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A Slippery Soap!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Feb 26, 2024.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I am confused. On one hand we say that a job well begun is half done. And we also say that all is well that ends well. I am known for perfect planning in respect of tasks entrusted to me. I foresee problems in implementing it and make allowances for them. My planning ability has become synonymous with perfection. Despite such erudition in planning, nobody entrusts me with any job! People say that most of the tasks assigned to me remain half done since I begin them well! That’s the unkindest cut of all but I am not unduly perturbed by such comments. Being very magnanimous, I let them have their fun at my expense.

    This morning I had one of the rare experiences when I admitted to myself that a good end was more important than a good beginning. The day started very well and I was in an unusually chirpy mood. I tried whistling a favourite song of mine but gave it up as my mouth was filled with foaming toothpaste. I mentally told myself that an intelligent person would not waste his talents if the time and place did not suit the occasion. Sorry for the digression! I have not told you why I was in such a chirpy mood that I was even about to start whistling a song with a mouth full of toothpaste. 'It is elementary my dear Watson,' I said to my image in the mirror with a huge grin.
    Brushing was followed by a steaming tumbler of coffee which I sipped drop by drop and listened to a lilting instrumental version of some well known Sufi song. My wife came to the balcony where I spent my mornings in communion with nature. ‘I have kept a new bar of soap in the bathroom as the one you are using has become thinner than a potato chip' she informed me rather contemptuously. Though I was sorry to bid goodbye to that wafer thin soap, the news that a new bar has replaced it gladdened my heart.

    I gleefully entered the bathroom and picked up the new oval shaped bar lovingly. It smelled great as all new bars of soap would. This technique of soap makers always impressed me a lot. I wondered how they manufactured soaps that smelt heavenly for a couple of baths and became odourless thereafter. I made a mental note to discuss this matter with my friends at our next rendezvous. I was always held in high esteem by my friends for my ability to make our meetings meaningful with such stirring topics!

    I filled the bucket with lukewarm water and closed the toilet lid. I have this habit of letting these oversized bars of soap slip out of my palm and to ensure that they did not fall into the toilet, I always kept it closed with the lid. Such wisdom comes to us over a long period of unhappy incidents.
    As the first mug of water touched my body, I broke into a song. My wife knocked at the door and asked me if I had swallowed the soap instead of using it for its intended purposed. ‘Only you can make such hideous noise' she said in a disdainful voice. It didn’t bother me at all as I increased the pitch of my song.

    I finished soaping all over my body and finally my face with my eyes closed. It was precisely at that point, the soap slipped out of my clumsy palm. I could hear it hitting the floor and I knelt in that direction to retrieve it but I couldn’t find it. I started crawling on the floor like a child while running my fingers on the floor. I remembered what an experienced friend once told me. ‘When a bar of soap slips out of your hand, it normally slides and lodges itself in the remotest and most inaccessible corner' were his prophetic words.

    Until then I never knew that there could be such inaccessible spots in a bathroom probably because we always made a beeline to the shower and get out when the bathing procedure ended, and get out by the most direct route. But soaps are different. They love playing hide and seek with the user. As my hands reached all nooks and corner, I collected a lot of flora and fauna but not the soap. It then dawned on me that I should start searching with my eyes open and it occurred to me that washing my face could restore my vision. I got up and did that. My restored vision fell on my soap lying in a corner fully covered by dirt and what not. It had lost it’s original glitter and looked like a rat chased all over the world by a venomous cat. I was in two minds whether to clean the dirty bar and use it or to return to my wafer thin soap. I thought of the fury on my wife's face when she heard what happened to the new bar of soap. I hastily washed the new soap to a glittering finish and placed it respectfully in the soap box. With a sigh I told myself ‘All is well that ends well'
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    "A slippery soap" is a great title for this thread as always we associate "slippery" with the "slope". Steven Covey in his "7 habits of highly effective people" says, "begin with the end in mind" as one of the 7 habits. I always believe that processes that we use to finish a job is much more important than the end results as it adds so much of details to our experience.

    Chirpy mood is always welcome as it shows the state of happy mind. Somehow, I got into the habit of smelling the soap before using it as I believe my skin would absorb that smell better once I smell it through my nose. When I visited a French perfume factory as part of the excursion we had organized when we went on an international cruise around Italian coast, they taught this important lesson. They organized a table filled with several solutions nicely organized in bottles and asked us to smell each one of them. Whatever we liked better than the other, we should pour it into a jar and we went through this exercise 4-5 times. Finally, what we filled in the jar was packed in a bottle marked with the name we assigned for this perfume and asked us to keep it safely for 2 weeks before we use it. If anyone who comes up with a perfume combination which fits most population, it is converted into a generic perfume sold in the market with the one who invented it shared with the royalty. Isn't it fascinating that we can use our nose to earn royalty? I used to feel jealous of those who act as tea tasters and perfume smellers to make a living.

    When it comes to dropping the soap in the bathroom, the soap will settle in a remote place that is difficult for us to access, is the rule. I am glad you found the new soap, washed it clean, to reuse. My dad used to use Lifebuoy a carbolic soap, as he worked for an Ammonia plant, which used to be a huge soapbar that no one in our house used to use. Therefore, his soap used to last longer and he used to question us why we buy soaps that often. Besides, even when a small piece is left, he will attach it to the new soap bar so that it is not wasted.
     
