OS Series Vignettes - 11. Olfactory perception

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Posted: 8 years ago

Hello all!

Here is the eleventh part.

I've always wanted to see this happen...I was grinning like a fool as I wrote this...would've given an arm and a leg to be in Khushi's place!

Hope this OS makes you all dream very, very happy dreams this weekend!

Enjoy...and, as always, looking forward to your feedback.

Scroll down to view the English Translation.

11. Olfactory perception

Odor information is stored in long-term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. This is possibly due to the olfactory system's close anatomical ties to the limbic system and hippocampus, areas of the brain that have long been known to be involved in emotion and place memory, respectively. Indeed this may be why odor-evoked memories are unusually emotionally potent.

*********************

Arnav Singh Raizada was a powerhouse of talents - talents that made him a ruthless predator in the corporate jungle, talents that made him a feared opponent in negotiations, talents that enabled him to win many a legal tussle, talents among which one of the most admired was his incredible memory. He was known to recall specific clauses from long-dead contracts, known to quote winning arguments from corporate law and known to mercilessly recollect past failures of many an adversary if it meant winning a deal for AR.

In his personal life, his memory helped him survive in the mad-house that was his house; where there were umpteen functions happening almost every day, where umpteen demands were made of him of every nature, from a host of hyper family members. That fact that he couldn't live without his madcap family was his best-kept secret.

His ability to remember the most mundane of things having been a part of him since birth, he never really paid heed to it, until the day he met the girl who would go on to become his very life - his wife.

What had happened had been a revelation. Not that he wasn't stunned by how every moment spent in her company played over and over in his mind, crowding out everything else. But what truly amazed him was how smells started wrecking havoc in his life. Every turn brought faint wiffs that took him within touching distance of her, only to realise that she was miles away, at home.

He suffered...he really did.

He couldn't wipe his face with a towel without the smell of washing power and fabric conditioner reminding his of his second meeting with Ms. Khushi Kumari Gupta, when her white duppatta had enveloped him...

He couldn't browse through fabric samples from France without remembering Khushi dressed up for the calendar shoot, the french perfume torturing him with her memories...

He couldn't walk past an agarbati without remembering his many many meetings with her at the temple...

He couldn't even face a tray of sweets, for God's sake! The smell of ghee immediately routing his thoughts to Jalebis...which, sure enough, brought him to his Jalebi...

And this was the case with the memories tied-up with Ms. Khushi Kumari Gupta.

Now, having known, loved, and lived with Mrs. Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, his torturous assocation with smells reached previously undreamed of heights.

Her unique Khushi-smell, a mixture of her lavendar talcum power and the lily-of-the-valley perfume he had gifted her...curse be on the person who had thought of bringing out the same scents in deodorants! And curse be on those of his staff who used it!

He had never known that kumkum has its own scent, not until she had started their morning ritual of making him fill her maang...and him modifying it to include a kiss on the forehead, which filled his nostrils with the smell. And now, any time someone walked by with a tikka, he was lost.

He was a complete gonner if someone brought roses to the office...it was sheer hell!

He had been called a wolf by many, the long-suffering Arnav thought, "I must be part-wolf, why else in hell would my sense of smell be this acute?" , conveniently forgetting that he wasn't in the least bothered by un-Khushi-related smells.

The days that he came home after having his senses tormented by such incidents, his wife was not seen by the rest of the family for hours on end, not that anyone ever commented, even if many a smirk was exchanged.

Khushi had learned to brace herself as soon as he walked in, the predator-like gleam in his eyes and his frustrated, curt responses to anyone standing between him and her, alerting her that it was going to be one of those evenings.

*************

But now, as Arnav sat silently at the VIP table at the business conference in Mumbai, he had no option but suffer. The conference had been on for two days and would go on for another day.

He and Akash had been special invitees and speakers at the event and the busy schedule of the four-day affair had had both their wives declining their request to accompany them.

