TO SMELL OR NOT TO SMELL
Will you guys believe it that I don’t even know which all countries are participating in the football world cup. I cannot know the results next day also as I don’t watch TV news and only read “raddi” news papers. However, I am aware that it is being played in Russia. Where was it held last year, Khuda jane and where will it be played next, ki farq painda hai. My wife, a news paper & football buff will update me on this.
I subscribe to a news paper but by the time it comes to us it is well soaked and drenched courtesy the monsoons. You can read the last page through the front page. It also comes a day late. That’s the acche din for us. Bijli has reached all the villages, gas has reached all the “fookni” using mothers but the news paper takes its own sweet time. Saturday and Sunday’s paper comes combined on Monday weighing more than a tonne.
The other day as I entered the house during lunch break, a typical smell caught my nose. These days I am very allergic to certain smells. The only smell which can keep me alive is the smell of bar-be-cue. I can follow that zig-zag path of smoke like the “alladin ka jin” has trailing behind him. Well, we tried locating that scent but could not. It was difficult to have lunch as that “chameli ka tel” type typical fragrance used in “haldi-uptan” ceremonies in Indian weddings kept hitting my nostrils and giving me a headache.
After I quit smoking certain smells like heeng (asafoetida), Ghee being made at home, aggarbatti & dhoop of any kind and hawan smoke etc) kills me. Both I and my wife went on a hunting spree but alas we were not able to locate the source. I left the drawing room to avoid getting that nauseated feeling but that trail of stink was even more prominent there.
Somehow I managed to survive that one hour lunch break. As I was leaving, wife picked up the news paper to read. Bang! She said the news paper smells. This much was clear none of our perfumes had leaked nor could have come in contact with this news paper unless the person delivering it would have rubbed or dropped something. As she opened the paper the odour got very strong. Lo and behold it was written on the front page “smell”. I left for the office in a huff.
It turned out to be a new perfume being launched by Park Avenue. I have nothing against the brand and I still have a soft corner for them as they were the first people to bring in a beer shampoo in India I suppose. My inlaws had gifted me on my wedding a toilette set which had a beer shampoo. So to find such an obnoxious (ghatia) kind of “khusboo” did hurt a few feelings.
Be that as it may, my wife knowing me well tore off the first page and burnt it, the smell won’t go, she threw away the whole news paper and ensured that the “kachara gadi” takes it away, still there was no respite. We gave up, even though that lingering stench was giving me a very uncomfortable experience.
Next day, after my tea in the morning I visited my throne. I picked up one news paper lying around for the ceremony. As I settled down for the job this smell became prominent again and I could not abort mission. I realised that this damn news paper was folded in between the smelly one. So a kind of sympathetic transfer of smells had taken place. My irritation kept growing as I just could not throw this paper away in the midst of bombardment. I finished firing and rushed to the main dustbin outdoors and dunked that goddamn news paper into it.
The satisfaction within me was showing as a kind of victory I had achieved. I then went in for brushing my teeth. As I cut the pea sized drop of tooth paste on my brush I smelt the same rat again. I thought I was hallucinating but moment I started brushing and as my hand closed in towards my mouth the smell again became very prominent. The smell had got stuck to my hands while reading the paper.
I quickly did “kulla” and washed my hands with soap many times. Wife kept reminding me that you would be late to reach office, I said to myself to hell with my office. I shall not carry this smell with me at any cost. I can die of any other cause but be declared dead for inhaling gases of the Nazi gas chambers.
I heard the siren of the factory go. Finally, I rubbed a lot of hand sanitizer as I left. Now I was thinking what “bahana” I will tell my boss that why was I late today? Any guesses? Keep wondering!!!!!!!!!!!!!
© Noel Ellis