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Monday, July 21, 2014

Lemon, Spice And All Things Nice


A dash of lemon zest, 
Striking a note or two.
As I walked on the pebbled streets,
I drenched in the scent of ocean blue.

Newport, Rhode Island

Setting the tone right with these verses, I can only go on and on about my recent trip to Newport, Rhode Island. Not very far in terms of distance from New York, yet it is strikingly different. There is a European touch to the mansions, streets and lifestyle. Extravagant lives of the super rich is showcased to overpower you but still, there is something with which you connect. It took me two rounds on the Bellevue Avenue to find what exactly it was that felt so similar. Oh, I remember, I felt the same when I went to Cape Cod two years back. It was the same breath of freshness, a mix of fresh water and air that makes you cheerful on a sultry day. No matter if it's 4th of July rush on the streets, every time your nose sniffs, it's fresh, crisp and pure. Like summer captured in a jar, that scent of lemon mingling perfectly with the scent of water has an intoxicating effect on your senses.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

This same whiff of freshness, jogged memories of my trip to Cape Cod. Amidst the buzzing streets, shops lined with sea foods, your nose narrows down that familiar fragrance of this tangy fruit. Though 'lime and lemony' scent is something we all are familiar with, but in a sea side town, mixed with the scent of water, it just takes your breath away. I vividly remember, how I felt when we crossed an intersection where the automatic sprinkler was on and I smelt the best of all - Petrichor with a subtle hint of lemon
* * * * *
A whiff down the memory lane,
Pocketing few jasmine flowers in my dress.
Summer, school, gang of girls,
And spring in our steps.

Baltimore, Maryland

I remember, I used to pluck jasmine flowers and put it in my skirt pocket. We were not allowed to wear deodorants or perfume and stuffing chameli flowers in my skirt pocket was what I did to replace it. I was generous enough to disturb it to my friends and we felt so good. When I traveled to Baltimore, as I was enjoying the view of Inner Harbor, I felt at home. It was the same fragrance of jasmine that hit me. There were some plants of jasmine in the hedges, yet the scent trailed to the end of the block. This flower emits such a strong aroma that you are attracted towards it.

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

And similar thing happened when we went for Noida Flower Show in 2011. Among the sea of flowers; roses, lilies, carnations, dahlias and yes, the salty smell of Noida afternoon, the fragrance of jasmine stood out. Scent of jasmine cut through all the clutter of aromas spread in the Stadium and left an indelible mark. It pleases the nose every single time. No wonder, Gajra is the first choice of Indian ladies to pamper themselves. No other floral scent can match its full-bodied aura.

* * * * * 
Stood there,
Wrapping my arms around me.
Soaking the pure air,
Sprinkled with the fragrance of tea leaves and elaichi.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu

Memories of Ooty is all about mist, chocolates and lush green lawns of Botanical garden and a trip to  a nearby tea estate takes you to another world. It's surreal and caresses your senses. Walking into the tea garden and the cloud of fog, my nose was more happy than me. I admit, a little cold too. And those tea tasting sessions, where they serve flavored chai, fills the whole atmosphere with warmth and a sweet fragrance. Notes of cinnamon and cardamom in the cold weather creates a lasting memory.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh

And it's the same aroma of elaichi trailing from a small tea stall in upper Manali, that soothed our senses while we waited to drive to the Rohtang Pass. The moment the aroma touched our senses, we began searching for its source and wanted to hold a cup of tea. It felt as if someone has opened an old-spice bottle and sprinkled in the cold weather of Manali. 

Sometimes, I wonder, we form strange associations. We can hear our alarm tone amidst the cacophony of noise and we can narrow down that intoxicating scent to its source in deluge. These fragrances bring a cheerful smile on our face, especially when we are surrounded by mundane things, like spraying room freshener when we are expecting guests and turning the car freshener on, thus bringing on a new vibe. After all, a whiff is all we need sometimes to brighten the mood.

* * * * *
*Written as a part of #InspireAFragrance, sponsored by www.godrejaer.com.

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58 comments:

  1. It must have been such a beautiful experience, visiting all those places. Connecting with every place we visit with their unique flavor/fragrance - That's how we tend to recall them in our memories years later. Such wonderful descriptions. :)

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    1. Yeah and we treasure them. In addition to fragrances, I connect with songs. Songs remind me of the time when I first heard them. It transports me to that time. Little bliss of life!

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  2. Beautifully presented! I have just visited Ooty and so yes, I can agree with the scents you have described in that place. All the best Saru :)

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    1. Ooty is just superb. Thanks for your wishes, Uma.

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  3. Wanderer :P nicely presented and all the best for contest :)

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  4. wow Saru, what great pics you have in here....Lovely ones. The Cape Cod vista is so majestic and good luck with your entry.

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    1. Cape Cod is beautiful beyond words. You must visit it. Glad you found it lovely. :)

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  5. A beautiful and aromatic post, Saru! I have been lucky to share some of the fragrances of Cape Cod,Ooty and Manali, not to mention the annual flower show in NOIDA:) Best of luck for the contest!

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    1. Sir, I seriously want to know which countries you haven't been? :)

      Thanks for reading Sir and for your wishes.

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  6. Very interesting. Jasmine flowers, lemon zest, umm my favorite perfumes. Very beautifully put in words. Good luck!

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    1. Mine too. Thanks for reading, Rachna.

