Monday, October 23, 2006

The Whiff of Smoke

It is a Friday morning in October in Blacksburg when the winter is setting in with its full glory. The sun shows its glory only after 8'o clock. But by fortune's grace I had a proctoring duty from 8'o clock. So by 6'o clock I reluctantly got up, finished my all morning jobs and headed towards the examination venue. An hour passed peacefully and I breathed a sigh of relief. Now it’s the time to get into my own work.

From the examination hall I was returning to my lab and found the regular busy atmosphere of the day has started to set in full gear. People were swarming in for classes (with sleepy eyes of course). The morning sun was sharing its warmth. Suddenly I smelled smoke - the familiar smell of burning of tobacco. It says that smells are stored somewhere in your brain and are associated with certain memories. Whenever you again encounter the same smell all the memories rush to your brain. Exactly it happened. For a moment I was lost in my childhood - those winter days. The rays of the sun sneaking through the window on my bed and me trying to curl up to be exactly within the perimeter where the sun rays are falling. I still remember me nagging to let me go off with the bath right in the morning 8'o clock (now the irony is I have to do it, no choice). I miss those moments when I and my brother used to jostle for space to get the warmth of the sun. My father used to read the newspaper while taking a puff. That smell was probably stored in my brain from the beginning. It was that smell that brought my childhood. The picture of my mother spending some time in the kitchen with "Mani" to get the food ready for all of us is now I only can see when I close my eyes.

For a moment I was out of the university - far away - I felt I was at home. Perhaps if it had been a daytime I might frown at the guy who compelled me to smoke passively. But No. Not now when he did it in the morning. Nevertheless it was he who brought my sweet memories and made my day.