"Aap dono poore din conference mein honge aur hum dono room mein baithe-baithe bore ho jaayenge. Naashta, lunch aur dinner bhi conference-wale hi de rahe hein." Khushi had muttered and Payal had replied when Akash suggested that they enjoy themselves sight-seeing and shopping, "Aap ke bina ek ya do din hum sight-seeing aur shopping kar lenge Par chaar din toh bahut hi boring hoga, Akash. Aap dono jaake aayiye."

Realising that their wives had a point, the men had gone without argument. But now, at the dinner, Arnav was wondering why he had accepted the invite in the first place. Even more, he was wondering what would be the most horrific death that he could bestow upon whoever it was that had done the interior decoration for the "Young Entrepreneurs of India" Conference.

To start off, the colour scheme was red, Khushi's colour.

And then, the idiot had set the tables with centre-pieces of red-roses, Khushi's favourite flowers.

As if that wasn't enough, the bouquet was set to float in a brass vessel that was filled with water with kumkum dust on it, the same red powder that proclaimed to the world that Khushi was his and his alone.

The crowning touch came at dinner, when the dining tables were lit by ball-shaped candles, Khushi's favourite mombattiyan, that emitted a light lavender scent.

Nope, Arnav Singh Raizada was not a happy man. His dinner companions took one look at his expression and decided that the terrible stories they had heard about ASR hadn't been exxagerations after all.

*****************

Somehow getting dinner over with, he grabbed Akash to go up to their suite, to get themselves a well-earned drink and go comatose in front of the television. Getting into the lift, he got a wiff of lavendar-and-lilies-of-the-valley and clenched his jaw, deciding that enough was enough, he would take the first flight out in the morning.

The scent following him till the door of their suite, he decided that he was officially losing his mind, and that he had indeed become a first-rate joru-ka-ghulam. Not a comforting thought!

Tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for his brother to unlock the door, he missed Akash's sharp intake of breath as the door swung open. After almost mowing down his brother in his haste to get into the room and escape the scent that was by now making him miss his wife like hell, Arnav Singh Raizada came to a stop, not able to believe his eyes.

There stood his wife, grinning in glee at having carried off her surprise. Not even sparing a glance to his sister-in-law who stood beside her, Arnav strode forward and crushed Khushi to himself. Not that Payal minded, seeing how she too got squeezed within an inch of her by her husband who was just a few seconds behind his Bhai.

Arnav, for the first time in three days, enjoyed the cacophony of scents that was his Khushi. The same scents that had been driving him wild with longing just seconds ago was now driving him wild in an altogether different way.

Looking up at eachother at the same instant, the brothers reached an unspoken agreement. Nodding to his Bhai, Akash lifted up his wife and strode over to his bedroom, leaving the living area and the adjoining master-bed to his Bhai and Bhabhi.

Surfacing from the kiss at the sound of the door slamming shut, Khushi looked up at her husband, reddening at his smirk. "Couldn't stay away from me, huh?"

As he had anticipated, his fire-cracker of a wife exclaimed, "Haun! Aap bhi naah! Ek toh hum itni mehnat karke yahaan pahunche, woh bhi Amanji se madad leke taaki aapke conference mein koi rukaawat na ho jaayein, aur havaai jahaaz mein chadke! Aur aap pyaar se shabd bhi nahin bolte! Oopar se yeh..."

Not letting her plow ahead, he settled on showing her all about his pyaar, the still-functioning part of his brain thankfully reminding him to move the demonstration to the master-bed.

*****************

A long while later, snuggly wrapped in the excellent linen provided by the Taj, Khushi lay, half on her husband, half on the deck-chair. The screened balcony ensuring that they were invisible to the outside world, Arnav and Khushi watched the twinkling lights in the bay, the far-away traffic noise strangely soothing.

Cradling his wife securely, Arnav bent down to breathe in her scent as Khushi updated him about her and Payal's plan of doing some shopping the next day as the men finished their last day of conference, and how she had gotten Aman to free up a couple of days in Arnav's and Akash's calendar so that they could enjoy Mumbai together.

