Saturday, 20 April 2013

Bathe in Milk ??

This is not for people who find milk's smell yucky and in general dislike milk.
My easiest skincare routine? Slather Milk as cleansing milk,as face mask/pack and over scorched sun burnt skin.
 I have been using milk as mixing agent for years now especially when i had no money to spend on rosewater in school and college !Now, when i am spending more freely I use rose water !   
 Decades ago when Afghan snow and Pond's cold cream ruled minds of indian women, there was no concept of using readymade cleansing milks to remove oily foundation bases.
   I still remember my Mom pouring cold milk in a vati,dipping cotton and wiping her face to remove makeup after a wedding function.
   Zoom to circa 2011, i now use cleansing milk as a face wash. I use face wash but its usually after sweaty ,dusty outing otherwise cleansing milk seems to do a fine job.My belief in cleansing milk as face wash confirmed when i found that i did not get acne or dry stretchy skin as a result.My favourite cleansing milks are Garnier, Butic lemon milk and Lakme Deep pore cleansing milk !Butic is the cheapest amongst the three and its very good.
But i use cow's milk curdled with lemon juice for a alternate pampering session.I don't like milk's smell but what to do ?I like how silky clear my skin feels after using it.
  Summers make my skin more dry and a day of sauntering in sun is enough to tan it.Shower gel and soaps dries it further.
  I am already using curdled milk as face pack/cleanser so i decided to go ahead and 'bathe in milk'.
 Take a 1/4th cup milk and add half lemon juice ,let it curdle add ambahalad and any other herbs of your choice 3/4th tsp riceflour to thicken it- just enough so that application becomes easy.
 I just add ambahalad and use it runny !Just apply this over your whole body,it dries up super quick and the wash off with water.Use it just like a ubtan.
  The cleansing effect of milk is superb- you would think only soaps and gels get you clean !In summers when most people bathe everyday, this is easiest way to moisturise and cleanse at the same time.I was shocked that curdled milk could actually give a clean feeling to the body.
  Like Cleopatra, you can actually bathe in milk without wastage or vanity and without breaking the bank !

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Girl revisited ....

Some articles are just well written. Do read this one...lets keep revisiting,let's keep talking about it till something solid and substantial comes out of it.

The Girl Who Fired an Outcry in India

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Do you save water ?

