Bear with me while I try to explain why the title of this blog post is what it is. Well, the other day, Hardy was going on about something on these lines.
If you have grown up in northern India, or in Pakistan, you would know that the favourite pastime of elders, when it comes to infants, is to massage them with almond oil, or what is called badam roghan, especially during winters. It is also common practice to spike the toddlers’ milk with this roghan, as almonds are considered good for the brain, and are useful in keeping the body warm in the winter months.
It seems Hardy was subjected to this sort of treatment during his infancy, massaged with almond oil, and having his milk spiked with the thing. He especially remembers this because he totally disliked the taste of this substance. The other day, he says, he had an almond drink, and it had a very strong taste of the almond oil, which he didnt like (what else was he expecting … rose water?). But even so, this taste reminded him of childhood, brought back memories of the ancestral house he lived in as a child, his Grandparents, those warm afternoons in the winter sunlight, with a breeze, cold and warm at the same time, blowing into his face, the azan from the nearby Mosque, the bells from the nearby Temple, and the music wafting from the nearby Gurudwara, the jars of pickled vegetables (barni filled with Gobhi-Shalgam achaar), and so, so much more that childhood stands for.
And this is how he fell in love with something he doesnt quite like.
Have you ever had this feeling yourself?