The moment I enter my house in the evening, there is a distinct smell in the air and it is always hard to miss, it is the mixed fragrance of sandalwood incense and the rose dhoop which my daughter lights while doing the evening puja. After a hard day and long hours in maddening Delhi traffic, this divine scent gives me so much of calm and peace, it also makes me happy because my daughter does it and I feel good that I have passed on a good tradition and habit to her in this tender age (she is just 11 year old). It also makes me doubly happy to see that when she lights the diya, does the pooja and let's the calming smells take over the house, my younger daughter (just 5) is also with her, watching her didi and learning every bit of it and praying earnestly with all her innocence and faith.
This serene smell also takes me back to my childhood, from where I learned the importance of ‘ namam choll’ (which means offering evening prayers), I remember sitting in the huge verandah of our traditionally built house in kerala which had intricate designs of flowers and divine entities carved on the verandah and the poomukham (the heightened front verandah) where we all used to sit in front of the lighted ‘nilavilakku’, the traditional kerala lamp and we used to offer prayers to the lord in loud but melodious and pleasing to the ears hymns. It was a must to do the evening puja and then proceed to study, and read our lessons loudly so that my granny who used to be in the kitchen at the other end of the house, making preparations for supper could hear us clearly. All this happened in the dim but such divinely beautiful light of a lantern perched on a hook on the pillar of the verandah, yes, there was no electricity in our house at that time, and my youngest Aunt who was only a few years elder to me used to top her class every year studying under this very lantern’s dim light. Along with the lighted lamp we used make small garlands of jasmine flower for our God and Goddess and light an agarbatti and keep it on the elephant shaped incense holder, the heady mix of agarbatti and jasmine to till day takes me back to my house in yore.
Coming back to present day, I personally feel that every house has it’s very own smell, I know for sure that till a few years back , my house smelled of babies, yes , you heard it right, the typical smell which comes from every house which has a baby- the smell of baby powder and baby lotions mixed with milk, I just love baby smells and I used to hug my baby and breathe in her smell and she used to laugh peals of laughter in sheer happiness .
Today, I am proud of having a house which smells pleasant and serene, both in the mornings and in the evenings as we light the diya and the incense in front of the almighty thanking for his blessings every day….
I am sure that such is the power of the smell of one’s own house , especially that of in childhood, that my children , just like me would remember the very same fragrance and tradition that they inhale and imbibe in our home every day and shall definitely pass it on to their children as well.
This is posted under the Ambipur contest of 'smelly to smiley' by Indiblogger