I still clearly remember, it was the morning of February 24th, 2011 when I got off the Aleppey Express at the Punkunnam station at Thrissur. And by the time I finished my ten minute walk from the station to my in-laws’ place, my father-in-law almost immediately asked me if I could accompany him and a few others to the main vegetable market at Thrissur. We had to shop for vegetables for my sister-in-law’s wedding which was on the next day. And believe me when I say this, nothing in this world had prepared me for the sights, sounds and smells I was about to encounter for the next few hours.
By around 7.30 in the morning, when we reached the market, we were welcomed to a host of colors, sounds and more importantly smells. The fragrance of the various types of flowers in the adjoining flower market was quite overpowering. While it is known that most flowers bloom in the night and are plucked to be sold in the wee hours of the morning, it is quite another thing to smell them in all their glory. To see and smell jasmines, crossandras (kanakambarams), moonbeams (nandiyavattai), lotuses, chrysanthemums (samanthi), lilies, roses, and all the other varieties whose names I wasn’t even aware of was quite the nasal revolution and a lovely start to the morning of shopping.
As we crossed the flower market and entered the vegetable market, the assault on the senses was even more overpowering. Right from the nasty smells of old and rotting vegetables from the previous day which lined the entrance to the market to the wonderful sensuous fragrances of the fresh vegetables inside, my nasal senses were on a ‘high alert’ mode. After two minutes, it almost became a game for me where I started trying to guess the vegetables or fruits being sold in the stall we were about to visit next without visual confirmation. And it feels good to say that most of the time my guesses were correct. I guess all those visits to vegetable markets as a small kid had firmly ingrained most of these smells in my memories permanently.
Suffice to say that as I am writing this post, my mind goes back to those wonderful sights and more importantly those wonderful smells of fresh flowers and vegetables from more than two years ago. Such is the power of the human mind to remember fragrances.
Now, if only the wonderful people at Godrej aer were inspired by this post and came up with a fragrance which would bring the smell of fresh flowers and fresh vegetables and fruits to our homes, then that would truly be something worth spending money on. After all, of what use is science if it cannot bring nature closer to us.