Smells of India

The second thing people think about when they hear India, after sights, is smells. Its one of the many things abundant in India. Good smells, bad smells, and the really, really bad smells. There are certain junctions where I’ve learned to hold my breath, and a couple of roads I’ll make a detour around if I can.

Most developing countries smell the same to me. When I go on mission and get out of the plane, it always smells like third world (usually a good thing, if you ask me). It smells of sand, heat, tropical greenery, old buildings and new spices . At least that’s what I like to imagine that it is. Delhi, then, smells like developing country +. And today it was marvelous.

Despite the smog that’s had me coughing for a few weeks, everything smelled just right. My four autorickshaw rides were all olfactory delights. It was just that perfect temperature outside, where the heat brings out the smell of the plants and the dirt, but its still cold enough that you get a lingering smell of last night’s roadside fires. Every dhaba was cooking up a feast. Hints of the sweetest incense flowed from every corner. No animals seemed to have defecated anywhere. And my kitty learned to use the litter box, so there wasn’t even a hint of cat urine when I got home. How about that?

All in all, today was a good day to be on the road. I will enjoy it to the fullest before the heat sets in and the rot inevitably takes over.


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