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10 things I smell… July 18, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, Experience, india, Mumbai, Personal, Random, Thoughts, Urban Life, Writing.
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Some days back I had written a post -10 things I see everyday in Mumbai. Somebody suggested why not 10 things that I smell more or less daily! So here it is.


It is actually a list of the various things that I consume or see other’s consume…even the garbage, mud combination


  1. Tea or Coffee (go for the tea, warm water and honey combination. It is a great start. Coffee ratio – 75% water 25% milk and a little sugar and lots of coffee without chicory)
  2. Soap while bathing. Another tip – never use any soap on the face.
  3. Deodorant.
  4. Chyawanprash.
  5. Fishes – early morning sellers. In Versova it was an all-pervading smell, because it is a fishing village but in Amboli you get it only when you cross the few that sell.
  6. Mix of garbage, water, mud. Can’t put a smell to it though.
  7. Freshly fried wada and bhajji for folks on the run.
  8. Smoke. Different kinds of smoke in fact.
  9. Cigarettes. You can smell them better after quitting.
  10. The air conditioned room has a different smell – depending on how well it is functioning. Mine gives a musty, dusty smell.
  11. The masala in the office tea so strong that it kills all tea in it.
  12. All autos smell differently – a mix of various smells of the people it transported.
  13. The smell of the season – it’s a confusing mix of sun, humidity, rain and clouds and the hidden omniscient smell of fish.
  14. Last but not the least…milk!


1. sittingpugs - July 18, 2008

Yes! I had been thinking for a long time that travel essays and travel films and videos do a pretty good job at capturing the sights and sounds of different places, but rarely the smells. Not only are screens and cameras lacking in the kind of technology that could transmit and record smells, but the writers only acknowledge what a city (or parts of a city) smell like if they make an impression.

“And crossing the __insert name of__ River, you can’t help but notice all the __insert smell__.”

2. Give Me All Your Ones « Sitting Pugs: Sports Movies - July 18, 2008

[…] Freebird lists ten things one can expect to smell when in Mumbai, previously known as Bombay. […]

3. astralwicks - July 18, 2008

these are a few things ‘I’ smell because of my routine. It might get a bit different for others but largely yeah…might work for all. 🙂

4. sittingpugs - July 18, 2008

Absolutely, different routes will increase the likelihood a person will encounter even 50% of your list.

But, hey, it’s a working database. It would be cool if people added 10 things they smell along their routines.

5. dogstail - July 19, 2008

You left out one all pervaiding smell of Bombay. I think since it is all pervaiding only the fresh noses are able to smell it, and the ones like yours get used to it.

Its the good old Shit.

6. astralwicks - July 20, 2008

yes @sittingpups we can all jot what our noses smell, make a nose timeline across cultures and spaces. have a go.
@dogstail i agree about the sewers and the muck. too much in love with the city probably. 🙂

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