They called me the fragrance expert. I was less experienced than an amateur, but the title flattered me. Every time someone said, “Oh, Ajay! He’s a connoisseur of perfumes! You can be at an arm’s distance and he would tell you what you’re wearing and what its notes are!” I felt a surge of pride rising straight to my slightly plump cheeks, making them plumper.
How did it matter that I was an amateur? I did not have to solve crimes. I just had to impress a few chicks in college. They fell for stuff like this.
One cold day in January, I finished my semester examinations and went straight to the railway station. Mother had been complaining lately, that I did not meet her much, that I did not travel so many kilometers every weekend. I missed her too, especially her food. I was unwell. Coughing incessantly and a blocked nose were ruining my journey. Suddenly, my train stopped at a small station. I assumed it was to let another train cross ours.
It was one of those stations that people saw but never really looked at. It was beautiful, in a picture-postcard kind of way, yet unnoticeable. There was a picket fence, lamp posts and low trees. To add to it, it was really misty.
And then another bout of cough hit me.
Suddenly a girl boarded the train. She took the seat next to me and looked at me, I think with sympathy. She took out a thermos from her bag, poured the steaming hot liquid into its little cup and said, “Here. Ginger tea. It’ll be good for you.” I wanted to say thank you, but damn the cough.
Yet, despite the blocked nose and the near-death-coughing-experience, I could smell a faint scent in the air. Was I an expert after all? Nope, if I were, I would know what scent it was. But I did not have the slightest clue. It was not like the usual perfumes I was used to. It was classier somehow.
It may have seemed strange to say this to a girl who you just met, who saw you doubled over because you could not stop coughing, who offered you a cup of amazing tea and you did not even say thank you, but the first words out of my mouth were, “What perfume are you wearing?”
She pushed a strand of her behind her ear. Her lips parted, but in hesitation. She seemed unsure whether to answer my question or not. Then again, how many charming (don’t mind the illnesses) guys did she meet on a daily basis who asked about her perfume. Okay, yeah, keep the brickbats.
“Versace Yellow Jeans,” she finally replied. I nodded, then added, “Well, thank you for the coffee… I mean, er… tea.”
Oh what a lovely smile!
In between attacks of cough and supplies of oxygen, we both managed to have a conversation. She got off at yet another obscure, yet beautiful station, about an hour before my hometown. It was only after she got off that I realized I had not asked her her name.
I guess every time this fragrance expert catches a whiff of Versace Yellow Jeans in the air (and I doubt if it’ll ever happen again!), I will remember that lovely train journey on that cold day in January, when I was so sick out of my senses that the first thing I asked a (beautiful) stranger is what perfume they were wearing.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


8 thoughts on “Perfume

  1. Abhishek Sharma January 7, 2015 / 8:44 PM

    nice post. Anyways don't believe the innocent looking co-passengers so quickly, you might get drugged 🙂


  2. Shweta Dave January 8, 2015 / 1:33 PM

    Nice one dear, simple and lovely, may I suggest you use a bigger font size or change the background color from black.


  3. Sreesha Divakaran January 9, 2015 / 7:36 PM

    True. But sometimes you have to be innocent enough to believe in the innate goodness of people.


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