After sound, the smell
Today has been a day of smells.
And smells the kind I love: FOOD!
It was coming on for a bit, actually. Yesterday, someone said 'biryani' and instantly, I was swamped by that exquisite blend of uniquely Indian smells that make that dish food for the Gods! And me.
After biryani, the brew. Later in the evening, another colleague said something about grabbing a coffee and instantly I could smell the aroma of coffee - grinding (my grandmother used to do it at home), brewing, boiling, bubbling over, frothing! Aaaaaahhhh!
I'm not sure about this, but there is supposed to be a Starbucks study which indicates that 90 odd percentage of coffee drinkers hit the cup for the smell and they can't actually stand the taste!
But that was not all. The assault of Smells had just begun for me.
Last night I could smell coke. Well, i mean Coca Cola- the coldness, the freshness, the fizz. That's a new one, even for me! And then, I could imagine cold coke trickle down my throat - The agony and the ecstacy!
Synaesthesia. That's what it is. When one sensory perception leads to another, the second without any independent external stimulus. Like I smell non-existent coke and feel it trickling down my throat...Prof.V.S.Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Professor of Neurosciences and Psychology at the University of California , San Diego, of course says it much better.
But back to where we began.
Today, the smell business got really serious. I was getting back to office after a rather hard day on the field- speaking to medics, one after the other, about illness and disease can be quite tiresome. But let me not get into that trip now. Saving that post for a rainy day!
Now, where was I? Ah! Smell. I was driving back through Peter's Road and right bang in the middle of Royapettah, I was assailed by the smell of frying food- samosas, maybe pakoras, maybe cutlets, even oily bajjis. These smells began as a mere wisp, wafting past, and then swirled around me, slowly surrounding me, envelopping me - wholly!
The smell carried me until the General Patters Road -Mount Road junction, after which the aroma from Buharis took over! This one brought up visions of some pleasant subzi-gravy and piping hot tandoori rotis, layery parottas.
I guess all this is still within the realms of what any person, mildly sensitive to pleasant smells can feel on an extra sensitive day. You know when I was tempted to think I have ESP- extra sensory perception, when I knew the smell monster had taken me over - wholly?
When I opened a box of idlies, took a deep breath and then forgot to breathe out...