mangoWe keep talking about how to heal the hurt soul.
We spoke about music, memories, mellow moments and their magic to make us merry.
We spoke about the good effects of the good that affect us good.
Really, there is no other way to keep out of the quicksand this new Roman Empire has laid out for us — with the relentless Orwellian war, violence, democracy travesty, vast personal data mining in the name of fighting war on terror, and global profiteering in the name of prosperity.
You and I do not matter in this game the powerful play. You and I are prone to death, despair, depression and destruction.
Yet, you and I perhaps do not want to surrender and succumb so soon. Therefore, we need our own, totally non-violent weapons of mass survival.

Those precious pre-Wal-Mart days!

Those precious pre-Wal-Mart days!

Music, memories and mellow moments are some of our personal, not-for-profit weapons of survival. We are our own psychological counseling. We use yoga. We do meditation. We walk in the park. We write poetry. We chant mantras. We look out the window to hear the train whistle by. We look out the window to hear the waves break on a stormy dawn. We hear the rain patter on a perched tin roof.
Yes, we did talk about the music for the ear.
Today, I’m briefly talking about the music for the olfactory. I call it aroma therapy. It’s another beautiful, delicate, sensitive, humane, civilized way to keep your senses sane.
The smell of a ripe mango. Just close your eyes and think about it. Or, much better, get one in Dhaka, Murshidabad, Mumbai, Malaysia, Thailand or  Trinidad — a fresh, beautiful fruit plucked right off the mid-summer tree — and hold it close to your olfactory. You are in heaven.

Crisp samosa. Bengali singara. From Mukti’s Kitchen. Brooklyn.

The flavor of a just-cooked samosa — crisp, beautifully shaped. You can eat it later. For now, just smell it. Or, think about the last time you did.
Remember the smell of newly-stocked saris and shirts your neighborhood shopkeeper laid out for you and your family just before the Durga Puja and Diwali holidays? Didn’t you feel like you wanted to sleep there — in the middle of all the new clothes, wrapped around by the heaps of new saris and shirts? You don’t get that smell anymore since the neighborhood shopkeeper folded his business and moved out. The new clothes merchant does not speak your language, and he would not let you sleep in the middle of the new clothes, wrapped around by the heaps of the new saris and shirts.
But there is no harm thinking about those days when it was possible. The beautiful smell is always there deep inside. Just look for it.
Or, the smell of the brand-new books you went to buy with your father after getting the book list in grade school. Or, the smell of your first, pricey cup of Qwality ice cream in Calcutta.
Or, the wonderfully healthy fragrance of hundreds of pine trees on your first hunt for boletes on a nippy November morning. Here in America.
We shall write more.
Wrapping around with a soft aroma shawl,
Brooklyn, New York
Fresh. Fragrance. Fantastic.

Fresh. Fragrance. Fantastic.