Reflections from Resham
When I learned in high school psychology class that smell is the most primitive of our five senses – that the nerves are located in the very back of the brain, far removed from the frontal lobe where all our logical decision making takes place – everything made sense. Since I was a child, I’ve always had strong reactions to smells. They’ve transported me to times or places that I had forgotten, taking me out of my current state and temporarily transforming me to a younger version of myself. Stepping off the plane from Delhi today and inhaling the air – somehow humid and full of the smell of burning trash, even though we were still in the enclosed, modern, sterile airport – was one of those moments. My eyes were bleary from 17 hours of travel, my ears were still ringing with the white noise of the airplane’s engine, my mouth was dry from lack of water, and my body felt cramped from being curled into a hard seat for too long, but my nose told me that everything was right, that I was back home.