin Blake (illustrator of Roald Dahl books) and the artists of Tinkle.

All the best for the contest!

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