A perfume on my dressing table, Eau-de-Cologne in my bathroom, a pocket-perfume in my handbag, always sneeze on a perfumed handkerchief, never allow bad odour to play any mischief! My love for fragrances is completely contradictory to my love for my sweaty career path of an aspiring civil engineer! I was prepared to go through the ordeals of my education period armed with all my ammunition.
- Perfumes – Check
- Freshly washed clothes – Check
- Bathing with warm water in the morning & in the nights – Check
- Water intake – Check
So just like a perfection loving Libran, I had everything in place. Until the heavens bestowed upon our college group this gem called “Parimal”. Though he was nowhere near to “Old fashioned” as much his name sounded. Lean, neatly dressed, fair skinned. So Parimal walks into our gang and impresses each one of us with his sense of humor & intellect. Our first group conversation heard roars of laughter with him as the orator. After every round of laughter, I could smell something weird. I chose to ignore it, thinking it might be something in the surrounding. With smelling powers more powerful than the world’s most proficient sniffer dog, no smell can escape my nose. This one just got the benefit of doubt.
With weeks passing by, our course got tougher with periodic construction site visits. Pleasant wintry afternoons or scorchy summery ones, site visits were a must. Those weird smells continued to accompany me during these weeks, and my radar was still not able to detect the origination of those smelly signals! But it was high time I sprung into action & nailed the culprit. Out came another checklist of names:
1. Navya – my room mate. Bathes everyday, wears clean clothes. Applies Guvava flavored body lotion, which often throws me into a tizzy. But far better than that ‘weird’ smell I was trying to detect. Ruled out as a suspect!
2. Ishita – that milky white breed of damsels, warm water baths thrice a day. This mermaid mostly smells of freshly applied nail paints. Ruled out as a suspect!
3. Amanat – the sporty kind! Basket ball player, sweats profusely, but warm water baths before and after every game is her freshness mantra! Ruled out as a suspect!
4. Meet – Always hogging on food. That is what he mostly smells of. Good part is, since he’s always eating, he smells of fresh food only, never rotten. Ruled out as a suspect!
5. Gaurav – The casanova! He manages to be surrounded by the coolest of babes in college! Obviously, he would make every effort to smell good always! Ruled out as a suspect!
6. Parimal – freshly bloomed bud in our gang. It was time to examine the fragrances emanated by this flower.
For a period of 3-4 days during our most torturous site visit, Parimal was smelling of Instant Pain-Relief Spray like Relispray. I wondered and asked him ‘Did you sprain your muscles’, he casually replied ‘Yaah, Yaah. At the site’. I believed. After disappearing for a couple of days, the Relispray fragrance made a dashing comeback! With a brand new Tommy Hilfiger denim & a tee on, he seemed bathed in that Instant Pain-Relief Spray! I was baffled at this prolonged muscle pain. Amidst all this Relispray aura, that weird smell had completely vanished. This aroused my curiosities and gave a lot of fuel to my burning fire of suspicion!
It is very difficult to get out secrets from boys, when it is about their friends. So the only bet I could place was on Meet, the “Jughead” of our group. I promised him a Medium Sized Pizza Treat (you have to be specific to the last inch, when making treat promises to friends before they burst your limited allowances with cheese-burst demands) for spilling the beans! I so much enjoy over acting on my ‘horrified’ expression, and just got the chance to when Meet told me about the weekly bathing schedules of his roomie Parimal. “Oh my God! Oh my God! How could he??” I was shrieking and Meet was gobbling away to glory! When you are a Civil Engineering student, taking a bath Sunday to Sunday sounds like a perfect plan to bring this world to an end.
This piece of information spread like wild fire amongst the female community, who were drooling over Parimal’s good looks & dressing sense till date. We openly teased him in our gang, but thick-skinned as he is, he wryly smiled & threw a booster dose of Relispray on us from his body! This Instant Pain-Relief Spray idea was suddenly becoming a rage in our college, with every guy or girl lazy to take a bath would use the spray before coming to college. Even during the Sports festival before Independence Day, if somebody was genuinely hurt & were looking for Instant Pain-Relief Spray, the answer would come “We have a deodorant, if that would help!!”. This product had ultimately lost its purpose in our college. Not bathing everyday had suddenly become the “IN” thing with guys in our stream of Engineering. They had a justification “You have to do this to get into the “Feel” of field work”. I repeatedly fail to feel those “Feel”s!
So while the college was preparing for flag hoisting, we all stood in attention position & started singing in chorus for Parimal & a couple of his other no-bathe buddies,
Hum Nahayenge Ek Din…Hum Nahayenge Ek Din…
Hum Nahayenge Ek Din…nnnnnnn,
Ohho Mann mey hai vishwas, Pura hai vishwas,
Hum Nahayenge Ek Din…nnnnnnn!