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  7. wow...I could actually smell it all :D
    Good luck with the contest!
    I need to visit the places :(

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    1. Come visit us, it will cover most of the places mentioned here.

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  8. sounds like a pretty awesome combination :) All the best for the contest..

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  9. La...la la la la la remember that Liril ad Saru...well ur post felt just like that. Fresh lime n lemony fragrant with poetry and pictures and memories. Good u did this post and can participate in the contest. i did a post too albeit the contest and Anita my sweet sincere blogdost suggested i should submit it as an entry for this Inspire a Fragrance contest...my Gul-e Abbas one. Don't remember if u have seen it. Call it Murphy's law...i had already posted this last month and can't oblige my dear blogdost on her request even if i wanted to now just for her to know that i value her suggestion. ( i don't believe in participating in contests ) because after all the procedures were done it ie Indiblogger gave me a sad reply, " Sry your post is already active on Indivine". Too bad as a subject i might've shared the same experience with you and the rest because as the writer has said, "Perfume is the key of our memories" - Kate Lord Brown, The Perfume Garden.
    Lying ignored and seen only by a limited few in Indivine probably it would've found many readers with similar experiences...as fragrance bringing in memories. Too bad...but i wouldn't fret over that. Like they say in Hindi...Khag hee janney khag kee bhaasha and probably someone somewhere might be seeking me out from that deluge of blogs.
    Just one thank you for showing me Rhode island pics...if not all but some. After Jhumpa Lahiri's 'Lowlands' it came as a surprise to me for i was imagining it to have a sea yes but nothing like this.
    Grateful indeed for stopping by at my post although i wish you to stop by more frequently...now that i am here...active and posting my own struggled- hard- to- achieve- clarity pictures. :)

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    1. Oh, you can submit by changing the url. Many do it. Rhode Island is laid back, relaxed and beautiful. Btw, I loved your pictures. :)

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  10. Yeah and just one thing whether u win the contest or not hardly matters...Saru u r a poet and a very good writer. No contest has to certify with with that so thus i will say...all the best with ur journey...ur poetry, pics and ur writing not only today but always. :) :) :)

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    1. You know winning is great but a compliment like this encourages you to do better. Many thanks Shivani for the motivation. :)

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  11. Nostalgia & lovely memories oozing out, Saru.
    Great pics too :)
    Best wishes for the contest!

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  12. WOWOW.. saru you been to all these places .. I am jealousssssssssssssssssssssssssssss can you see can you feel :) :)

    all the best , I think the pic's of indian places are more beautiful :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Don't be jealous, come over. Alok would love to get a UK invite in return. :P

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  13. Love the way you have connected poetic quotes, memories and places. A winner for me. :)

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  14. A fragrant and refreshing post Saru! I am able to smell and feel it all... I love this post very much! Best wishes, for the contest, may you win!

    TC! Keep smiling :)

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  15. I am your reader since almost 3 years now Di. You are the mind-blowing poet right since the beginning. But, your last contest post for Borosil and this one makes me feel that your writing has reached to a very high level, where nobody can touch you.

    I remember the time when you use to complain that you are not so good at writing fictional stories. But, today you are making us literally smell the different fragrances and taste the veg biryani by your writing :)

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    1. Sometimes I feel disheartened when my post don't win but then I read a comment like yours and can't thank my friends enough for being with me all these years. You all have seen me grow as a blogger and writer. And a comment like this, just brings loads of motivation.

      Many thanks, Sonia ❤

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    2. Pleasure is all mine :)

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  16. Wow! What a mesmerising post...i feel like smelling the ocean now! All the best dear :)

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    1. Fragrance of ocean is great, have you ever been to ocean-side?

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  17. Winning and losing is the name of the game. Keep on writing.

    Go to Munnar and buy tons of spices :) I have seen people buy there like crazy just for the fun of it and then distribute it among friends.

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    1. Yeah, I think it's the popular mistake associated with this place. Wining/losing is irrespective as long as you are honing your writing skills by participating in contest.

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  18. Wow ..great one ...such scents..beautiful !

    ATB.. :-)

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  19. Loved reading through your post, Saru. Brilliant, as always. Best wishes!

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  20. Very very lovely and beautiful. Travelling and the fragrance of each destination!!! It's awesome... All the best dear. :)

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  21. Beautiful :) nice way to associate places and fragrances. Rhode Island ? I think I know my next to-be visited destination over the long weekend. ;)

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    1. It's beautiful but I would suggest Cape Cod. Thanks for reading.

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  22. Loved the flow Saru. All the very best

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  23. great pics Beautiful :) very refreshing post Saru!

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  24. What a beautiful post.I too always get drawn fragrances and associate them with a memory.Have you read my last post on a similar note?

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    1. I guess, we all are attracted towards fragrances and they leave an imprint in our memory. No, I haven't read your post, will check it right away.

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  25. Ahh, your vivid description makes me feel I visited these places! Scents are a very important part of my memories (and even dreams, maybe I was a dog not long ago) too. One of the reasons I'm in love with Seattle is it's FRESH scent- crisp, cool, clean air with the woody smell of cedars...

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    1. I have 4 friends who live in Seattle and they say the same thing. I think I must plan a visit and you're right about the memory part.

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  26. Lovely post taking you down memory lane! The pics are beautiful and your lyrical verses weave quite a fragrance themselves. All the Best Saru :)

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