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Indu

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, May 26, 2019.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    As I was writing something on EEYa sombu and Kal satti in Tamil in the Regional languages Forum, my mind travelled back to 1959-60.

    Sometime back there was an article 'There was a beautiful girl called Rexona' .in a daily and there were huge responses thereto.It brings to my mind the talcum powder'Indu".

    Quite interesting to have a look at the family tree of Rexona.
    When we read about soaps we studied that it contains an acid and base.When mixed with various proportions and scents, we call it by various pet names.
    I am reminded of an incident while I was doing
    graduation in Chemistry in SRC in Tiruchirapllai.The college authorities decided to conduct a science exhibition in the college.We formed into various groups consisting of 6 students
    each.We had to prepare a product and keep it for sale.Unfortunately all the six in our group belonged to poor families.We could not invest money.At the most we could contribute three rupees each.,which was a huge amount in those days.With Rupees 18 on hand, nothing could be done.We thought and thought and nothing struck.
    In my anxiety I slipped the kal satti when I was taking it to the back yard for cleaning and got a liberal dosage of abuses from Amma.

    Suddenly an idea arose in my mind.I have studied somewhere that the main ingredient of Talcum powder or face powder was magnesium silicate, which was available in big stone forms,out of which Kalsattis are made.
    I got the same confirmed from the college library.
    Luckily there was a kalsatti ,industry( Cottage industry) in our village.There were heaps and heaps of broken kalsattis outside the shop to be just thrown away,along with some kalsattis for sale.
    I bought a kalsatti for 6 Annas
    and asked him whether he would give the heaps of broken pieces of kalsatti .He returned 6 Annas, gave me all the kalsatti pieces and asked me to pack all the broken pieces home
    to have more space for his job.I sought his advice as to how to make it into a powder.He showed me a big funnel like machine.All the pieces were made into a rough powder.We brought it home in two big bags.
    We had an'Enthiram'at home.( Two pieces of stones one above the other, the top one with a handle.All the six of us worked for two hrs each and the rough powder was made into a soft powder.We sieved it well three or four times out of salladai.We had the basic material ,as soft as Johnson's to pack 200 dubbas of 100 gms each. .We got some mild colouring material, some sandal powder and some scents for a few rupees from a famous shop in Gandhi market. We had to spend six Rupees for 200 small tins.,half an Anna for each dubba.
    We segregated the basic powder into 4 categories,packed it off nicely and named the powder as 'INDU' meaning the moon.
    One of the six was good on Rangoli .She drew a beautiful design on a big sheet of paper We pasted Rangoli stickers on the tins with the name'Indu' stylishly written.

    Other groups had arranged to sell costly things and decorated the stalls beautifully.
    Ours was the simplest stall with 200 little tins arranged on a table with letters 'INDU' made out of Tins.
    I was able to convince many mamis with the description of the actual contents-Kalsatti or magnesium silicate,the harmless product.We were able to sell all our tins within 2 days.
    Our product was adjudged as the best one with minimum expenditure.
    Whenever we buy ponds, cuticura ,and sandal powders I am reminded of this kal satti.
    Kalsatti reminds not only of the aromatic sambar and vathal kuzhambu but also of the talcum powder which we prepared with the least expenditure.
    Thanks to the kalsattiwala to whom we presented two small tins of powder.

    Jayasala 42
     
    startinganew, Amica, Rihana and 12 others like this.
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  2. Anjelin

    Anjelin Gold IL'ite

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    That's amazing. Wonderful invention and creativity
     
  3. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you Madam
    Jayasala 42
     
  4. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    When you first mentioned 'Indu' talcum powder, I wondered how I'd never heard of this brand. How remarkable that it was your very own brand of talcum powder! I'm even more impressed at the attention to detail right from choice of fragrance to packaging. These days DIY (Do It Yourself) cosmetics are all the rage on the Internet. The little Indu talc tin cans with the rangoli artwork would have become collector's items by now. Thank you for sharing this story ma'am. It's a wonderful parable of overcoming obstacles with ingenuity and enterprise.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  5. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    Where is the closure ?
    Indu inc. was bought by Unilever for x crore rupees, and the coop members of the original company went on to live happily ever after. :wink:
     
  6. Agathinai

    Agathinai Silver IL'ite

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    I have watched how they cook on kalchatti but never tried it. And never even thought of linking it with talcum powder. Enjoyed both this and your Tamil thread. Thanks for your narratives.
     
  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    :hello:As CEO of INDU Ltd, With Rs. 18 as capital backed up by a team of six - with stone machine endram produced high quality talcum powder nicely packed challenged the then popular brands cuticura, Remi and ponds won the hearts of mamis who thronged the stall in SRC .
    Hats off to your expertise .
    I enjoyed this delectable fragrance filled reading.
    God bless.
     
  8. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Amulet,I wish you had been one of the six in the team, so resourceful to sell Indu Inc. to Unilever group. In those days I didn't even know the name of companies manufacturing Talcum powder.Thank you for the nice response with a sweet dream.
    Jayasala 42
     
  9. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you Agaththinai Madam.We had different kal sattis in various shapes and sizes to prepare varieties of food. Normally kalsattis would be heavy and we could not use 'kidukkis' to remove it from fire.We had to use only cloths, a little bit risky.
    jayasala 42
     
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  10. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Thyagarajan Sir,
    I don't know whether mamis took pity on me and bought the powder or really convinced.But we were really proud when the unexpected award reached us and I recd it on behalf of all the six with great pride.My Amma forced me to clean the enthiram well and clean the cemented flooring so that that appalam flour to be prepared the next day did not smell of talcum powder.
    Those days were quite interesting just because of our resourcefulness, though lacking in resources.
    Jayasala 42
     
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