Since the past few days Lahore has been witnessing a heavenly weather; wind, clouds, drizzling and infant spring flowers blossoming to their fullest. the spell of winter has sadly come to a halt. the transition period between the short and chilly winters and the long and harsh summers is indeed a huge welcome. its like theres some magic in the air. the dew shines more than ever and the air that is spreading its wings with the morning prayers is fresh, untouched, virgin, a little cold but soothing. there is some song in the winds that passes by you. there a secret with the thick titanic clouds that poured down with the rain drops early in the morning today.
the best thing i like about the way we construct our houses in Pakistan is that 'chath' (roof top) is an important and distinctive feature. the bigger and wider the rooftop the better. thus on such days, the terrace and the stairs that lead to the rooftop become my favourite hang out. there is something so mystical in the air that flies on the rooftop. its light, it smells good( unlike the heavy smell of the pollutants that dominates our environment) and it sort of sets you free from the mundane trivial worries.
On days like these when the weather is exceptionally romantic or so to speak pleasant, the world around you looks so perfect and flawless; the whole feeling, the ambiance pulls you towards it. and then you're lost like Alice in wonderland. everything around you feels new, alien and beautiful. you become curious just like Alice and then there is no end to it. hehehe i might sound a bit, no actually quite stupid, but i am at a loss of both words and thoughts.
That reminds me of something quite peculiar regarding certain kind of smells, fragrances etc. some smells are so profoundly anchored in our subconscious thoughts that if we feel them again, one can actually relate to it. there is usually a distant memory of a place or a person that is somehow associated with it. its fascinating even more than the feeling of deja vu. to me the flashback coming on such a day is some peculiarity in itself. there used to be an indescribable smell that is very common with our culture, a very ethnic smell of food being cooked on the old fashioned stoves. i always relate it to the time i used to spend with my Nani. There is also a universally and unanimously acknowledged (or is my assumption) mild, dainty and celestial smell of the damp earth ( geeli mitti) which is absolutely splendid. It brings back the memories of all the good times and the rainy days of the monsoon, the melting popsicles/ice lollies being effortlessly licked with feet being carelessly splashed in the water on the streets. Geeli mitti ki khusbo is like our identity, our roots, something that gives a feeling of a warm relation to the land that nourishes us.
What amazes me the most is that every person has a hallmark smell. its not their perfumes or scents they use, its their genuine natural fragrance that accompanies them everywhere. with a grin on her face my mother says its the 'roohani khushbo' (spiritual smell) and i guess its fairly true. then in winters or in this spell bounding weather, the smell of the coffee brings forth a wave of ecstasy. there are so many more smell associated nostalgia but the thunder and lightning are the dominant distractions presently.