“Petrichor is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.“
I must confess I quite did not understand what was so special about this until now. When so many people around me kept saying that they love the smell after the rains, I did not get it. It felt silly to be the only person who did not, so I nodded away every single time. Not saying anything. Neither agreeing, nor disagreeing but amused all the same. Was I missing something obvious? Had I not been through a dry enough patch to appreciate this? I wanted to be part of this experience and feel included in knowing I shared a scent with so many of my friends. So I built it up in my head – an imaginary scent.
This was back in school and college. And it stayed that way until day before yesterday.
As I walked back from the railway station, it started to drizzle and catch up. Not in a violent way but enough to moisten the dry soil that has been a welcome gift of English summer, for many. And that’s when it hit me. Petrichor. Ever so subtle and immediately taking me back to those trees on the playground around which we huddled as we discussed out favourite scents. I love petrichor now though not much for its scent but rather, for all the ways in which it brings me so close to my childhood and all those conversations that carried all the meaning in the world. It has been years and yet I feel closer to them in a special way.