via Daily Prompt: Fragrance
She was walking down a supermarket aisle, shopping cart loaded with groceries and other home necessities. She was almost done. Only the cleaning supplies were left to be picked up.
She stopped before a display of detergents and automatically reached for the same detergent she had been using for years, when her hand stopped and her eyes fell on the lone packet of Nirma, tucked far away into a corner. It had gathered dust for no one used that brand anymore. But to her that brand meant a lot of things.
What was it, that jingle that made the brand famous? She racked her brain to remember the tune and the words. It had been years since that jingle played on the TV or on the radio. Then she remembered,
‘Washing powder Nirma, washing powder Nirma…
Doodh si safedi, Nirma se aaye,
Rangeen kapda bhi khil, khil, jaaye.
Sabki pasand Nirmaaaa…
Washing powder Nirma, washing powder Nirma…’
She stood at the spot transfixed, her synapses transmitting those lost memories of childhood. Her mother, the laundry, the way her tender hands would soak, scrub and wring out bucket loads of clothes, bedsheets and linens like they weighed nothing. There were no washing machines back then. Women had to do the laundry by hand. Her Mother was always at the courtyard of their home in the mornings, wringing out the bucket loads of laundry she had washed.
How she missed her. It had been twenty years now.
The detergent and her Mother had a special connection. Her Mother’s clothes always wore the faint fragrance of the detergent – clean, lemony, motherly. Her nostrils flared at the memory of that fragrance she associated with affection and security, and longing hit her like a physical thing.
She knew she shouldn’t but she ripped open the packet, and as the first strong waft of the detergent’s perfume hit her nose, memories of her Mother crashed into her like tidal waves.
She didn’t know how long she stood there just smelling the detergent. She must have looked funny because someone broke her reverie, “Ma’am, I’m afraid you’ll have to buy that now.”
She smiled at the Stock boy. “How many of these do you have? I’d like to buy them all”.
In response to the Daily Prompt: Fragrance
Copyright ©2017 Pradita Kapahi.
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Image Credits: The Country Farm Home