The first waft of jasmine flowers
Hanging around my porch,
From the little flowers that smile
Take me back to that first home
My parents bought with hard-earned money.
A beautiful home, with a garden in front
Adorned with flowering trees and bushes,
Filled with love by all of us,
Filled with giggles of a bunch of their young kids
Running around, playing with the ball or a butterfly.
These flowers with their nostalgic scent
That captures me into an unforgettable moment
Now remind me of all that love, that joy.
When in the kitchen, cooking for the day,
The scent of turmeric, raw and unique
Flies me back to that beautiful day
My badi didi got married on a sunny day.
Filled with hopes and anxieties,
Starting a new chapter of her life,
She giggled as we smeared her face
With dollops of turmeric and loads of wishes.
Now, when I stand here taking in this aroma
I can see that day clearly, with all vivid images
As if it just happened, right this morning,
I feel like I can hear her tell us what she felt
As she stepped out of the comfort of her old home
And went to live into a new home,
I remember the tears that rolled down all eyes
Of my sisters, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles,
As she said her final goodbye to us from the car.
And talking of nostalgic memories,
How can I forget the emotions I experience
Each time I add ginger to any of my dishes?
As I took up my first job after college
Many many wonderful years ago,
I came back each evening, tired and exhausted,
And the only thing that cheered me up instantly
Was my mother’s adrak chai that she served.
She knew how to smoothly take off my exhaustion,
She knew what I needed to feel good.
Without saying anything she read my mind,
Without explaining she knew how was my day,
And this is what I remember when I smell ginger now.
It was not the tea that I tasted and
It is not that which I remember now,
It is her feelings, concerns, love, care
All rolled into one that stands right there
In front of me each time I’m hit by the smell.
When it rains in Delhi, on those rare days,
And the open areas around me bathe in its shower,
That mud gets wet and releases a mystical aroma
That envelopes me with its warmth.
Each time I am embraced like this by wet Earth fragrance,
I remember the day of my wedding.
As I stood on the podium greeting guests
With my new husband and family,
Down came a torrent from the sky.
But miraculously we didn’t have to worry at all
As it just soaked the shamiayana with open space
And the indoor seating and food were all saved!
Now when it rains and look out my apartment window
Taking in the bouquest of freshly wet Earth,
All I think of is my little D-day rain adventure,
All I remember are the blessings God had sent my way
As I had stepped across the new threshold of my life.
No matter how old I grow, no matter how much grey hair,
The only talcum powder I like is Johnson and Johnson.
And each time I spray it on myself,
Through its pretty petite pink bottle,
And smell its innocent fragrance all over me
I wonder if I use it because it reminds of those days
When I had my first baby and started a new phase.
Those initial days of struggle, those new learnings,
Those little lessons, trials and tribulations
Little discoveries, a few failures,
A bundle of joy depending totally on me.
As I had bathed her, toweled and wrapped he,
As I tapped Johnson and Johnson powder on her,
I had senses a deep inner serenity and pride,
And each time now I use the powder,
Somehow it helps me relive those moments,
It helps me touch that inner sanctum of calm.
And finally how can I ever forget,
As I travel on this nostalgic path
My beloved blog that I started last year
After having stepped into my middle years.
It came from my love of cooking,
My passion for creation, food, recipes and
Experimenting with nature’s products.
So each time I smell the heart-warming
Aroma of tadka, mustard seeds or jeera
Spluttering in ghee, with curry leaves or onions,
I feel my life has come a full circle.
Each whiff of a food item, each tang of a herb
Reminds me of the day when I started this blog
Full of uncertainties and questions.
Growing up with dreams, getting married,
Having children and growing them up,
Somehow I lost myself, I lost touch with who I was.
But now in the fragrances of food items in my temple.
That is my kitchen, I have finally reconnected
With the most important person in the world
That is nobody else, but myself.
p.s. This post has been written for a contest organized by Ambi pur. Please do share feedback!