Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The fragrance that catches up with my memory

There are some things you have absolutely no hold on. One of them is memories.
It must have been in the late 70's or early 80's. Our summer vacations always had to include a visit to our grandparents who lived in Mysore.The plan was plain simple.
All the daughters would land up with their children (spouses hardly travelled much then), and stayed for an entire month or so. No big demands. Just relax, get fed, have fun and catch up on their gossip.

My grandparents lived in a huge house that had wooden floors and rafters so big that we always imagined secrets being hidden in there. The wooden stairways which had a rope that we had to take support from before emerging out of an opening in the floor of the upper floor. This was fun, it was magic and it was our playarea. Nothing can give me back that kind of joy that we all experienced while we played there.

It was a house filled with stories for the children. Guava trees, overflowing with fruit as if waiting for the kids to visit and climb them to pluck. The bathrooms that had the wooden fireplace to heat the water. The earthy smells of the burning firewood, and the umpteen attempts by us to get it started. Always being shoo'd away by the magnificient figure of my grandfather. The toilets that were placed neatly in the backyard. We kids always dreamt up villains for the night and drove the whole
world crazy if he had to use the loo at night.(And now I have my kids complaining that one of the bedrooms doesn't have an attached bathroom..sigh!!)

But the memory that has lingered upon my senses has to be the one that hits my olfactory senses. There used to be this huge 'Parijatha tree' in the frontyard, close to one of the bedroom windows. Early morning I would wake up to the whispersoft pitter patter of the flowers falling to the ground to form a huge carpet of ornage and white . It really was something that I cannot get out of my mind even now. I still hope to hear that when I see a tree closeby. The fragrance the flowers would give
was so heady, that it came to be my vivid association with my grandparents house. Even now when I see some of those flowers it transports me back to those moments.
Some memories never go away,
some fragrances are meant to linger,
some sounds are always meant be reflected upon.

The fragrance from the 'akash mallige-the indian cork tree' that lines many roads of old bangalore localities takes me back to my walk to school.
The early morning aroma of coffee still reminds me of my parents house, no matter that i've been making the same filter coffe for the last 18 years of my married life.

(My dad a fussy coffee drinker always says I make some really great filter coffee for a person who never ever drinks it) And that's a huge compliment for me.
Some days I wake up thinking i'm in my parents house with the fragrances of the flowers, camphor, and incense sticks being burnt. That has always been my childhood.
And its come along with me, through my dreams and my memories.
Its precious and treasured.

Do you have any such memories?
Would love to know what brings with each person.

PS. This is my post for day-4 for  the Marathon Bloggers



Aparna said...

What a lovely post Prats, brought back memories of my childhood too :).

For me a very significant one is the smell of ghee during the making of the Diwali sweets and savouries, maybe that's why it's still one of my favourite (though much reduced) ingredients ;) !!

Prats said...

Aparna :I sometimes wish that my kids also take forward such memories. Its so intrinsic to our growing up

Sumana said...

Welcome back Prats. That is such a nostalgic post. Going to grand parents place either sides was so relaxing and we would so look forward to catching up with cousins and relatives every oct and april may. Holidaying was so simple those days yet left back profound memories.

Prats said...

Thanks Sumana. It's quite terrifying now actually. Lost and clutching at straws. But ya been fun for now
I agree simple holidays left us with such memories

Uma said...

totally loved this post, Prats!
The vivid description of the house makes me want to see it..
Grandparents make the loveliest childhood memories..:-)

Simran said...

I r'ber getting together at my maternal grandparents house in winters along with all the 1st cousins! And the specials used to be sugarcane and oranges (called kinnu up north). Everybody used to sit in a circle and have a stack of sugarcane stems next to them and sit and finish chomping through all. That was followed by a yummy aaloo paratha with home made white butter. Aah I miss those days! Thanks for stirring those memories, loved reading yours :)

AJ said...

The way you've described the house makes me want to go there and the flowers you've spoken about brig back a lot of fond memories for me too! We call it Harshringar and it's my father's prized possession back home.

Prats said...

Uma : It used to be such a lovely house but now sadly succumbed to development once my grandparents moved here to live with their children

Aaron said...

Its so amazing that someone still cherishes fond memories in such a fast pace digital age. We all gotta keep making an attempt to learn from the past and better our future. Kickass blog

Rhea Mitra Dalal said...

I just blogged about smells and memories for Day 3 on this marathon and am so thrilled to read about your memories alongside.
Those truly were the days..weren't they?

Pallavi Purani said...

I remember the smell of my grandmothers books. :) She had carried them as her prized possession during partition. My dad and his sister gave them to me after she was no more. Even when I touch them, I feel that she is around me...All the time. :)