I had just parked my sparky blue i10 in the parking lot of my apartment. I was climbing the stairs leisurely to reach my house. Suddenly, a very familiar smell filled the air. I recognized the smell but was not able to identify it clearly. As I concentrated on the odor, I started feeling it and knew it was the nostalgic aroma of my grand mother’s home back in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. To be more specific, it resembled Mami’s (this is what I call my grand mom) bed room and more so of her saris. I don’t know how I could smell the same odor right here in Mumbai. With a smile, I reached home and started thinking. The more I thought, the increased urge I had to revisit the stairway. Spontaneously, I climbed down the stairs and sensed it again and yet again. Still, I couldn't get satisfied and wanted to be there at my grand parent’s place. However, I had no option but to go back home.
As I lied down on my bed, a series of sweet memories played in my mind. I recalled how we used to visit the Sahidnagar home of my grand parents every single day after school. Homework would be completed and we would speed away to Sahidnagar. It was our daily outing. All my cousins would be waiting for us to arrive and a game would start straightaway. We would indulge ourselves in games such as ‘house house’, ‘doctor doctor’, ‘chor police’, ‘running race’ and the list goes on. Then there would be a call from my grand mother to have food. I and my brother would relish the finger licking food served there, very conveniently ignoring my mother’s annoyance as we wasted the same food served at home. A loud burp of satisfaction from me would make Aja (my grand father) laugh and I would leave the dining table for yet another game. After a good nap resulting from the rice we would have had at lunch, all cousins would reunite and watch TV or play. Our vacations would be spent this way. There were also the frequent visits to the ‘Kandura Jharana’ park (meaning Crying Fountain Park) and other stop overs. By late evening, our Dad would drag Mom, Bhai and me to get back home which we used to do very hesitantly.
Now, I realize that those were the best days of my life. I wish I could relive my childhood days. Even now, when all cousins get together, we share the same bonding and feel good about it.