Friday, November 21, 2008


Vicks inhaler, while I’m inhaling it that is, instantly transports me to Circa 2000 to the Fab India store at Koramangala. The prettiest one, the old Bangalore style house that was converted into the store. I had a bad cold and had just discovered the unique addictive properties of Vicks Inhaler, and walked around the shop sometimes leaving it hanging in my nostril just to piss my mum off. She was on a buying spree that year, as we were going to visit my just married sister in Delhi, for the first time since the wedding. I had bunked college and scooted over on my Scooty (remember those) and mum had finally found the place, driving the automan insane in the process.
I can actually remember every room of the store, every color kurti I tried on, how many clothes we bought my sister and my brother in law, the bathroom I used that still had a quaint old bathtub in it that I laid down in, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply till my mother started banging on the door to come out and try on some more stuff for my sister, the other mother - daughter duo that were NRI’s loading up stuff to take back home, and how the mother called her daughter ‘kanna’. A 75 year old mother calling her 50 year old daughter ‘kanna’. I found it insane. The cute wild haired intellectual boy in a long kurta, the kind I was obsessed with at the time, who picked up 4 identical kurtas, the lone tree in the middle of the house, in the centre of the mitham, the warm winter sun streaming in…

I had laid out my life in that hour. I had decided I would marry a boy just like the wild haired kurta clad boy, that I would live with him in a beautiful old style house, not unlike this one, mitham and all, that my mother would visit us and definitely not call me ‘kanna’.

Still, to this day, every time I use the old Vicks inhaler, it becomes like some sort of Remembral (yes, like in Harry Potter silly) for that one moment in my life. A moment for some strange reason I remember more sharply than any other, ever.

Oh, and I have a cold now and am inhaling deeply, if anyone was wondering. Peace

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Poo, hope you get well soon. No fun being ill...I am addicted to Vicks inhaler too! I have one for every bag ;).

Do they still have Vick's ki goli? I remember that t.v ad from many years ago...

Anonymous said...

Vicks ki Goli Lo Kich Kich Door Karo!
the inhaler only reminds me of being sick in my dorm in boarding school. full taare zameen par moments. wah

Anonymous said...

Hope you're well with all the chaos in Mumbai.

AlwaysHappyKya said...

Oh..Oh..Oh..have been there too !

Just before traveling to the US of A, a friend suggested that place in K'mangala and wow! how I loved it!

Your description brought back that smell of incense in the air for me ..if not vicks inhaler ;-)

Hope you're out of the cold now.

El said...

Hiya, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about, I used to love that bangalore fabindia, and infact used to go there only with mum. Excellent post, makes me heart blogging in general and all the connections that come to us unexpectedly.