I think I will be using the mehndi cone after all, despite my protestations that, ok, it is Eid, so what’s the big deal?
For me the festival is associated with scents of all kinds.
- The first thing in the morning would be the whiff of henna being removed, its overnight stay on my hands giving it a deep tinge; I’d cup the palms before my nose and inhale.
- There was the strong ittar, the one day when non-alcohol-based perfume was used; it wasn’t mandatory, of course, and since I hated it I only hoped that heaven was nothing like Jannat-e-Firdaus, the particularly preferred one.
- There was the fragrance of aggarbatis as the fateha was said before one small bowl of sheer khurma, the rest to be distributed was spared any godly intervention.
- The smell of onions and potatoes being browned on a slow fire to be added to the biryani.
- The scent of gajras, strings of jasmine with a rose in the middle, which the women wore in their hair.
Finally, the aroma of gulkand and supari from the paan as they were chewed to pulp in the mouth.
Nostalgia has a very strong whiff…try as I may I cannot wash my hands off it.