There’s no doubt that certain sights and smells give us nostalgia and take us back to our childhood days. We can never move past the memories we have built with them. We owe that to all the household products we use on a daily basis or the ones we’ve grown up using. While the list is endless, we have compiled Part 1 of the brands we find at every Kerala household.
If Amala Paul comes up on your screen during advertisements, chances are she is wearing a lime green dress. ‘The Chandrika’ Ad. This green soap caters to two weaknesses of a Malayalee – pure coconut oil and the best ayurvedic herbs. From bathrooms to handwashes and eventually, to wash clothes, the smell of the oval Chandrika soap continues to linger in every household. Sometimes confused with the green Hamam soap, no one can beat Chandrika soap’s pathapikyal!
Talcum Powder in a Malayali home is a multi-purpose product. You can either use it for your body (I mean armpits) or to make your carrom board smoother. The orange tin or the plastic dabba of Cuticura powder is a familiar sight to all. Though it made a few guest appearances in a violet design, the hybrid design of orange and white sits on every dressing table. Everyone who goes into this room comes back with white hands, smelling of the fragrant Cuticura powder. Dabbing a little on your face before going to school was a fond childhood memory.
Perfume from Gulf
Remember those days when we would wait for our cousins to come home from the Gulf? Apart from the chocolates, it was the perfumes that we waited for the most. Most of these perfumes had the typical scent of Oud or Bhakhoor. And if lucky, we would get those tiny bottles of Attar which we hardly used and eventually dried off. Special mention to Amma who often kept them locked and had a never-ending stock of these perfumes, allowing us only to use them during special occasions. She also loved collecting empty perfume bottles. There’s no doubt that the Gulf Perfume is a phenomenon.
Parle G Biscuit
What is tea time, if not some gossip and Parle G Biscuit. With no particular taste, it’s the perfect snack to dip in both Tea and Horlicks. Hearing the crinkling of the yellow packet before tea time meant tea was on the way. It was almost impossible to find the right balance of soggy and crunchy before it drowned in the tea, which later had to be scooped out after finishing the tea. Do you remember running out to the peedika near your house to buy these when guests came home at tea time? And damn, it’s so cheap!
Godrej Steel Amirah
All the bedrooms in the house had a corner reserved for the steel almirah which was usually metallic green or silver in colour. They often had stickers stuck on them and sometimes even fridge magnets. The key was almost always there in the keyhole (making the process easier if a thief broke in). The major attraction was a built-in safe which was key bound. Whether the safe had just veedinde aadharam and FD receipt or a secret gun, nobody knows!
Also Read: Privacy in a Malayali Household. It’s a Joke
Morning Chaaya is incomplete without the patram. And patram usually meant either Mathurbhumi or Manoarama. Every morning apart from the fallen leaves, the mittam of each household had the latest edition of the newspaper. From here it made way to the dining table and then for some bathroom reading and eventually recycled by evening. In some households, though Mathurbhumi was replaced by Manorama, the calendars of both Mathurbhumi and Manorama continue to live on behind kitchen and bedroom doors.
Chackson Pressure Cooker
Before Prestige took over, Chackson pressure cooker was the OG. These cookers were not only heavy but removing the lid for some rice was like playing with a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle. The Chackson pressure cooker was also the ideal gift for weddings and house warmings – the perfect bait for recycling the gifts. If you saw this pressure cooker during morning hours, it meant that you were going to get puttu and kadala for breakfast. Chackson pressure cookers have not only fed houses but hearts too.
Eastern Curry Masala
Why refer to recipes when you have Eastern Curry Masla to the rescue? To make sambar, rasam, meen curry or beef masala, just follow the instructions on the box and lo behold! You can have your own cooking show! The fondest memory we have might be that the food at our grandmothers’, aunts’ or even our friend’s house taste the same. Because every kitchen is incomplete without the Eastern Curry Masalas. More than anything, they’re a golden snitch to everyone who is new to the cooking scene.
Celebrity gossip, interviews, recipes and even health advice? Vanitha’s got you covered. Vanitha is not just a magazine, its an emotion. With its iconic typography and the photo of a celebrity, this iconic brand makes its rounds around the household often in various pieces. (You can use the cover as a poster you see). From the paalkada to the palacheruku peedika, its available for a nominal fee. And if you ever see a group of women discuss intently, whispering around the room, its probably about the unfinished novel in the latest edition of Vanitha.
Do you know more brands that give you nostalgic feels? Share them with us in the comment below! Also, the second part of ‘Brands in Every Kerala Household’ will come out soon. Stay tuned!