Purple Nostalgia

I nonchalantly hummed the tune I often do as I was getting ready for an early dinner with the spouse at a quaint restaurant this little town has to offer. I was looking forward to the remainder of what had been a perfect, lazy Sunday. A slight twirl of my hand pushed out the gleaming lipstick and along with it, its characteristic whiff. The two seconds that ensued were a walk down the memory lane. I was instantly transported to another time and place which was filled with the same fragrance.

Years ago, at the Navratri celebrations in Mumbai, I would wear a distinct metallic purple lipstick (that purple was ghastly was yet to dawn upon me then!) that carried a similar fragrance: one that had secretly crept into that little place in my heart and cooked itself into nostalgia. In that instant, I re-lived that weird emotion associated with the smell: a melange of anxiety about my exams (“unit tests” as we called them, which always coincided with the festival) and excitement about my favorite festival. I would study with renewed vigor through the day to be able to enjoy a few guilt-free hours at the Navratri celebrations. Donning the traditional “bandhani” attire and the purple lipstick (year after year), I would then set out with my neighbors and friends to clock in a few hours of festive merriment and gather memories for a lifetime.

I returned from my “time travel” with a faint smile on my face that was replaced with delight as I smelled the mouth-watering Thai curry in front of me, another fragrance that was beginning to carve its place in my memory!


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