The ground coffee from the darshini.
The heady aroma of the Akasha Mallige.
Frying onions from an unknown source.
Agarbathi or dhoop fragrance from a nearby window.
A waft of strong perfume from a lady whizzing by on the back of a scooter.
Punctuating all these, and vitiating them, the stench of accumulations of garbage.
My city is a nasal smorgasbord.
This morning's walk from my daughter's to my home, in terms of fruits....the ubiquitous bananas everywhere, punctuated by guavas and pomegranates on both carts and small trees, the not-usual-at-this-time grapes, a small pomelo tree,bael fruit hanging from a tree in someone's garden, papayas on a tree in an empty lot, lemons hanging over the footpath. The seed pods of honge, sampige swaying in the breeze. And let me not forget the coconuts in the front garden of a house which, instead of a name, bears the inscription, "Beware of falling coconuts."
My walk home from my daughter's, in terms of sounds: the burbling, liquid sound of the Red-whiskered Bulbul and a couple of Tailorbirds, then the harsh cawing of crows. The rasping of two coconut brooms that a pourakramika uses to clean leaf litter and trash. The clank of the bucket and mug, that maid wields to wash the pavement in the front of the house.The echoing call of "soppu!" from a pushcart vendor. Cars, two-wheelers and the whine of autos as I cross the main road. Snatches of conversation as I pass people, some of it very intriguing. The monsoon wind soughing through the branches of a large Gulmohar tree. The Venkatesha Suprabhatam from the phone of one walker who has apparently not heard of earphones. The "ha-ha-ha" of the Laughter Club. The honking horns of impatient motorists rushing to work. Mukesh's "chal ri sajni" from an open window. A program on Ambabai, on Amurthavarshini channel, in my own ears. My own footsteps as I climb the four floors, and the key in my front door...
Today's walk home, from my daughter's, in terms of flowers:
The dragonfruit flower, also called Brahmakamalam locally, budding in many flowerpots.
Copper pod flowers finishing up their bursts of yellow.
Violin-leaf Plumeria smiling from veritcal-looking plants.
Cape Jasmine flowers starring the ground.
A lady picking up Coral Jasmine flowers from the granite slabs in front of her home, to add to the hibiscus in her basket.
Manoranjitham flowering too high for me to try smelling it.
Carts with marigold garlands, and button roses.
Several colours of bougainvillea, and here and there, jasmine flowers nodding their heads in the morning breeze.
This is not the season of purple (Jacaranda) ,red (Gulmohar) or yellow (Copper pod) carpets, but I still enjoy the flowers as I walk!
The most beautiful flowers, ofkose, were the two I put on the school bus before starting to walk home.
This morning's walk to my daughter's home. The fragrance of "sampige" (champa, shenbagam, Michela champaca, call it what you will) flowers wafting down from the trees. Women with their sarees hiked up past their ankles which have silver anklets, dotting the wet ground preparatory to making the rangolis. Little tea stalls doing brisk business. Newspapers being thrown into gardens. A conversation I do not hear, but only the word "thEvadiyA" (whore) repeated, loudly, and with great emphasis, by an elderly woman to the man in front of her. (What a beginning to her morning, I think.) A cat walking nonchalantly across the broken glass on a wall. Pourakramikas collecting and emptying trash, keeping our city livable. A new vegetable shop, advertising "holsel rate". The pushcarts, selling various things, moving the small-business economy of the city. I walk through my world, feeling lucky and happy.