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  3. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    Dear @Cheeniya sir,

    What nerve of that slippery soap indeed!! First it slips out of your hand when its all glittering new and then to add insult to the injury, it lodges itself in one inaccessible corner of your bathroom and as a result of all the dirt on it, you had to wash it to restore it to a semblance of its former glory??

    The thin wafer like soap reminds me of the ubiquitous green bar of Hamam that would be shared by the 4 of us at home. Once the soap would become like a Lays chip, only then a brand new Hamam would be opened and the chip would be pressed on to the new soap ever so dutifully. I also remember the toilet lid being closed before each person would shower to prevent soap from falling in. I truly miss those good old days where choice of soaps were so limited (@Rihana can vouch that I am a sucker for nostalgia :)).

    Ever since the past more than a decade, its been a slew of bodywashes for me oscillating between nice smelling ones to no fragrance but moisturizing ones.
     
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  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Interesting!Good thing the soap was retrieved and you escaped the hurts.
    I think we should have some primary knowledge of soap before handling it,
    "Soap is slippery due to its lack of friction. The fatty acids that is the primary composition of soap is a surfactant. Soap is only slippery when it's in water or other polar solvent. The hydrophilic tails align to be facing the water and hydrophobic tails facing inwords in typical micelles."
    Now I realise why they were not using soaps for bathing infants of a few days old.

    Along with the soap the baby also would slip out of our hands.Those grandmas
    had much presence of mind and common sense to use only Greengram powder to give bath.
    JAYASALA 42
     
  5. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Entertaining and responses informative.
    But bath room for seniors are always vulnerable spots for old and with soap-lathered on body & on face the risk is enhanced several fold.

    Some indian soaps are really good for bathroom and lakes and rivers. ( recent ads) ; their fragrance remain in bathroom long after I left with sweat.

    Singing and dancing are real good to try under variety showers.
    A playing radio and me dancing I tried long long ago.

    In hostel a row of four bath rooms with a common roof with 2 or 3' space left open. My friend was singing in the adjacent shower and me singing with him in chorus . Heard a thud on my head. It was soap of my friend eluded him in his bath but landed on my head.

    While staying in chembur lodge, I was regular on Sunday taking oil bath. The manager was telling me, I should pay extra for using bath room for oil bath or vacate the room.
    Other day spouse told me that she had replaced my rectangular hammam bar with sandal wood heavy oval soap. But to my dismay I found in the box only half of it. Then I remembered previous time, a new hammam which I fail to catch when it went in a trajectory into the water closet from my butter fingers.
    I was using pears glycerine soap for very many years. .
    Some days when I am famished I don't take bath or bath without using soap!

    But many soaps when in use or while using reminds one the corresponding ad in tv commercials!
    They enjoy soaping under cascade that runs into lake or river below.

    Non skid mat from Amazon delivered a few days back. A good buy at a great discount. Spouse a discerning buyer!

    While in use as a rule she & I, as a precautionary measure never put the padlock in closed position.
    God bless all bath rooms of the world and our limbs.
    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2024
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  6. mangaii

    mangaii Finest Post Winner

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    @Cheeniya Sir loved reading this snippet.
    Now I switched to bath lotion I'm wondering If I should go back to my soap days.
     
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  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    To whomsoever it may concern!
    Be it known, be it known!
    Rip Van Winkle has woken up from his slumber!
     
  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Viswamitra bhul
    My dear Sridhar
    Out of my 80 odd years thus far I have spent considerable time time on this subject. The more I thought about it, the more confused I got! There was a time when the book 'Ends and Mean by Aldous Huxley used to be my Bible and we had discussed this enough in the bank where I was a senior executive till our hairs became grey or we became bald! We always talk of ends and means and not vice versa. That doesn't make ends more important than means.
    If we go by Thiruvalluvar's words
    இதனை இதனால் இவன்முடிக்கும் என்றாய்ந்து அதனை அவன்கண் விடல்
    means assume greater importance than the ends.
    Personally I feel that the ethical standards in achieving whatever we want to achieve are more important and that puts means ahead of the ends!
     
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  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @gamma50g
    Dear g50g
    I am a Mysore Sandal man right from the days of Jayachamaraja Wadiyar and it makes me feel like a distant cousin of his! Talking of soaps, I must tell you of an incident in a Rotary Club meeting. On a meeting day, we had a guest lecturer who prided himself as an expert psychologist. He prided himself of his ability to size up a man by the kind of soap he used. A couple of people told him of the soap brand they used and he reeled out some bla bla. Then one person stood up and announced that he used Lifebuoy soap. The speeker immediately told him that he was an introvert and that nobody would come near him!
     
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  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @jayasala42
    A friend of mine who has the habit of conceptualizing every subject that he talks of once told me that a soap should fit into our palm which is more important than it's fragrance and price. I entirely agree with him being a person who holds the Guinness record for losing maximum number of soaps in the commode!
    I am told that the eel is the most slippery thing in the world. A boss of mine in the bank used to be known as an eel for his habit of dodging when it came to taking a decision!
     
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