Every evening, when the sun sets, my Ammamma lights the lamp in the Pooja room and places two agarbattis (Incense sticks) next to it. The Pooja room being the one next to the entrance, when visitors enter, they smell the floral fragrance of the agarbattis. I have always been proud of the smell and I swelled in pride when my friends said that my home smelled lovely. Until, we shifted to our new home.
Initially it was all going well until the summer. Our apartment is situated at the heart of the city. But, it takes barely a 200 metre walk from the main road to reach and then, it all goes silent. Perfectly placed in the city with greenery behind, I couldn’t ask for more since we are sandwiched between nature and ease of access to the city. We also have a canal right behind our apartment which is the source of our problem. The mosquitoes from the still waters are kept out with the help of nets, but not the odour. On some nights, when I enter my room, I get the faint smell of stagnant water. Some times, it is so pungent that we can barely sleep. Our state is so bad that closing the windows makes it stiflingly hot and leaving them open suffocates us with the odour.
I did not understand how serious that was until my friend came home and then asked me what that smell was. It took us a while to realise that the smell wasn’t restricted to the room facing the canal, but over time, it was spreading all over. Initially, we tried lighting agarbattis in other rooms as well. But since I was allergic to strong smells, I began my sneezing bouts and we had to stop doing that. This was followed by using room sprays which did not last for long. Barely an hour later, the odour returned and soon we gave up on them too.
We had always seen Ambi pur ads and also the products in supermarkets. But never really thought of trying them out. Since we were on our room freshener hunting spree, we picked this little chap up and tried. Since they have a wide variety of fragrances, it was easier for me to choose. I had an idea about the smells I was allergic to, and so we tried the blossoms and breeze. Since it wasn’t a strong aroma, I could keep it. Besides, unlike others, this one stayed and soon we forgot about the canal. 🙂