Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Smells We Live By

It's the smells we live by.

A whiff of wet earth,
fertile like the ready-to-receive-you woman on the bed inside,
Drive you towards her smell.
And when you awake
from a dream full of sighs, moans and orgasmic raptures,
It's the smell of cigarettes you seek.

Or, maybe it's coffee and tea that calms you,
and, along with Coorgie fragrances or Assamese delights,
A little of strong eucalyptus,
Or the light menthol-tainted Vicks
can soothe your throbbing head.

Late evening,
And the unassailable-but-attacking breeze
from the kitchen
Tells your stomach it's time.
Ravenous smells -
of jaggery, spices and more -
Gobble you up in a frenzy.

You walk along the road,
And penetrating wasps of grey air
tell you how crowded the city is.
Choking, wheezing, strangling smokes
of vehicles, burning tobacco, construction gravel and roting garbage
Leads you on to find your space within.

In your office,
The stagnant AC-ed air,
carrying the breath-odour of your colleagues,
Their sweat and saliva and semen-smells,
Their cologne and perfumes and deodorants,
Mingle with yours
and settle down upon the fabric of your life,
Uncomplainingly.

It's the smells that we live by.
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