A whiff of nostalgia


My daughter and I are out shopping. The mall is crowded with shoppers, all of them on a mission.

My daughter’s list is both simple and complicated. Simple because her colour choices are limited to only black or blue. Complicated because we are scouring every shop looking for that particular top or dress that matches the image she has in her mind. Our time is limited, so we are walking down each aisle, our eyes piercingly intent on the task at hand.

After what seems like ages, my daughter pronounces herself satisfied; mainly because of the addition of a black hoodie to her collection.

On the way out of the mall, I quickly rush to pick up a lip liner and a compact from my favourite brand. And, as I wait in line to pay, my eyes are drawn to a red box that looks familiar. I go over to see it up close.

I was right! This was the first perfume that I had bought with my own money, nearly two decades ago. I had saved up to buy three things – this perfume, a camera and a hair dryer, all of which weresome of my treasured possessions then.

I pick up the tester bottle, and gently spray the perfume on my wrist. I inhale…just a whiff…and I am transported.

Courtesy – http://www.istockphotos.com

Transported to another time in my life, where there was no husband and kids, where life revolved around my career, parents and siblings.

A life that was filled with so many possibilities and fun. It was time spent with friends, and shopping. It was time spent wondering about the future. It was time spent on my red bike that took me everywhere. It was also a time of loss, when my grandmom died, and a time of joyous celebration when my niece was born the next year.

It was the threshold time before both marriage and motherhood; a time that was my own.

I smile and share some of these memories with my daughter. “When did I stop using this perfume”, I ask myself.

But that’s life for you – as it takes you on new journeys, other fragrances and experiences enrich you, making you forget the old and the sweet.

But, all it took was a whiff ….to bring it all back. My daughter sniffs appreciatively and asks if she can use it. I say yes.

And very soon, she will also embark on new journeys and create her own memories, which I hope are as fragrant as this perfume that’s wafting in the air.

My first salary and a red scooter


I still remember the day my first salary was credited into my bank account.  I remember the joy with which I went to withdraw the money.  I had just passed out of University and this was my first job.

That one credit to my account, opened a magical door of dreams, where I spent hours dreaming about the things I would buy with my money.

I remember saving up for a scooter, a hair-dryer and a Kodak camera that used film rolls (no digital ones were available then).

I saved up for months, and bought my first scooter, a shiny red Sunny Bajaj (as the brand was called).  The scooter gave me mobility and freedom. It gave me wonderful hours zooming around the city.  It meant movies with friends on Saturday afternoons, it took me everywhere, to client meetings, to pick up my mom from the railway station, to take my niece for an ice-cream treat.

bajaj
Sunny Bajaj – courtesy – http://www.Wikipedia.org

It had a nice carrier below the seat, where I could store a lot of stuff, from the books that I borrowed from a library that was close to my place of work, to my lunch-box, to my water bottle and other papers that I had to work on.

It gave me good mileage and never, ever broke down.  Weekend mornings, saw me with a pail, brush, soap and cloth, washing my Sunny till it shone and gleamed.  It was my pride and joy.

I felt so proud, when I saw it standing bright and clean in the parking lot, and often mentally compared it to the other bikes there.

It was one of the first things that I bought in the early days of my career, and one of the things that I loved the most in my life.

Years have flown by, many jobs, role changes, and graduating from a scooter to cars, but those first moments of joy and exhilaration that I felt on my Sunny can never be equalled, that feeling of independence, that feeling of having reached a point in life after years of hard work; and  that bubbling happiness, when I rode my Sunny and the wind whipped across my face and made me smile.

I did not ever want to sell it, but life had to go on. After many, many years, I passed it on to my sister, extracting all kinds of promises from her on caring for my dear Sunny.  True to form, my Sunny served her for many years too.  My daughter, who was two then,  also got to go on a ride with her aunt on my Sunny. Many memories, lots of love there!

So tell me, what things did you buy with your first salary? Would love to know.