The smell of a city

Every city has a distinctive smell or aroma per say which a native familiarizes on his/her return to the city after a while. The smell of the streets identifies with the activities or the character of the street. A temple or a market would have very specific aromas.

Takes me back to my memories of Manek chowk in Ahmedabad. A place filled with culture, activities, people, animals and architecture in a mutual coexistence that intrigued many architects, designers and anthropologists. To me this chowk (a square) is a multivalent space that brings back memories of delicious street food in the historic old city of Ahmedabad. Gujaratis (people belonging to the state of Gujarat) recognize themselves with the food they eat and the food they serve. The market opens at dusk until almost early morning. You feel welcomed by the smell of melting butter, the caramelised onions, the traditional mix of Indian spices and the sweet fragrance of the flavored kulfi. No passerby can go without a quick bite set aside the other thousands of excited tourists who drive themselves there based on reviews, reads and must dos. The aromas rise up and surround the entire square making it distinct to Manek Chowk. Tourists or locals, both experience the beauty of this place with the floating flavors.

The smell of a city energizes and our senses and associates it to where it belongs. We forget to experience beyond what we see sometimes or maybe most of the times. Every space, building, junction, street, locality or a city has an aroma of its own.



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