Or are you one of the urban higher middle class who use and 'require' more water than the rest of us?
I don't belong to arrogant,impervious,bratty society who doesn't 'wish' to see what happening around the world and their neighbourhood and is busy maintaining her social standards?
   I consciously save as much water as i can. I use only that much that is required.No , i don't face any day to day water cuts or shortages.I stay in a 2 bedroom flat.But yes,i have seen and experienced first hand what 'no water' means.
My early childhood was spent in a South mumbai chawl.Those old buildings where people stay in 2 rooms or 1 room but are lower-middle class not poor !
  Yet ,when i think of water i see my parents climbing 2 floors with buckets in hand. Even after we shifted to Pune 2 decades ago, the first thing my parents did was to install Sintex ka taaki. We still have that taaki in the small bathroom installed on metal bars near the ceiling.Fortunately, we have not faced any water scarcity in so many years.
   I am very thankful for that. I thank God every day that i don't have to fill buckets of water because i don't think i am physically upto lifting weights on daily basis.
   I know 2-3 people like me whose primary concern is how to minimise daily usage of water.In contrast, over the years i have seen maids who throw buckets and buckets of water  to get balconies and bathrooms clean.
  The area where i live now, has become dusty and grimy due to increase in vehicular traffic , new construction - basically 'development' .To make the mall near my house, 1 sturdy very old Pipal tree whose branches came to my 4th floor balcony was cut down and another jungli badam tree and gulmohur[Cesalpinia] were also cut down.No new trees were planted by the builder !
  Maids who themselves wash with very less water [ and soap] because in their slums they have to carry water to their homes suddenly become arrogant and wasteful in memsahibs/ madams hflats and bungalows. They don't want to scrub so they use more soap and then to rinse that soap they run the taps louder.
  We had maids of all caste and creeds in so many years. Only 2 of them didn't waste water and used water judiciously. The last maid I had was like an arrogant cow. I implored her to use less soap and therefore less water and not throw water in the bathroom like a mad woman.But she never listened to me. She continued to keep the tap full on while washing utensils and threw buckets of water to clean the bathroom. My mom was very sick so i had to keep her and also in my past experiences i knew 80% maids waste more water and soaps.
    A week after my mom died, I threw her out ! I use a vacuum cleaner to clean and since the vacuum cleaner[ i have a dry vacuum cleaner] is inefficient in removing grime and stains, I mop the kitchen and doorway areas and balconies every time i vacuum but  i don't mop the entire house all the time.
   The ways in which i try to save water:
1. I don't keep the tap running while i brush my teeth or wash my face. I use a small mug most of the time to gargle or wash my face.
2. I use overhead showers only in hurry or when washing my hair. For day to day baths, i fill a bucket and use that.
3. I use a Gala /Scotch brite mop and use old cotton torn shirts/dresses as use and throw wipes. I usually make pieces of old rags to clean fans etc and don't rewash i just throw them.
4. I wash utensils cleverly- soak them ,clean the grimy bits with stainless scrubber and then wash with green scrub pads. I use liquid gel Vim only.It rinses clean at one go and is very good on hands too.
5. I use a semi automatic washing machine and reuse detergent soak water for atleast 2 load runs. I recommend semiautomatic machine which is the next best option to handwashing. It allows the reuse of detergent water- I run the whites and new clothes first and then put household linen and clothes jeans in second run. I use water in the machine only as required and since i use a good quality washing powder like Surf quick wash , it rinses clean in an single rinse cycle.That's the beauty of using enzymatic detergents.Here i would like to mention that the water quality i get is good so i don't need to use more detergent to get clean clothes. I also prescrub the stains with laundry soap- Foaran. Foaran is an excellent natural soap especially for hand scrubbing and wash.I use the old fashioned biolaundry soap[yellow] from Foaran not the newer syndets cakes !
6. I mop only grimy areas regularly and the kitchen.But i know if you have children at home, you may have to mop the whole flat. Still restrict your maids to mopping the balconies everyday and not throwing water to get the dusty balconies clean . My balcony which gets so dusty and with bird shit that i have to use water once a week with a broom.Still, i use only half a bucket -no more.
6. To clean basins and bath room, i use liquid soap - Cleanol.Its an excellent find. I think its a local liquid soap brand which I found in Dorabjee. It cuts grease which is especially useful for bathrooms and just scrub with the plastic broom and little water gets it clean.
7. For flush tank i have got it adjusted to half the tank of water. So that, it fills only upto half the tank so that not much water is used in a single flush just the bare minimum required.

 As i said, i try and work around to save as much water as possible .And i can do only this much at my end,since rain water harvesting etc is more of a community effort than an individual's.But i believe, if we truly use water as 'a precious' commodity just like our gold and money then i think we'll be much better off. In future, water like other things only higher middle class,rich and superrich and powerful people will own !For the rest of us,God help us !

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Badtameez dil....

Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin

Have you seen the trailers of this song from Yeh Jawani hai Diwani? Well,I thought we will probably only hover around 'item girl' and so ...but ranbir kapoor is an 'item boy'.

I was blown away by Ranbir's performance in this song..and after a long long time there is this high energy song with fun,cheesy,bold 'streetsmarty' 'alecky' lyrics.

God, i was so sick of seeing close ups of Katrina Kaif's and her ilk's kamars,bosoms and butts [ Priyanka Chopra has jumped in too- suggestive and boring outpouring of overt sexuality moves in some Babli song] .In this song, they had to bring in the girls but thankfully their shots were less and only in supporting role !
I loved Ranbir in this song and love the song too. It compels one to hold and watch through the trailer and instead of changing the channel.
   But then, I am weird when it comes to what i like in Hindi cinema.I cannot tolerate most songs - especially their visuals. I don't mind 'listening' to some of them on radio or otherwise. You know ,just tracks ! Just the other day, X was telling me how I got the movies wrong for 7/10 newer tracks i really liked !
    Let me tell you , this is only for most movies post 1985's. Ask me about Hindi cinema's disco tracks,and anything really old 50s,60s,and 70s and I’ll probably get the answer right. I have grown up playing gramophone records well through 80's - my golden years when dancing came naturally and all i and my sister needed is a gramophone record!
    i still have a gramophone and those records !By the way, i still love Disco and rock and roll !

