Scents.

– Dr.Sukanya.

Evenings meant the smell of sandalwood incense sticks and Maa’s voice echoing through our corridors;

Muktitonispriho jitu, hei hi bhokoto ko nomu,
Roxomoyi maghu, hu bhokoti,
Homosto mosto, ko moni,
Nijo bhokoto ro boisyo,
Bhozu heno debo, Jyodumoni.

It’s 6PM and maa is serving me maalpua.

The busy for nothing lanes in Delhi somehow embedded these tunes far too deep in my memory. Evenings have started to mean the smell of chotu’s cutting chai now.

Funny how life has reached a point where I need to book tickets to go home. Days have stopped being segregated into breakfast, lunch and dinner for now meals reach the door only when the tummy roars – or if there is a budget friendly Swiggy coupon.

Funny how we spend the first two decades of our lives in the pursuit of going out of home and the rest of our lives – longing to be back.

The metro halts, I get off, take the stairs down and turn left as muscle memory. I can do this blindfolded.

The world paused for an instant as the smell of the sandalwood incense sticks reached me.

I can see a young me frolicking about watering the garden in her blue frock as Maa called me for the evening prayer.

Muktitonispriho jitu hei hi bhokoto ko nomu,
Roxomoyi maghu, hu bhokoti,
Homosto mosto, ko moni,
Nijo bhokoto ro boisyo,
Bhozu heno debo, Jyodumoni.

As reality resumed, I reached home. I ordered food as I pondered, home is seldom the four walls we grow up in, rather home is what we make of it. Somewhere in the smog of this city, I have myself gutted my roots far too deep for me to reach.

The door rings.

It’s 6PM and Chandan from Swiggy is serving me Maalpua.

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