This story is from a while back. It was just another sticky day in the summer of 2014, to be precise. I used to work in an ad agency in those days. Long working hours, boring projects, horrible office politics and the general environment was eating away at me. The only good part about this office was the commute. And unlike many others I know, I enjoy the process of commuting.
My office was a good kilometre and a half away from the railway station, so I had to walk almost 20 minutes before I could board a train. It wasn’t exactly a pleasant stroll. It meant dodging a noisy, sweaty crowd in a perpetual rush and bearing with the ever-growing, ever-honking, impatient road traffic. Yet, it was better than being trapped in a stifling office space.
This incident happened at the end of a particularly washed out day at work. As I walked towards the railway station, I was arrested by a fragrance. It immediately brightened my mood and brought a smile to my face. I remember pausing on my way. The smell somehow reminded me of my last vacation to the hills. It almost transported me there. Barely a second passed before a shove followed by a push, from a careless gang of killjoys, rushing to catch a train jolted me back to reality.
However, I was intrigued. It was not a whiff of the fresh mountain air, or a sniff of cannabis, or of any blooming Rhododendrons. After all, I was standing in the middle of a bridge connecting platform number 2 and platform number 4. It must have been perfume, I thought. Nah! It was something else. Then it hit me – Medimix! It was the smell of one of the most popular soap bars found in practically all the budget hotels in India. That was it! The cause of happy thoughts; the harbinger of memories.
As I settled myself in a corner of an overly crowded train compartment, my mind drifted to far away mountains, to long walks beneath the open skies, to vast expanses of green and the clean air. I saw curious children, happy people, hot momos, aloo tikkis, sweaters, mufflers, scrambling monkeys, chocolate pancakes, and … “Agla Station, Vile Parle. Pudhil Station, Vile Parle. Next Station, Vile Parle”! – the announcement boomed over the microphone, and successfully disrupted my moment.
That was it, time to get off the train, head to the market and buy a bar of Medimix.