Feeling at home, at long last, he murmured, "Tum ne yeh toh nahi kaha ki yahaan aane ko decide kyun kiya? Jab main aur Akash bole the toh tum dono bahut protest kar jo rahe the."

Heaving a big sigh, she cuddled into him before looking up, a disarming smile on her face, "Kyunki woh hi hua jo aap pehle bole the. Aap se itna door nahi reh paa rahe the."

Swallowing hard at the sweet submission, he drew his wife in for a long kiss, conveying all the longing, all the loneliness of the past few days. Replying in kind, Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada showed her husband just why Arnav Singh Raizada had missed her so much.

After laying silently, face tucked into the crook of her husband's neck, Khushi breathed in deep ,"Mmm..."

Smiling gently, Arnav asked, "Kya hua? Yeh mmm kyun?"

"Shhh Arnavji, humein saans lene deejiye. Aapko pata hain, kitne dinon baad humein aapki mahak se shaanti mil rahi hain. Theen din se aapke takiye se udhti yeh mahak se hum paagal ho jaa rahe the...Iss liye, mmm..."

Grinning now, Arnav murmured, "So it's not just me, huh?"

Whispering against his neck, Khushi said, "Haan? Kya kaha aapne?"

Dropping a lingering kiss on her soft hair, Arnav replied, "Nothing, I just missed you a lot. A whole lot..."

*****************

Arnav Singh Raizada's table-mates had the shock of their lives as they saw a smiling ASR make his way towards them.

As he sat down along with his brother, calling out a cheery good morning, they just decided to attribute this change in demeanour to being one of the quirks of genius. How could they know, they had never met his Khushi...

Author's Note:

:-)

Please visit my Index for the previous parts:

http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3351669

Posted: 8 years ago

English Version

11. Olfactory perception

Odor information is stored in long-term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. This is possibly due to the olfactory system's close anatomical ties to the limbic system and hippocampus, areas of the brain that have long been known to be involved in emotion and place memory, respectively. Indeed this may be why odor-evoked memories are unusually emotionally potent.

*********************

Arnav Singh Raizada was a powerhouse of talents - talents that made him a ruthless predator in the corporate jungle, talents that made him a feared opponent in negotiations, talents that enabled him to win many a legal tussle, talents among which one of the most admired was his incredible memory. He was known to recall specific clauses from long-dead contracts, known to quote winning arguments from corporate law and known to mercilessly recollect past failures of many an adversary if it meant winning a deal for AR.

In his personal life, his memory helped him survive in the mad-house that was his house; where there were umpteen functions happening almost every day, where umpteen demands were made of him of every nature, from a host of hyper family members. That fact that he couldn't live without his madcap family was his best-kept secret.

His ability to remember the most mundane of things having been a part of him since birth, he never really paid heed to it, until the day he met the girl who would go on to become his very life - his wife.

What had happened had been a revelation. Not that he wasn't stunned by how every moment spent in her company played over and over in his mind, crowding out everything else. But what truly amazed him was how smells started wrecking havoc in his life. Every turn brought faint wiffs that took him within touching distance of her, only to realise that she was miles away, at home.

He suffered...he really did.

He couldn't wipe his face with a towel without the smell of washing power and fabric conditioner reminding his of his second meeting with Ms. Khushi Kumari Gupta, when her white duppatta had enveloped him...

He couldn't browse through fabric samples from France without remembering Khushi dressed up for the calendar shoot, the french perfume torturing him with her memories...

He couldn't walk past an agarbati without remembering his many many meetings with her at the temple...

He couldn't even face a tray of sweets, for God's sake! The smell of ghee immediately routing his thoughts to Jalebis...which, sure enough, brought him to his Jalebi...

And this was the case with the memories tied-up with Ms. Khushi Kumari Gupta.

Now, having known, loved, and lived with Mrs. Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, his torturous assocation with smells reached previously undreamed of heights.