Monday, 8 April 2013

When DIY is plain stupid.....

I do lot of DIY, fact there are so many things which i do at home and therefore blog about those which work well for a long time too. So me saying that DIY could be nonsensical is a little oxymoron !

So, here's what i think :

1. Don't trust all the bloggers and their recipes: Why ? Because some people try them from someone elses' recipes and get excited after 2-3 times use ,blog about it in superlative terms and then abandon it  !So the cycle continues !
  Internet is littered with a lot of people blogging about poorly thought out and useless DIYs ! E.g Baking soda for hair wash and to wash dishes as well - not as and when required but daily use!
 Trust recipes which people having been using for years and ALWAYS make a little ,use it for months before raving about it!One man's honey is another's poison !

2. If DIY is an expensive replacement:
     Why would you want to go buy raw materials and then combine to make a mediocre product. DIY is usually about saving money, having the pleasure of making a product which you like and which performs great too.
For e.g: Making a scrub soap with oats and soap which you have at home is a great idea.But if you don't eat quick cooking oats but you go and buy 200g pack [ near my house usually available in 400gm and 1kg packs ] oats to make a scrub soap then isn't it stupid ?
 The same thing applies to herbs: Herbs work well when they are fresh !For e.g:Though ritha and shikakai whole pods keep well when stored properly, but if you are the kind of person who has rushed mornings and wants to only laze in weekends or forgets to use them or whatever , there is no point in investing in them if you not going to use them regularly. The last time i bought ritha 6 months ago it cost me, 80 rs for half kilo and i use them regularly.
 Let's face it: Its much work and planning and cleaning the bath room afterwards ! Though i am used to the drill, on lazy or tiring days i use shampoo happily.
    And i usually buy only Reetha these days not even shikakai or other hair care herbs - I am using up shikakai which i bought 4 years ago and i have 25- 30gm of nagarmotha and jaswand lying around which i use only with egg hair pack  which is rare in itself !
    If you are going to use besan face pack once a month- there is no point in collecting skin care herbs just because recipe calls for it. Besan and milk work fine in itself ! Ayurveda is not cheap anymore.25gms of good quality packed herbs,if you atleast use 3 of them for face pack will cost you double of what brands like Lotus and Himalayas sell the whole tube of face mask or pack.To give fancy feel, you'll atleast need 3-4 herbs plus besan/multani mitti.
     So, if you are one of those people who use a DIY only once or twice a month , then i think buying the readymade tubes from good brands makes more sense !
     I have been buying only rose water- rest of the herbs i use which i had bought years ago and i still haven't finished them !I use face packs only 4-5 times a week that too if i make it a point to use.
     If you don't suffer from soap/SLS or commercial shower gels allergy or don't have issues like eczema then there is no real need to invest so much time and energy in herbs/powder ubtans especially if you are assembling them on your own !
    I use reetha/ soapnuts as hairwash /bodywash/facewash [especially in summers] when i make the liquid twice a week. So the effort vs advantages works quite well for me.Spent /used reetha works as fertilizer/bulking agent for my potted plants too.
    The feel of hair with reetha in any form is NOT same as using a shampoo so that requires getting used to. So think before trying out any DIYs especially for skin and hair care.

3. If DIY doesn't have shelf life:
     I do sewing,make chutneys,pickles, masalas ,pasta and pizza sauces because i have learnt things in details and also these things have shelf lives. My mom had a sewing machine - the traditional table one- i oiled and took care of it,learnt to use it and now i sew on it. It was free of cost- all i had to do is learn sewing from mom and actually Sew !
     I usually buy whole khada spices- so making all masalas on the go and as required comes easy to me...
I make preserved lemons, amla murraba because they stay well and are easy to make !
  So if your DIY doesn't have reasonable shelf life, it is less of headache to buy ready made especially if consumption vs effort vs time required to make it is not proportional !
   In contrast, i never make namkeen at home except puris for sev puri [ My mom started tradition of making pani puri details at home- we bought puffed puris from outside though].
Deep fried snacks are to be eaten only once in a while anyways.So,i don't bother making them at home anymore and also its only me and dad at home!We buy from reputable shops for ourselves and guests. That way, our consumption remains less and under control !

   What do you think about this?
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