Chennayil sila mazhaithuligal...
This is about the most cliched 'favourite smell' of the world: rain on dry earth.
A recent study conducted in equatorial and tropical nations estimated that 85 per cent swears by the smell of the rain hitting the dry earth. Another 15 per cent have put it on their list of "Top Five Favourite Smells."
Actually not. The study bit has been concocted, entirely by me. But it could be true.
If you live in Chennai, like I do and see more of rain in your dreams than in downpours, then you can believe it is true.
Picture this, if you've never felt it before: The intense sun has heated up the earth so much it's cracking. The dust rising from it and choking you. Small rain drops are falling... you cannot see them, you cannot feel them, they are so insignificant, until they hit the hot mud.
And then, the smell. The characteristic smell of wet rain on dry earth, so freshly unique. The vapours of this pleasantness then curve up your nostrils, filling your senses and triggering the smile factor in the appropriate segment of your brain. Smile! Smell! It is tantalising, like the promise of summer, like the hint of jasmine blooms, like nothing else you've ever felt before.
In all your ecstasy, you dodge the overwhelming power of the sensile experience, to take a small peek at the sky above. Dark-grey, curly cumulo nimbus clouds have gathered over head. My hair rises in anticipation, my nostrils quiver...
It's going to rain! I can smell it!