Hogi Khushboo Chaaro Ore, Hogi Khushboo Chaaro Ore,
Hogi Khushboo Chaaro Ore, Ek Din…
Ohho Mann mey hai vishwas, Pura hai vishwas,
Hogi Khushboo Chaaro Ore, Ek Din..nnnn!
He was so amused as though A.R.Rahman had sung this song exclusively in his honor! Some guys I tell you! And so over-confident he is about his coolness, he randomly wants to give hugs to everyone around for everything good that happens. I wished I had powers of the ‘Spike’ in X-Men at that moment, where automatically spikes would appear everytime Parimal would come forward to give an irrelevant hug!
On dinner outings, he specially orders a full plate of onions and gobbles them down just like Popeye with his can of Spinach! Though Spinach gave our dear Popeye instant energies, gobbling onions gave our dear Parimal more super natural powers of magical fragrances. He would start singing immediately, without even bothering about the clouds of odour that he is thrusting upon us! Sits on the dinner table with one foot resting on the knee of the other. I was horrified (repeat telecast of this feeling) to notice the layers of mud on his feet! The layer was so thick it could be peeled off, baked in an oven to form the most authentic Mud Pie! Bowaaaaak went my imagination!
The boys hostel was fully equipped with all facilities. There were various Racold Pronto Water Heaters, where water is heated instantly and they did not have to make an excuse of long waits for warm water to be available. But where there is no will, there cant be a way. It was his birthday and our group thought of giving him a surprise at 12 am. Forgiving all his fragrant tortures he inflicts on us with such grace, we carried a huge bunch of Lilies & a chocolate cake only to see the happiness on his face! Enter their hostel corridor, and a uniquely pungent smell encaptivates you, which is a mixture of fragrances that have been developed by several years of hard work of not washing the body, clothes, socks, shoes, bedsheets & what not! I used all my rescue aids and like a fire fighting van sprayed gallons of water to douse that fire of aroma.
I could sense the guys had already dumped all the smelly socks & stuff in the bathroom before we came. Parimal’s room was another heritage site. Lot of things that had’nt been touched or washed in the longest history of their stay at this hostel. Navya’s strong Guvava body lotion and Ishita’s freshly painted nails did their best to fight the enemies, but lost the battle. Meet was already smelling of French Fries which he has just finished eating & Gaurav was in the next room dressing up for a late night ice-cream date. I realized it was not just me, the Lilies were feeling awkward too, I saw one of them wither away not able to stand the surrounding fragrances! What super natural powers this guy possessed! I could visualize the guys choking to death with lilies in their room, longing to rush to the bathroom to dive into their heap of smelly socks, and heave a sigh of relief!
My sister was 8 months pregnant and had asked me to find good names for both boys & girls and send her the shortlisted names. While random googling, I incidentally came across the name “Parimal” and found its meaning to be ” उक्त प्रकार से शरीर में मले या लगाये हुए पदार्थों से निकलनेवाली सुगंध” (meaning perfume or essence applied to the body). Life and its ironies. Sigh!
Neatly washed & ironed clothes & nicely combed hair along with a dash of “Instant Pain-Relief Spray”, was his perfect way to get away with his ‘Why waste time under the shower’ attitude! But not until he fell in for the most sought after beauty-with-brains combination in our college, Harshita. Charming as our Mr.Perfect is, they became great friends initially. But the more she would hang out with him, the more active her sensory powers became! I am sure Parimal would have made fatal (read FATAL) attempts to give her his patented timely and irrelevant hugs. She began to withdraw and avoiding his company. Our Mr.Perfect was heart-broken & just didnt know what to do! Here was my golden chance to knock on his brains and tell him
Why the romance with that smell, BOSS?
All relationships & friendships have gone for a Toss,
Just take a warm shower everyday to avoid all the Chaos,
Its time to reborn each day, & make up for the Loss!
Parimal gave me a teary-eyed stare on my poetic advice and was about to give me his usual random irrelevant hug, before my eyes screamed like those of Sunny Deol’s “Eyyyyyyyyyy!!” Thankfully, he withdrew. What if I did’nt have a 2.5 kilo hand, my 2.5 kilo attitude worked! 😛
So our dear Parimal made tough yet slowly successful attempts of wasting his 5 precious minutes everyday under the shower. He wanted to kill everyone around him, including our gang for putting him through this ordeal. But in a few days time, he realized the worth of it. The changes we could see in him, in my poetic style…
As a result of those warm showers,
Everyday different ideas his mind flowers,
His academic performance above all now towers,
Jobs he completed in days are now done in hours!
Stay fresh! Stay healthy! Stay alive & kicking!
(This Story is an entry for Close Encounters of the Smelly Kind, by Indiblogger and Racold. Be a part of their Facebook page)