Each household has its distinct orbit of odours. When you enter a house, the first thing that hits you is how it smells. I’ve been put off quite often by living rooms and corridors that reek of sweaty socks, possibly the worst stink in the world. Given the fact that we live in a humid sub-tropical country, it is extremely difficult to maintain a house free of any bad odour. Our food habits lead a big way into this phenomenon too.
Since we belong to the Bengali clan, our staple is fish and meat (as you may already assume)! Living in Calcutta, it is well accepted that every family cooks and eats fish, rather the exceptions are looked down upon. But in other cities, especially in other countries – I’ve been sceptical cooking fish in the apartment. While we may savour the aroma of freshly fried fish in mustard oil, I’ve heard neighbours complain and frown, which is pretty normal in the circumstances. It even happened that in our student condominium, we used to pull open the fire alarm, take out the batteries, cook our fish fry/curry and assemble the alarm again. The property laws in USA are so strict that we’d be fined and warned if the fire alarm ringed owing to the fumes while frying fish. So much for comfort food of fish and rice!