What do you expect to smell when you walk out of your place to start your day, my people? Or the question can be asked this way, “what do you smell when you start your day?”
I think I can guess some of the answers.
Flowers? Those ‘divine’ incense sticks? :P Brown bread from the bakery? That lady’s hair in your building’s lift? Desi baghaar from your neighbour’s house?
Every time I start my day on Mondays and Tuesdays, when I go out for my field work, I get myself prepared to smell a few things. I’ll list them in the sequence of events that result in my encounter with them.
1. Walk out of the building. Smell the left over wet waste by the Municipality people.
2. Take an auto to Govandi station. Feel the smell from the slaughter house nearby.
3. Enter the galli to the platform number 2. Smell the stale snacks.
4. Stand on the platform number 1. Smell the eatables at the IRCTC stall ‘dominated’ by Wada pau!
5. ‘Try’ to get on the train to CST. Smell a zillion body odours.
Before mentioning the next event, I must tell you people that I LOVE the Tantra t-shirts for their sarcasm. And I strongly believe them. One of them said, “Indian Railways- Bringing people closer”. I can feel the closeness every time I get on a train to CST in the morning. Now, there are different types of ‘closenesses’ that you can be a part of. You will be enlightened in the following notes.
6. Be a part of “Bringing People Closer” campaign in the train- smell the ‘Navratna tel’ from apne bhai log!
Research statement that is bubbling up for long now:
Navratna tel is the largest selling hair oil among young, skinny and busy men that commute in locals to CST on the harbour line!
7. If it’s your day, have armpits on your face- smell them.
Yeah. I know, I sound yucky at times!
8. Get down at the ‘task station’. You are out of vacuum now. Smell oxygen. Yes, it has a smell.
9. Go to slums for field work. Smell garbage again. Also, hear the tales of people getting numb to those odours. Get shocked.
10. Eat and have tea with budding politicians. Smell food.
11. Come back to the room. Wash your face. Smell some dettol.
Sleep. Smell peace. J