Thursday, October 18, 2012

Statue, statue (Boomiyil iruppadhum)

You remember the smell of jaggery being made. That’s what your parents and your family members you went with to see the new house they were buying. It was far from where you were living, with your cousins on one side, and the friendly neighbour who gave you a teaspoon of ‘powder’ which was ‘Ovaltine’ and a biscuit every morning. You remember the medley of smells from the small ‘petty shop’. An old woman is sitting behind a row of bottles, handing out cigarettes and candy to customers. She has huge gold jewellery hanging from her ears. You can see the big hole. In her ear from which the piece of jewellery is hanging, and you wonder if it hurts her. The smell of ripe bananas, cigarettes, groundnut cakes and other candy hit your nostrils. But dominating all is the smell of jaggery on this warm day. This song comes on from the small transistor radio in the shop. Later you would go to the place where they were making the jaggery. There was a well, and a thick tube stuck out of the well all the way out into a tank. The water rushed out like a frothing, liquid snake. You still the smell of the jaggery in your mind, and the song. Statue, statue, he was saying.

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