Aromas That Evoke Nostalgia

As any child of the 90s will tell you, the joy and wonder of summer holidays remain unparalleled to our now, pacing life. We would pack up our bags and often travel to our grandmother’s house in South Bangalore, where life was slower and the trees; older than my grandmother. Every morning, my cousins and I would wake up to the aromas of filter coffee decoction that my grandfather would make with love, using the best roasted and ground coffee beans of Coorg. Which then led to a couple of hours of alluring everyone into having their morning cup of refreshing filter coffee, all of the kids taking turns to sit on my grandmother’s lap, eating breakfast and breaking up the newspaper into parts for everyone to share. Anyone, including us kids, who refused a cup of coffee, would be guilty of upsetting my grandfather. He was a man who believed that a good cup of filter coffee was his overture of love to anyone who visited.

 

The connection between a certain aroma and the memories it can bring back; is quite surreal. Even a whiff of something has the power to instantly transport us to a time, way back in our lives. There are certain smells and scents that take me back to a time in my life, quite long ago; like the fragrance of talcum powder, especially after a revitalizing swim in a lake nearby, always takes me back to the time when my father taught me how to swim and the scent of jasmine and camphor is an instant leap to the Ganesha temple near my grandmother’s house. I remember, we would always stop at the tiny roadside coffee-tea shop right next to it for some coffee and biscuits on our way back.

 

Petrichor; the  scent of earthy wet mud caused by the rains, still brings the memory of the cool rains that would save us from the stifling summer heat which would immediately exacerbate the situation by the power cuts. Even today, the aroma of Indian filter coffee, takes me back me to my grandmother’s house, surrounded by cousins, and figuring out the best way to explore the attic without getting caught. The adults would drag themselves out of the after-effects of a siesta with a freshly made cup of coffee which always ended up with an excursion to the market where inexpensive plastic toys and fresh roasted groundnuts would keep us kids entertained. The sight of my mother in the kitchen hustling to light candles, in the evenings while we were waiting for her filter coffee has stuck with me and is one of the fondest memories of my life.

 

As the years went by, my grandparents got older, and it became harder for them to keep up with us grandchildren. Exams, tuitions, and outings with friends became more important than my grandparents and their home. The red oxide flooring that we used to ‘skate’ on was replaced with modern tiles, and the attic slowly lost its mysterious aura. But every time we visited them, the house and its warmth rekindled the nostalgic aromas of filter coffee and the special bond I shared with my cousins. We reminisce over memories of old fights, pranks, and games. The carefree days of summer holidays once again come alive even if it is only for a brief, glistening moment.

 

Whenever I miss my grandmother and her warmth, and the new city seems too cold and unwelcoming, I reach out for a special hug in a mug; the Coorg Planter’s Choice filter coffee by Aromas of Coorg. Carrying forward our heritage and coffee tradition, with its full body and rich flavor, a cup of this strong filter coffee is enough to take me back to my roots and evoke the happy moments that I used to share with my grandparents, which possibly is the best part of my childhood.

-Rakshita Sridharan

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