Friday, 19 June 2015

Home and its Quirks!

For many, our home is the place that we 'stay' for most part of the lives. We may be a travel loving person and would want to visit new places. Or we would be staying in a hostel in a faraway place. Whatever corner of the world we may be, we always want to come back to our homes at some point of time. And that is why we have a special word - Live and not Stay. It is a part of our life and vice versa. It is the one place where we can be ourselves. Every home has its own quirks. By quirks, I mean everything from the exterior and the interior, the organisation inside to the intensity of relationships and bonds between family members. It also includes the multitude of sounds and odours found in each home. 

Some of the favourite, unique smells that are present in my home alone come from mainly two places - the kitchen and the pooja room. The smell of coffee, the smell of butter while making Paneer butter masala and the seemingly ever present fragrance of the incense sticks. During festival days like Pongal and Diwali, my home is filled with all sorts of fragrances.

Ofcourse there are bad smells too. When I was at school, I used to remove my shoes, socks and uniform and not throw them in the laundry place. Instead, each would be thrown in different corners of my room. As a result, there was always that subtle 'sock' smell in my room. But that habit vanished by the time I completed school.

The monsoon is one season when DAMP is the main colour of the house. There is dampness everywhere and it is usually in a bad sense. Our clothes cannot be hung to dry outside, obviously. Therefore, the problem starts when we tend to dry it under the fan inside the house. However long we put it to dry, there is still that slight dampness in it which brings a bad odour. It is only a matter of time before the entire house catches it.

We, being a non vegetarian family, cook and have non vegetarian food for atmost twelve days in a month. Bad odour is temporary only while cleaning (during preparation) and vanishes as soon the garbage is disposed off after lunch. However there was this one occasion which turned out to be pretty awkward and embarrassing to me. Though I am a non vegetarian, I don't like ... indulge in it. Never a hardcore. Moreover I have become more of an eggetarian now. The thing is there are some dishes in NV that I absolutely abhor - like mutton thala curry, moolai, kaadai, nethili karuvaadu etc. I prefer not to translate these. I would react in a way similar to how vegetarians react when they hear of chicken and fish fry. How are they eating this !?!?!?

Twice or thrice a year, my mother cooks this supposedly delicious dish called karuvaadu. Karuvaadu is dry and salted fish. Large amounts of salt are present in it which makes it very tasty and ofcourse bad for the health. Usually a kozhambu (toned down gravy) is made. The off putting thing is the unbearable stink it leaves while buying, cleaning, cooking and eating. It is as if this species of fish lives and breeds in the sewage. And it is not even mild. A stink that reaches places. We had finished lunch and everyone was getting ready for the afternoon siesta. I was already on the verge to sleep.

It was during this occasion that my vegetarian friend decided to come to my house, ringing the doorbell. Grumbling to myself, I opened the door. My friend's facial expression instantly changed from his trademark grin to one that looked like he was choking and flinching in pain. It took me several moments in my somnolent state to realise why he was acting weird.

Oh, the poor soul! Since I had been inside the house from the beginning, the stink must have lost on my olfactory organs. For an outside person, it would have been an assault.  Quickly burying my snort of laughter, I told him, "It is better if we talked outside", grabbing his hand and hurried him beyond the main grill gate.

As I was watching him closely regaining his composure, he looked questioningly in mild shock.

"We had karuvaadu for lunch today. That's how it smells"

"What a Karuvaad!", my friend gasped.

Immediately, I started laughing. Taking a moment to catch what he had just said, he too joined in the laughter.

I am familiar with Ambi pur air fresheners from the ones that are used in our cars. I always liked the smell of it and when it combined with the air conditioner the experience was bliss. So, I think ambi pur air effects would do a really good job in annihilating the bad smells that are present in our homes, thereby avoiding such embarrassing experiences.

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley activity at in association with Ambi Pur

P.S: What a Karuvaad is a very popular Tamil number sung by National award winner cum actor Dhanush and composed by 'Kolaveri' Anirudh.


  1. There are always smells and aromas in every home. Some can be clean and light. Some can be sickeningly sweet. Some really very rank. Some can make your mouth water, and others can make your eyes water. It's just life and living and cooking. What smells clean and lovely to one person another person might find offensive. We can only do what we can and make the best of the rest.
    I Saw it on Facebook @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

  2. i like the karuvadu dish. yummy. interesting read!
    hehe, what a karuvad... =')


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