Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Ode to the Talcum Powder

It owned a place of pride on dressing tables of yesteryears. Where the long mirror adorned with used bindis reflected its twin  image in all its glory.
I am talking about the talcum powder.The old familiar tin or packs that adorned our homes and our selves in our growing years.

It would top the list every month. The  all important shopping list. No matter what, this one name would never be struck off.
Come summer, and it would be emptied faster than the ice in the refrigerator. Sprinked liberally after a bath,  before work, after work, before going to bed.

It was the fairness enhancer for young women and  the not so young. Patted carefully over a foundation by fluffly puffs , it would light up a face many notches with just a touch.
New born babies, little girls going to school, family dressed up to go to a wedding or even a temple visit- nothing could happen without the touch of white.

In freezing winters, a liberal dose of talc would cover up the lack of a bath or a wash, making one feel as fresh.
Barbers and salons would use it ( still do)  to dust away the telltale strands of hair after a hair cut.
Not to mention how handy it was to cure some uncomfortable itches in incomfortable places.

And one of the most endearing moments in most homes would be little kids playing with the packs, sprinkling the white dust liberally on themselves while the elders laughed lovingly .

In fact, people liked leaving the traces of fragrant white on their faces and bodies.
It showed freshness
It cued that the person was wellgroomed
It also reflected a sense of beauty

And then the onslaught happened. The plugging of holes. Deos, whiteners, lotions, anti perspirants, face toners, fairness enhancers, matt finished cremes, itchguards.... and many more.

Relegating  the classic talc to the bottom shelf and bottom of the list.
Yes there are many who still use it. There will be market figures and charts to prove this.
The truth is, it is a fading category, struggling to hold on to its pride of yesteryears before the final plunge.

But come what may, the talcum powder will always occupy a  special place.
For being a part of our homes and hearts.
And for being a big confidence booster and beauty ally in our growing up years.

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