They say that the olfactory sense is the strongest and most primal and sensitive.
So, here I am, trying to recall smells (favourite fragrances, odious odours, whatever) from my childhood. Not an easy job, because my nose knows not what to recall.
One smell I recall is of milk burning as Sabitadi (our daily help) patiently stirred the milk and sugar in a thick-bottomed pan to make ghano-doodh (condensed milk) for my dadu (grandfather) every evening for his supper (He would insist on his nightly quota of ghano-doodh, even if he had to mix it up with khichdi (spicy rice-lentil-vegetable-mash).
One of my favourite smells was (don't go yuck) the smell of cowdung cakes used to light fires in the clay-ovens used to cook food. I would save bits of these cakes and put them in a used tin of black Cherry-Blossom shoe-polish (another smell I just loved). What a weird combination that was!
Another more uncomplicated (but maybe equally weird) smell which I loved was the smell of raw kerosene. I would hang round my mother whenever she would sit down with all the lanterns and kerosene lamps (used during the inevitable daily powercuts) to clean the glass covers (which would get darkened with soot) and refill them with kerosene poured through a dark green plastic funnel.
There I go, though! My memory is definitely more visual than olfactory.
WHAT CHILDHOOD SMELLS CAN YOU RECALL?