Sahana Sreeprakash // ALBUM OF AROMAS

Fresh cut wood mingling with greasy pizza

Cardboard boxes, sawdust, drying paint, the whir of a drill, sparks from the wall facing the electrician, the crash of hammers, splintered glass, Daddy’s big hands, Mummy’s scrutiny


The hours before sunrise, a surge of excitement, a piping hot shower, the call of birds, Mom’s fingers wrapped around a steaming mug, first light touching the forest treetops

Jasmine masking a tang of stale pills

Warm hugs, cookies before dinner, sporadic kisses, spoon-fed ice cream for breakfast, princesses and sorcerers before bedtime, wisps of gray, the creak of a swing’s chain against its frame, and flight


Flimsy plastic mug plunging into a bucket of lukewarm water, the shriek of little children, light twinkling off of a bed littered with open jewelry boxes, the brush of flowers swaying from the ceiling

Burnt pepper fused with nutmeg

Fireworks in the sky, hands directing dancing flame, sequined new dresses unfolding from the suitcase, anklets strung with bells, phones clamoring with eager voices from across the world


Home bustling with my vibrantly clothed family, glowing lanterns lining every window and door, lips sticky with the taste of sweets, hands gilded with whorls of henna, and soft voices raised in hymn

Cinnamon smeared with cream cheese

The morning alarm blaring, a new haircut, frantic shuffling, nods in the fresh-scrubbed hallway, a stack of library books, procrastination, cold dinners in my room, the last amber leaf spiralling down

Melting sugar, wax… and roses

Smears of black makeup, shadows of a velvet cloak, traipsing down deserted streets under the moonlight, a wild game of manhunt at midnight, discarded candy-wrappers rustling in the wind… and the front door squeaking on its hinges as I steal back into the house

Peppermint bark immersed in warm milk

Encased in a fluffy fleece blanket in bed, my family curled up on the living room couch, the wind howling outside, blowing about our fourth foot of snow, a newly released novel tucked in the crook of my elbow

Coconut and shea butter, with a zing of lavender

“You are not leaving the house in that. Go. Change.”

Shorts, skirts, dresses, burying heavy jackets and tossing boots in the shed, a sun that finally rises before I do, music and light, newfound bursts of energy, and the school day countdown!


Heavy drops of rain thudding down, the rumble of thunder, the gusts of balmy wind, lush emerald grass underfoot, the beat of loud music and the splash of puddles as I leap in, lively, light and unguarded

Swirls of strawberry froyo topped with chocolate

Sweltering, sweat beading, fingers cramped, writing our 6th page for the 4th exam in two days, the weightlessness that courses in once we submit, then strutting away from the stress for icy treats

A cloud of sunscreen and bug spray