Good Reads

The Soap Story!!


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Like all small children, I was fascinated with TV commercials. During the 80s, the TV telecast used to be for a limited time, and TV commercials were fewer, and that’s the reason they were all the more precious. I remember going green with envy at the flawless skin of the then reigning star, Sri Devi, in the Lux soap commercial. It was a pink Lux. I asked my mum to buy a pink Lux the next time she ordered at the grocer’s. She bought me one. But in spite of rubbing it all over, I was sorry to admit, my skin didn’t turn pearl-like ‘comme’ Sri Devi. Disenchanted, I stumbled over the ad of Moti Sandal Soap. I loved the idea of bathing with a round soap, when all that my mum ever bought were flat rectangular ones. I wanted it. Unfortunately, it was not available in Ahmedabad at the time. So my mum promised, she would buy it the next time we visited Delhi, my grandfather’s place. And, she did buy me one. But Moti Sandal Soap was like the pink Lux, it didn’t do much for my skin. It didn’t get me the glow it promised. ☹

From Hamam to Lyril and Mysore Sandal Soap, I pestered my mum to get each one of them. But, to no good! And then came into my radar, the cutest ad where a little girl (about my age) aspired to be like her mum. She wanted to have skin as soft as her mum’s. The ad was different, and struck a chord with mothers and their daughters alike. All girls want to be like their mother, and mothers in a very long time found something that made them feel special. No wonder it was an instant hit! And what’s more, it was a see through soap and made of glycerin (the first of its kind)… an absolute must have!

And this was the first soap, I didn’t need to ask my mum to get. It found its way to my home without much ado! The first time I took a bath with it, I remember putting the bar of soap against my eye and trying to see my mum through it, just as they showed in the commercial. We loved the soap so much that it became a part of our hygiene ritual. In summers, we would use Lux (pink, green, white, lavender or whatever new colour they came in) and in winters, it was invariably the brown Pears.

Now, a few days ago, I visited a supermarket with my 5-year old. As I was browsing through the soap aisle, she suddenly came to me with a pack of blue Pears. I raised an eyebrow. She had till date never expressed any desire in soaps. But, then she said, “Mama, I saw it on Disney Junior. It is good for little girls too!”

Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it? And, girls don’t change much. Brown or blue, soaps have a way of finding their way into the heart of little girls.

Do you have a story of soaps in your home?

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  1. Wonderful…it’s soo very similar to my experience..I always wanted a Le Sancy soap…it was new in the market. The name, the colour and the shape fascinated mom told me to top the class in the monthly tests and she would get me that. Top I did and the soap was in my hands and boy did i spend hours in the bathroom admiring it.. later the craze faded..but as I read your post I recalled my le sancy obsession ..not to forget Mysore sandal and Liril…dancing away in the bathroom like in the ad..? down south the Mommy daughter ad is santoor soap and my motto was I always wanto be a santoor Mommy and finally today I guess I am..?
    Thank you for sharing this and making me recall my soapy sagas????

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