Monday, November 14, 2011

Simple things

Every morning; my dad would go out to get half a liter of Nandini milk; mom would pour out the milk in a bowl and pour half a cup of water to the empty packet; shake well and drain the last drop to the bowl. This empty plastic sachet was then put in a sack and collected religiously to be sold once the sack was full. Half of the milk was used for coffee, the other half saved for the evening.

For bath; it was that brick like Lifebuoy which I hated the most. It was meant to survive all odds. We used to wait and wait for that bar of soap to melt. The only other one Lux "Flmi sitharon ka soundarya sabun" was a LUXury. Talking about sachet, washing hair would be preceded by going to a kirana shop to get Re.1 shampoo which came with freebies like a hair clip.

A kirana shop would hoard 5 varieties of shampoos, equal varieties of bath soap; mind you it was not beauty soap then. Just one fairness cream - you know which one I am talking about. Still, it felt that the shop was hoarded!! What do I call for varieties now? Choices! what else? A head wash meant washing your hair with soap or shikakai. We never heard about conditioner, face wash, after wash, moisturizer.....lifebuoy was omnipotent.

Not much choice with toys, bags, shoes either. A Hero pen, Bril ink pot was a luxury. Do you remember going to a shop to refill your fountain pen with ink for 10 Ps? Or segregating all the left over pages of your notebook at the year end to make one book to be used as "rough note"

Around noon, a cow would come looking for starch water/vegetable wastes; those were collected to feed the animal. Not only cow, your neighbors came to borrow a cup of sugar, a glass of milk promising to return them later. Your mom sent them away if it were someone looking for curd after the lights were powered on - a belief!! Siesta time for an hour and that authentic filter Kapi later - who knew the espresso or the mocha?

Buying vegetables meant a trip to the market in a rickety bicycle; outing meant a cinema when tickets were Rs 10 for 4 of you; masala dosa indulgence in a dharshini on the 5th of every month. No multiplex, no Thai food, no Pizza..

Its more nicer now, but I miss the simple things then.


  1. A very sweet post reminiscing the good old days! Despite so many choices the gen ammnext is a dissatisfied lot!!

  2. Hm.. Those good times. We too used to pour some water in the milk packet and mix with milk. Later when i was staying with friends in a room I used to do the same and my friends used to chide me for being a miser. Thanks for the excellent write up.

  3. Ah...the good old days !! The wonder years came back to me !

  4. I was waiting eagerly for a post like this Bindu. One of your best! Loved it... When i was reading this post, prem joshua's music was echoing in my ears. So pleasant...

    I could literally hear the birds chirp early in the morning when I read the first line... "Ever morning.." I was thinking, "Boy what an awesome beginning...". Ha ha ha... I remember struggling to open the clinic plus sachet with soapy hands. LOL! :-D

    My general knowledge update for today, "Re.1 shampoo which came with freebies like a hair clip". Hmmm, I should have bargained for candy instead of the hair clip. ha ha. :-)

    I'm thinking how lavish I am these days. Buying milk in gallons, forgetting to recycle the milk cans, condensing milk for panner butter masala (not diluting)... Wow! I picked up a Cinthol soap (my favorite) from an Indian store the other day. Was so happy!

  5. I will always remember this post as one of my most favorite :)Before visiting Blog i came across this quote on another blog - Enjoy the little things,
    because one day you can look back
    and realize that they were big things.
    -Robert Brault

  6. You write so well.
    Times have changed.Life is on fast track.We used to shop veggies on daily basis whereas its going to the next mall once in week to shop for grocery and Veggies.
    Every aspect of life has changed,joint family is finidhed and reduced to each member moving into his/her apartment.
    Those were better days

  7. B, thank you for the ride down the memory lane. Almost forgotten in the present melee.

    But dear friend , India has progressed. hasn't she?Instead of the old "Forhans Tooth paste" or the conventional powder we have a confusing array of dental protectors.
    The old green shampoo , the ubiquitous "hibiscus" leaves and shikakai powder has been usurped by the ones endorsed by Katrina Kaif and Kareena.
    Well the same with many. It is progress. To hell if some of us are visited by cancer and other ailments. The MNCS and Pharmaceutical conglomerates will intervene to do the needful.

    But to tell you once more I loved your throw back. Thank you.

  8. Yeah and I miss the bond we had with the kirana store uncle. I used to go with pops and then on my own and I felt secure shopping there. Now we at the mall, one among the many milling around.

  9. OMG its so similiar for everyone ! I remeber that red color lifebuoy and bathing with Hamam , Lux was indeed a luxury.the only shampoo we used as kids was Clinic plus, which i used to hate because of its blue color :p. Cream , i used the same fairness one ;)else it wud be boro plus or ponds for winters :)
    Now wen i use a Kerala oil, a salon shampoo and conditioner and a serum after that my hair are still so brittle and turning grey :P , my mom jokes that my hair was so shiny and strong wen she used to bath me with Lux wen i was a kid :P . Time....

  10. Nothing is simple these days. Every thing has become complicated. In today's world, we live fast and die young due to the demands of an external world that insists on career and growth pressures.

  11. so very true..
    Papa would give me 1Rs when i went out and it used to last the whole day..

    things were simple then got time to kill, pick up a bat and go to the ground put some bricks and fun time began ..

    and then the Shikakai soap for hair washes I had such long hair :)

    everything is so complicated these days SO much


  12. For all the zillion lucrative choices at the soap section, one finds it impossible to zero in on one ! Thats exactly the problem of having choices. And yes the rough note bit was true in my case too. I had long forgotten about it and this article brought back memories.

  13. What a sweet post... took me down the memory lane too!! Those days... :))

  14. Rahul,

    Thank you. I missed those days; thats why this post.
    Yeah, we have the choice but no quality or depth


    Same thing


    Yeah :) We had to be miserly as money was hard to come by right


    :-) Glad


    I am glad you got what you were waiting for.
    Oh! You struggled to tear the shampoo sachet?
    I just bit them off and later did a "thu..thu..thu" to spit off the shampoo :P

    Oh yeah! those hair clips came in Pink, Blue, Green colors and very cute.


    :-) Those words are so right; thinking of those days brings so much happiness.

    Chowla sir,

    Thank you sir. Yes sir, we lost those charm. We cant get back those days.


    Thanks Anil. Thats the flip side of our progress Anil. We are attributing our complicated lifestyle to choices. I read somewhere recently how evading use of soap and shampoo can enhance your skin and hair. But look at the array of products? Serum, gel, protective spray.....

    I got nostalgic and to confess, I stopped it midway. I could write about those days on and on.

    The Holy Lama,

    Long time no see. Oh yeah, not to forget that bond we shared with that local shopkeeper.


    :-) I agree with you. We have made things difficult for us.


    Yes, thats sad.


    See, maybe thats why you chopped off your long hair.


    :-) I am glad. What could we do when there are array of choices for a simple toothbrush? Kids, adults, plaque specialist......


    :-) Thanks


    Thank you, I am glad you liked it.

  15. We all contribute in our small ways then to save planet Earth (not even realising it). There was no intense recyclying campaigns, but what can be recycled were collected and sold for recycling, what can be reused were reused. We lived very close to nature, taking just the necessary and waste was kept to the minimum. But going back to that life would just be wishful thinking. Present day lifesytle has been corrupted beyond repair.

  16. Wan,

    I agree. So much has changed that once humble life is only a wish now

  17. Nostalgic...brought a smile to my face and a flashback of lots of other good old memories!!

  18. Abhinav,

    :) Glad.


    Welcome to B Log. Thanks, glad you liked this post :)


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