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Light Citrus Roses

August 11, 2013

Long drives with kids and infants are always very challenging and one has to be prepared to face all sorts of situations one can think of. Besides carrying their nappies, pampers, feeding bottles, biscuits, fruits and other food stuff, preventive medication, stationery and art material for their creative urges to channelize (that may just get activated during the journey), CDs or pen-drives containing their nursery rhymes and travel games… the list is endless and one has to be prepared mentally and physically before going on a road trip.

This preparation starts well before the trip and continues till the last member of the family gets out of the house and the door is finally locked and the car starts. It is easy to still forget something that the kid may want and ask for during the trip.

With my son, Pushkin who is well past this stage and is about to marry now… I did not have to plan much and bother about such tedious preparations any more before setting out for any of my long or short drives that young couples with small kids may have to (what a relief!).

All those practices had become a thing of the past till I had a young couple as guests along with their small children – one aged five years old and the other just two years.

Enthusiastically, we planned a visit to Chandigarh.

‘We can show them this beautifully designed city, its artificial yet lovely Sukhna lake and the world famous Rock Garden conceptualised by Nek Chand. And we can see my eighty-plus mother too’, I said to Arvind.

‘Oh yes, that’s a brilliant idea,’ replied Arvind and added, ‘How about going to Kasuali from Chandigarh?’

‘Good idea… and I would like to go on the Gilbert Trail again!’

Coming back to preparations for the trip, I reminded everyone to keep every little thing that could be useful or which the children might want and ask for during the trip or our stay at Chandigarh.

‘It is not such a long trip, Specky,’ said Arvind, ‘You are being nervous and also making the young couple nervous.’

‘I agree it isn’t a long journey… and most of it is on NH1 and the eight-lane road is such a pleasure to drive on,’ I was informing our guests and not answering Arvind’s comment, ‘and there are quite a few newly developed eateries like Haveli near Panipat, fast-food joints all along the route, the famous Gulshan Dhaba at Murthal, and the crumbling sarkari competition to them.’

‘Ah! You mean those Haryana government Tourism Motels at Rai and Karnal?’ Arvind laughed.

‘The Karnal lake and the restaurant beside it is one of the initial projects by Haryana Govt. Tourism Department on this highway,’ I tried to pass on the information. I had seen the project coming through while travelling to Delhi when I was a young child and was quite impressed by the lake at that time.

‘You are forgetting Savoy Green’, said Arvind, ‘Better than the food court there is the Subway on the first floor,’ he already seemed to be dreaming of his favourite Tuna Sub there!

And on the set day we announced and ‘let the trip begin!’ like our ex-president did for the opening ceremony of CWG 2010!

I was quite confident that I had not forgotten anything – my specs, or my sports shoes or socks for the Gilbert Trail, water bottle – before I had the first blow of the trip – the smelly wind passed by the older child making it obvious to all those in the car that he had not cleared his bowels in the morning.  And I realised that I had forgotten to bring that Ambipur mini vent clip lying on the table.

Arvind rolled the car windows down to let the fresh air come in on the pretext of adjusting the rear view mirror. It was summers and it was quite warm even at six’o clock in the morning. Keeping the windows rolled down for long was next to impossible in such weather conditions. So the windows were rolled up as quickly as were rolled down as the car AC was on.

Fortunately, we had taken the internal city route, and I could spot a florist near the Gulabi Bagh park. It struck to me that we may well buy some flowers to keep the car fresh and free of any more such unpleasant odours.

‘Stop, let us buy a bouquet for Chandigarh,’ I said though it seemed quite irrelevant to buy flowers from Delhi for Chandigarh.

Arvind understood the hint, stopped the car and I bought a bouquet of flowers with lots of roses hoping to keep the car fresh and odourless for the rest of our journey.

But all my hopes tumbled down like a castle of sand within the next quarter of an hour. Now it was the younger one who regurgitated curdled milk which had its own peculiar long lasting odour. The flowers and roses in the bouquet were not fully able to eliminate such strong smells. In fact, by now the car was having a cocktail of odours and fragrance of flowers.

The young couple was somewhat uncomfortable and embarrassed but did not know what to do.

‘With kids this is the biggest problem, we have to bear all these odours whether we like it or not. I am waiting for them to grow up soon,’ said the wife.

‘Never mind, it happens with kids in the car,’ I said for the sake of saying but my mind was somewhere else. I was thinking of the IndiBlogger Ambipur meet and was remembering that room freshener that was able to eliminate odours and not just mask the smells. I had also applied and got the Ambipur mini car vent clip sample they had offered to all the bloggers… but it was at home lying on the table. I had forgotten it there.

Then another idea came to me. As soon as the idea came to my mind, I said to Arvind, ‘Stop at the Aggarwal Departmental Store for a moment.’

‘Now what have you remembered? What else do you want buy from here?’ asked Arvind.

He knew that Aggarwal Departmental Store was my favourite shopping store where we had been making all our purchases during our fifteen years stay at Ashok Vihar.

He stopped the car just in front of the store. I quickly went in. Mr Aggarwal was pleasantly surprised to see me after many years, and greeted with the same familiar smile and ‘Namaste’.

I asked him, ‘Do you have Ambipur mini car vent clip?’

‘Yes, we do have’, and he showed me all the five fragrances.

I thanked him as well as my stars. I chose ‘Light Citrus’, made the payment and quickly came out to the car where everyone was waiting impatiently.

It was pretty easy to open the blister packing and fix the mini car vent clip to one of the air vent outlets in the car. Within seconds the car interiors were fresh, fragrant, and free of all odours.

It had the wonderful power of converting ‘Smelly to Smiley’ for a #FRESHNHAPPY journey.

The baby did regurgitate many times, the bowels of the other child remained disturbed throughout the trip… but our trip to Chandigarh remained fresh as the Light Citrus fragrance dominating the car.

When we reached Chandigarh, my brother came down to receive us. When I opened the car door, he saw the bouquet of roses and remarked, ‘Which variety of roses are these?’

I said, ‘Light Citrus’. Everyone smiled.


This post is a part of the Ambipur ‘Escape into freshness whenever you drive’ blogging contest on Indiblogger.

Sangita Passey
11 August 2013

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