Thursday, March 16, 2006


I am sitting in my room watching Rang De Basanti. Soha Ali Khan is cute, Gulabbo is cute and hot and Aamir Khan is a wonderful actor. The movie is great and I am already planning to see it back to back once again when all of that thought process is suddenly halted.

It is faint and tiny at first. In my stuffy room, I wonder if I haven imagined it. You tend to imagine sounds, could you also imagine scents?? Have I been wanting it so bad now?? Another whiff!!! As far I know, petrichor is probably the most unique element in its field. You'd recognize it instantly, there is no other scent that comes even close to it, it is not manufactured artificially and sold in tiny glass bottles at exorbitant rates and it is, to me atleast, one of the most wondreful things to behold.

Hit the spacebar to pause, leap over the bed, fling the door open and Whooosh!!! I've been waiting for the first summer rain for about two weeks now. At Kharagpur, the evening rain in summer is something I've always cherished and looked forward to. It's beautiful with all the extra greenery everywhere that is scrubbed clean like no gardener can ever emulate. Someone in heaven has just turned the brightness on their remote up. Everything is more coloured. There is rain all over the place and there is the all pervading smell. Petrichor!!!

Chocolate when partaken stimulates the body to release endorphins, those chemicals that make one happy. So is the case with coffee. Mescaline, they say, can make one see shades of colours that a sober human can neither hope to see nor conjure. This smell, of rain hitting dust, must be the olfactory equivalent of the above. As I stand outside my room, I am trying to draw huge deep breaths. I suddenly feel like one of those drug addicts. True enough, all thoughts take flight to happy moments.

-I am reminded of Mitra, from college, who is the one person I can count on to be enjoying the rain and the smell as passionately as I am.
-I am reminded of the beach at Visakhapatnam. In summer, winter and rain. Of time spent with friends, family, Ayn Rand and Salman Rushdie.
-I am reminded of a four hour walk around the campus with my friends roughly an year back, starting from 12 in the night. We walked the roads like we were taking a light stroll after dinner, leisurely and carefree, just that it was raining cats and dogs. My walk to remember.
-I am reminded of the night of 18th January, 2004 when the first Kshitij was made and I remember my mentor, PG.
-Somehow, I am reminded of this new girl in my college who is fast turning out to be the biggest strongest crush that I have had in years.
-I remember the feeling of swimming in rain, better still, of not swimming but lying face up on the surface and looking into the rain.

I am on a high.

A couple of hours later, Aamir Khan, Sidharth, Madhavan and the rest are all dead and I am furiously googling to see if there is actually a scientific explanation as to why most people find the smell intoxicating, to find out if this was another hormone thing. Instead this is what I found and I was satisfied.

Orgin: From petro- (rock), from Greek petros (stone) + ichor (the fluid that is supposed to flow in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology)