Living in a Muslim area has exposed me to the strangest of sights and smells. Sundays being the worst. Its like the skies opened up and the clouds decided to fart on the world. The stench can be so appalling that suicide can not be eliminated for an option. Not being a fan of either the Onion or the Garlic does not help the situation a bit. Times can be hard. Sundays are the only days I tend to sleep in. Waking up in the wee hours of the afternoon, you can’t decide who the winner of the battle is - your moldy breath or the next door’s “Bai Kadai Aattu Kaal Biriyani” with “Meen Kolambu” to go with it. Its like a fawn’s first day. The moment you fall on your fee you have to scramble to safety. Shut all the windows and seal all possible crevices till the holocaust has died down. Sometimes, like today, the stench is so strong that its like the whole country is cooking the same damn thing. Run to the window and slam it shut. Double check all the handles and re-shut the door. Valiantly walk back to the bed for your afternoon siesta. Some routine. When this does not work, its time for one of the two things. Either believe God does not need Agarbathis for the next week and light them all together or look the stench in the face and battle it with the strong aroma of the infamous Vathakozambu with Manathakkali Vathal. I have found from experience that option 2 is so much better that option one for
1. With all the doors and windows closed, the Agarbathis lost track of their purpose in killing only the stench and almost killed me in the process. Bloody insane sticks.
2. There’s just absolutely nothing to beat the good old Vathakozhambu.
So clearly, seeing no point in lighting the incense sticks, I got up, brushed and bathed and set out to fight the damn stench. It was amazing how you can stand without pukin’ when the air smells like a freshly filled sewer. The stench wading into your nose and hits your brains straight. I was moved. I had to act fast before I was killed. I light up the stove and put the frying pan on. The aroma from the frying spices is just a step shy of heaven. More spices. More ghee. Ah!!!!! Slowly the stench was being ousted from the room. My brain, though refused to see the two smells apart. Now it smelt like someone had flushed an amazing pot of really good Vathakozhambu. I was so frustrated I took off to give my neighbors a piece of my mind. I was phrasing the most sarcastic words to slit their tongues with. Well, sometimes you just have to be stern and tell others that the world is to live in. Teach them that you only fart after you eat and you do not eat what you fart!!! I ripped my door open and caught sight of something sickeningly grey in the corner. I had stepped into muck from the sewer the previous night and there was nothing secular about the smell from my shoe and sock.