A whiff of therapy

They held secrets known to many bygones of the ancient era. The Egyptians began processing the lotus flower blooming across the Nile river, preserving the essence of the oil in alabaster, a material known to seal and preserve.

Alabaster, a material made of precious stone found in Israel textured like the marble but delicate and known to seal fragrances, an expensive piece of a kind known for its symbolism in the Bible & Quran.

This Jar till date hold tales, secrets and aroma of the ancient era, these jars are still existing in the by lanes of the Egypt market sometimes holding ecstatic scents.

The Egyptians knew how to mix their cosmetics with it, oils were brought applied into their cosmetic uses, fragrance of remote origins, flowers, stem, roots, barks and the essence all preserved in a air locked jar.

Enter into a holy shrine filled with tea lights burning dimly and you’ll notice the light smell of incense wafting the air, a tradition which was passed on symbolizing that the prayers would reach the divine with the aroma. With good odor comes purity and the feeling of holy.

The discovery that led to the boom of aroma was that an explosion in the factory helped Rene Maurice, a French chemist discovers the healing properties of lavender as he applied it to a burn on his hand, and then this lead to more research on how these bottled essential oils could be used to treat burns, skin infections and wounds for soldiers during World War 1 and by 1950’s this aromatherapy was used by many.

When I was at school, I hopped to a store with mum and glanced on the oil section, I would inhale some or look dotingly at the back cover of the packaged produce. There were many kinds essential oils, aroma oils and mood oils. I did not pick lavender on the first go, I wanted to take a whiff of what I was going to buy and use, hence from thereon my experiments with aroma began, if I’ve ever felt like I needed to let things just happen and let it go I would use this either as a bath oil or a few drops in my scarf would do the trick.

Fragrances are a personal affair if you ask me. What might please you may not please the next person so it’s important to judge buying either on a sample or you could look at the ailments you are wanting to treat like say insomnia or so.

There are days when you want to bask in your space, light a tea candle in the yellow colored diffuser and listen to some classical music, that’s what I do when I need my quiet time to reflect and let things go.

Ever applied a particular perfume and it became your favorite, if a fragrance makes you feel great, well, that’s aroma working for you, however, this is only bordered to clothes when its perfumes and the same principle is applied to all your fragrant soaps, toothpaste etc.

The cue for buying oils is in the frequent products you use, if you like the mint smell of the soap then you could try peppermint. If your mood is down you have a couple of oils that can be mood enhancers keep your senses open and you’ll find your right kind.

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Whimsical tales of the past

Whenever I see kids on a summer vacation, it fondly helps me drown in mine. That feeling of having an entire month to myself, either to dip my fingers into different shades of paint or get those flavored ice lollies in the blistering heat at my grandmothers place.

The part which leads to travelling all the way to Mumbai to meet my grand-mum meant carrying a bag worth of music (cassettes) to go with my Walkman and extra batteries, it was a delight to carry new music which was picked from an actual music store. A book or two, a bag of munchies along with a cooler filled with cold water.

Watching the mornings drift into the noon and spill into beautiful evenings, the lush greenery, the cows at the farm or simply watching the moving scenes from the window with my eyes glued outside. The games were brought from the vendor in the train to pass that long journey which included buying all in one game set, which included snakes and ladders, ludo and chess. This also meant making new friends in the same compartment while the dice rolled. The long stops at which the train hauled meant sampling different food from a different state and oily fingers with street food. It was a different story to tell by itself

The journey was a agog with experiences and arriving onto my final destination meant a lot more fun, new friends, playing new games. The time when cousins would gang up and have delicious mangoes together, it felt like we were having our own mini summer party.

Playing by the tank, which had a fortress like set up where your gang could gather to play yet another interesting game or setting that very own summer tents within the house, where we spoke for hours about the most mundane things that hardly come to my mind now. The stationery shopping that seemed to always make me grin the smell of new books, new pencils and erasers with that distinct sweet smell.

The favorite ice-cream shop my mum used to take me to savor  litchi ice cream, it was a perfect summer treat and the strolls filled with hawkers and the most interesting things one could find. The wind playing with my hair in the evenings by the beach or the colors that you’d get to choose to have on a crushed iced filled with sugar syrup.

And as I’ve grown through the years the realities have changed, so have the cousins that I grew up with. The shops have changed, the summers, they don’t look the same but those little streets filled with books and the smell of parched paper makes my heart flutter with joy. I don’t expect, I let life give me surprises and in most profound ways when you take a stroll and accidentally bump into hawkers selling second hand book or stationery or a scoop of that tender coconut that makes you happy on a dull day makes up for it.