Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Nema, Noor,Ordinary Joe, Paul,Maria the Silver Fox, Padmum , Rohit, Will knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get seventeen different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Padmum.

The breathing apparatus that all of us are endowed with performs two functions. One it takes in oxygen and throws out carbon di oxide; and the other is that it gives us the ability to smell things. The former is our main line life support and the latter a sensory organ to enhance our lives.

I would prefer that I restrict myself to talk about the latter as there is little that I can talk about the former.

Earlier this week, I had posted about the mogra flowering in our garden. Just breathing normally in the morning, I found that the scent can be overwhelming. Mogra in garland form is often worn by Indian woman as adornment on their heads.

I believe that this was the old way of using the scent of the flowers as deodorant!

I had also written about Curry Wars. while the former was about something pleasant, the latter was about people’s willingness to go to war over unfamiliar odours from others kitchens.

Let me take two more of the latter category to explain how we have been brain washed into liking or disliking odours. This is a peculiar human trait not seen other creatures.

Bad Breath, or Halitosis, is the most off-putting problem one can come across in situations where one is in close proximity with someone else with that problem. It is also the most embarrassing message to convey to someone with the problem by someone else about it. As a sales manager, I have had to carry out that unpleasant task with a few salesmen.

On that score as well as on being at the receiving end of Body Odour, my breathing, and I am sure other people and more importantly customers breathing would be assaulted and that could be disastrous for salesmen.

I was not an expert on the problem, and would ask them to go to the company doctor to get proper advise and would arrange to pay for the treatment. I was not a martinet but this was just one of those things that helped salesmen become better at their jobs. Eventually, they would appreciate what was done for them and hopefully they spread the word.

Here are the two cases where one taking in the breath has to suffer discomfort from someone else’s problem with bad breath and an inability to identify his own body odour by perhaps defective breathing or may be by just indifference.

Or is it our conditioning that we have become like that? Surely, our ancestors without access to tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouth washes, deodorants and medical advise, led comfortable social lives? Did they find Bad Breath and Body Odour offensive? I have not come across any indication that they did.

Just some rather odd thoughts on breath(ing).

Subliminal Messages.

I am of the firm opinion that we are constantly being bombarded with messages overt and covert, which play an important role in forming our opinions, values and judgments. The purpose of this post is to request that we become aware and not allow ourselves to be brainwashed by vested interests.

Just yesterday, a friend who is a widow and I were discussing our being single and how well meaning friends and relatives keep suggesting ways and means of handling that peculiar situation after losing a spouse. My friend said, it is easier for men as if they are gray they are considered to be distinguished and mature and if the same thing happens to a woman, she is considered to be over the hill. She further added that older men are able to find younger women but the reverse does not happen.

I ventured to suggest that all these are due to subliminal messages constantly being hammered away at us as to what is beauty, what is modern, what is style and so on, which are all superficial values, but which impress us nevertheless both at the conscious and subconscious level. Us ordinary people get plastered with these values and the only ones to benefit from this massive over load of information are the guys who sell products to get you there.

Even women not finding younger men seems to follow the logic of such brain washing. I for one do not understand why this should be so and we have any number of cases of older women having had long sustained and wonderful relationships with younger men.

We seem to be letting our entire universe be sabotaged by such frivolous values that mankind seems to be losing out to businesses who stand to benefit. Even the media seems to be under some compulsion to follow such inane policies like milking some odd event to death as in the case of Carrie Prejean and her adventures with her title, her breast implants and so on.Just look at this news item and the amount of time and space wasted on breast implants to see why I am chagrined with such frivolity.

This is but the tip of the iceberg. Even the incident of gray hair, is something that I find silly to say the least. I told my friend that my late wife Urmeela never dyed her hair and I found her gray hair quite attractive and elegant, to which my friend retorted that I am not the representative sample of decision makers! Similarly, while I am all for weight management for health reasons, the obsession to fight nature like some of my younger friends are doing after child birth, is nauseating to say the least.

This is the first time that I am venturing into writing something on this subject though I have commented on various blog posts on similar lines. I wonder what sort of responses I am likely to get for this rant!

And lest Gail, be disappointed, let me close with some humour.

I am informed by a post in Grannymar’s blog, that widows join other widows and form clubs called “Minus One”. Can you imagine what would happen if widowers formed clubs with the same name?