When I travel, I miss my camera. Eye can capture. Only for me. Not for others. I am back in the soul town, to the essence of living. I was wondering, as I kept travelling in busses between towns in this hillock-filled valley, how much I missed *malli* (jasmine). The fragrant flower.
There were this bony, blackish women looking fresh with a bunch of *malli*. They have always fascinated me for the freshness in their faces inspite of the innumerable household and farming work they do from dawn to dusk. When they come out of the homes to the towns, they are all cleaned up bright faced, eager, filled with enthusiasm, with an infant clinging on, spreading the fragrance of feminity.
I have failed to notice *malligai* in the mechanical life of my conservative city. Back here in the backyards of modern civilisation, I am back to my senses. As I took the ``dangling'' bus to the Village of Gods from my wife's Good Blacky hamlet, there were two women in the front seat. One with four strands of *malli* and the other with few strands of *malli*, a strand of *kanakambaram* (the orangy flower sans fragrance) and a fresh pink *rosa*.
Back in madurai, the home of malligai, typing these lines, I, with a 100 percent block in left nose, and 90 percent block in the right, still smell the fragrance. For those not part of the soul town, think of having a honeymoon here. With a bed full of fragrance and for a full life thereafter.
PS: The picture is not indicative of the beauty of malligai.