Her unique Khushi-smell, a mixture of her lavendar talcum power and the lily-of-the-valley perfume he had gifted her...curse be on the person who had thought of bringing out the same scents in deodorants! And curse be on those of his staff who used it!

He had never known that kumkum has its own scent, not until she had started their morning ritual of making him fill her maang...and him modifying it to include a kiss on the forehead, which filled his nostrils with the smell. And now, any time someone walked by with a tikka, he was lost.

He was a complete gonner if someone brought roses to the office...it was sheer hell!

He had been called a wolf by many, the long-suffering Arnav thought, "I must be part-wolf, why else in hell would my sense of smell be this acute?" , conveniently forgetting that he wasn't in the least bothered by un-Khushi-related smells.

The days that he came home after having his senses tormented by such incidents, his wife was not seen by the rest of the family for hours on end, not that anyone ever commented, even if many a smirk was exchanged.

Khushi had learned to brace herself as soon as he walked in, the predator-like gleam in his eyes and his frustrated, curt responses to anyone standing between him and her, alerting her that it was going to be one of those evenings.

*************

But now, as Arnav sat silently at the VIP table at the business conference in Mumbai, he had no option but suffer. The conference had been on for two days and would go on for another day.

He and Akash had been special invitees and speakers at the event and the busy schedule of the four-day affair had had both their wives declining their request to accompany them.

"You both will be at the conference all day and we'll just get bored sitting in the room. Won't be able to even eat together, seeing how even that has been arranged at the conference venue." Khushi had muttered and Payal had replied when Akash suggested that they enjoy themselves sight-seeing and shopping, "We girls can amuse ourselves with sightseeing and shopping for a couple of days, but four days? You both go, we're fine here."

Realising that their wives had a point, the men had gone without argument. But now, at the dinner, Arnav was wondering why he had accepted the invite in the first place. Even more, he was wondering what would be the most horrific death that he could bestow upon whoever it was that had done the interior decoration for the "Young Entrepreneurs of India" Conference.

To start off, the colour scheme was red, Khushi's colour.

And then, the idiot had set the tables with centre-pieces of red-roses, Khushi's favourite flowers.

As if that wasn't enough, the bouquet was set to float in a brass vessel that was filled with water with kumkum dust on it, the same red powder that proclaimed to the world that Khushi was his and his alone.

The crowning touch came at dinner, when the dining tables were lit by ball-shaped candles, Khushi's favourite mombattiyan, that emitted a light lavender scent.

Nope, Arnav Singh Raizada was not a happy man. His dinner companions took one look at his expression and decided that the terrible stories they had heard about ASR hadn't been exxagerations after all.

*****************

Somehow getting dinner over with, he grabbed Akash to go up to their suite, to get themselves a well-earned drink and go comatose in front of the television. Getting into the lift, he got a wiff of lavendar-and-lilies-of-the-valley and clenched his jaw, deciding that enough was enough, he would take the first flight out in the morning.

The scent following him till the door of their suite, he decided that he was officially losing his mind, and that he had indeed become a first-rate joru-ka-ghulam. Not a comforting thought!

Tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for his brother to unlock the door, he missed Akash's sharp intake of breath as the door swung open. After almost mowing down his brother in his haste to get into the room and escape the scent that was by now making him miss his wife like hell, Arnav Singh Raizada came to a stop, not able to believe his eyes.

There stood his wife, grinning in glee at having carried off her surprise. Not even sparing a glance to his sister-in-law who stood beside her, Arnav strode forward and crushed Khushi to himself. Not that Payal minded, seeing how she too got squeezed within an inch of her by her husband who was just a few seconds behind his Bhai.

Arnav, for the first time in three days, enjoyed the cacophony of scents that was his Khushi. The same scents that had been driving him wild with longing just seconds ago was now driving him wild in an altogether different way.

