INDIAN FRAGRANCES: A POEM TO REMIND US THAT THIS IS WHAT INDIA REALLY IS AND CAN BE….

As I close my eyes and deeply inhale,

The mind takes a journey on an olfactory trail……….

 

Each recollection a delightful memory,

So, sniff, breathe in and follow me………

 

The refreshing scent of much awaited rain,

Quenching the parched, muddy terrain.

 

Terracotta pots exude an earthy essence,                              

Cow dung cakes have a charming, rustic presence.

 

The fragrance of jasmine, the magic of marigold,

The romance of rose buds waiting to unfold.

 

Strong filter coffee frothing from a tumbler,

Aromatic idli- sambhar, rousing deliciously from slumber.

 

The scent of agarbatti permeates the air,

The goodness of coconut oil perfumes the hair.

 

A whiff of freshly shampooed hair amid sweaty folks on the train,

The waft of talcum powder saves the day, again.

 

The farm freshness of coriander sprinkled with water,

Chillies assaulting the senses with their spicy vigour.

 

Cheerful whiffs of boiled rice emerging from windows,

As the pressure cooker whistles, growls and bellows.

 

The zing of cumin, the sweet excitement of cinnamon,

The oomph of mustard seeds, the overpowering peppercorn.

 

The robust flavour of bay leaves, the punch of asafoetida,

Exploding with melodrama from the humble ‘masala dabba’.

 

Diwali brings ‘utna’, sandalwood and turmeric,

Firecrackers render the air familiarly caustic.

 

The fiery pungency of pickle,

As peppery papads roast and sizzle.

 

The heady scent of mangoes,

As they ripen in hay,

A delightful treat on a lazy summer day.

 

Cold mornings in winter,

Smoky, wood bonfires flicker,

Sweet, milky tea a pleasure to savour,

Ginger for that extra kick and flavour.

 

The comforting smell of old woolens and moth balls,

Musty odours from raincoats, sweaters and shawls.

 

The oily whiff from frying, roadside treats,

The heavenly waft of melting ghee laden sweets.

 

Clean smells of crisp, starched cotton,

Aged, crinkled ‘zari’ silks stuffy and forgotten.

 

The intoxicating scent of ‘raat raani’,

The seductively potent frangipani.

 

A delightful pot pourri of attar and incense,

Burning oil lamps, melting candles,

That evoke brilliance and incandescence.

 

Bottled in my imagination,

Is this wonderful Indian concoction.

 

A bouquet of reminiscences homegrown,

That will beat any designer cologne!