This is the time of Kaal Boisakhi in Bengal. It means stormy days with alot of rain. I was by my bed side window and it was drizzling then. Suddenly I found myself looking out through my window in search of something. Let me tell you I have nothing in my vicinity to look at, it is an open ground and a few buildings with closed windows. Soon after I realised that I was actually searching for the scent of the soil after it rains.
It is a familiar scent for all of us but it holds different sets of memories in our lives. When I smelled rain this morning I had flashbacks of my early childhood when I used to watch my grand pa collect fallen mangoes of the trees in our backyard all drenched in the rain. That scent has lived with me for days, months and even a decade now.
Sometimes I get memories of my little brother and me playing together in our balcony while trying to catch rainwater by stretching out our hands.
Also sometimes of that old uncle who sold barf ka golas (sweetened ice balls) in the rain.
I find that a single scent can induce multiple sets of memories in us. And this is not just about the scent of rain.
Have you ever not been close to a woman in an elevator and suddenly realise that you recognise her, not actually her but her scent ? Your old school biology teacher with black framed glasses used to wear the same scent and you start getting flashbacks of your school days.
Very similarly many scents are just happy scents. You get happy when you smell new books. Many feel happy with the smell of petrol and very weirdly whenever I am at a petrol pump I get teleported to our long lost car where we used to wait to fill in petrol in between our long drives with my family.
We still go on drives occasionally though but that scent takes me back to a certain time. My grand pa although does not pick up mangoes in the storm anymore but he is always ready with his stories to share with me.
Also my brother and I still watch the rain together. We no more stretch out our hands though.