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Before I joined facebook, I thought I was the only one. But it seems like there are a lot of people who feel the same. Smell…. A sudden waft that stills your physical self, and sucks your soul back to a moment of the past. Who said time machines do not exist? They do. But we can’t change a thing in the past. Just relive the moment. Sometimes good. Sometimes cringe-worthy.

Since my life is a little above normal, I tend to keep going back to the past and the future, sometimes at the same time. Don’t ask me how. I don’t really know.

Well, yesterday, I was cooking Daal (Indian lentil curry), and was washing clothes at the same time. The washing machine being right by my kitchen, the scents got mixed and it just threw my soul back in time. 

The dental department of KFUPM, health clinic, always saw me as a regular patient. My milk-teeth never fell. They always got loose and hung in for weeks, till I could not bear the pain and got them manually removed. (A lot like the problems in my life, which I endure to the extreme, and then push acceleration just before breaking point). Anyway. So each time that plumpy nurse took take of the aftermath of the removal of my tooth, she used to stuff a wad cotton in some fishy smelly liquid and ask me to bite it. Yuck! I hated it. But I had no choice.

There. That’s where that medley of scents took me too. Strange to be able to go back to those days. The smell that arose in my kitchen smelled the same like that wad of cotton. Weird stuff, my brain does. 

This happened just yesterday. but there have been too many instances. When people transit from one pattern of life to another, sometimes, unexpectedly, they tend to think they have erased the minute detail of the past. But no. There are so many things in the present that work with utmost gusto to transport one back to the gone by days, to that one particular fragment of the moment easily overlooked. Somehow. And then begins the unending cycle of recollecting all the memories associated with that one moment. This happens with songs too. But the power of smell is so very strong, it is like a blueprint permanently embalmed in the brain, to be excavated again, sometime down the lane of life. 

Such strangeness, I tell you, often leaves me dumbstruck. Do I want to go back and change things? No. I want to move on. And give a wispy smile to the memories.


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