Looking up at eachother at the same instant, the brothers reached an unspoken agreement. Nodding to his Bhai, Akash lifted up his wife and strode over to his bedroom, leaving the living area and the adjoining master-bed to his Bhai and Bhabhi.

Surfacing from the kiss at the sound of the door slamming shut, Khushi looked up at her husband, reddening at his smirk. "Couldn't stay away from me, huh?"

As he had anticipated, his fire-cracker of a wife exclaimed, "Haun! You have some nerve! We've reached after some much effort, conferring with Amanji so that we won't disturb your schedule, in a plane of all things! And you can't manage to even utter a loving greeting! On top of it..."

Not letting her plow ahead, he settled on showing her all about his pyaar, the still-functioning part of his brain thankfully reminding him to move the demonstration to the master-bed.

*****************

A long while later, snuggly wrapped in the excellent linen provided by the Taj, Khushi lay, half on her husband, half on the deck-chair. The screened balcony ensuring that they were invisible to the outside world, Arnav and Khushi watched the twinkling lights in the bay, the far-away traffic noise strangely soothing.

Cradling his wife securely, Arnav bent down to breathe in her scent as Khushi updated him about her and Payal's plan of doing some shopping the next day as the men finished their last day of conference, and how she had gotten Aman to free up a couple of days in Arnav's and Akash's calendar so that they could enjoy Mumbai together.

Feeling at home, at long last, he murmured, "By the way, how come you decided to come? When Akash and I had suggested it, you guys were actively protesting.."

Heaving a big sigh, she cuddled into him before looking up, a disarming smile on her face, "Because it was exactly like how you said. Couldn't stay away from you."

Swallowing hard at the sweet submission, he drew his wife in for a long kiss, conveying all the longing, all the loneliness of the past few days. Replying in kind, Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada showed her husband just why Arnav Singh Raizada had missed her so much.

After laying silently, face tucked into the crook of her husband's neck, Khushi breathed in deep ,"Mmm..."

Smiling gently, Arnav asked, "What? Why the mmm?"

"Shhh Arnavji, let me breathe. Do you know after how many days I'm able to breathe in your scent and not go mad? Your pillow was torturing me...So, mmm..."

Grinning now, Arnav murmured, "So it's not just me, huh?"

Whispering against his neck, Khushi said, "Huh? Did you say something?"

Dropping a lingering kiss on her soft hair, Arnav replied, "Nothing, I just missed you a lot. A whole lot..."

*****************

Arnav Singh Raizada's table-mates had the shock of their lives as they saw a smiling ASR make his way towards them.

As he sat down along with his brother, calling out a cheery good morning, they just decided to attribute this change in demeanour to being one of the quirks of genius. How could they know, they had never met his Khushi...

Posted: 8 years ago
It is one of the sweet and cute OS penned Wink...loved reading your Vignettes series...keep up the good work gal.

Cheers,
Sai_Neha
Edited by sai_neha - 8 years ago
Posted: 8 years ago
i havent even completed reading, n i am already laughingLOLLOL
And then, the idiot had set the tables with centre-pieces of red-roses, Khushi's favourite flowers
poor Arnav. loved itBig smile
Posted: 8 years ago
Your stories are so beautiful Thumbs Up Edited by svishnu - 8 years ago
Posted: 8 years ago
Girl- its a brilliant theme to write on- and you have done complete justice to it... Well done!
Posted: 8 years ago
Awww!! Okay, no matter how many "w"s I add to that Aww, it won't be enough to convey just exactly how adorable this vignette was..

Who would have Arnav Singh Raizada was such a sniffer! The memory I knew of, thanks to the incessant Flashbacks of Rabba Veys he usually had, but this obsession with Khushi's smell is beyond cute.

Loved it Aparna :)

Oh and I always say I love how you inject humour, Arnav thinking up of horrific ways to kill the interior designer was freaking hilarious!
Posted: 8 years ago
Aww awesome update dear Smile that was so adorable...loved it... ur one talented writer... keep up the good work...
do update part 12 soon plz
thanks for the PM

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