Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coco loco

 For a land named after coconuts (keram= coconut in malayalam) , it is only to be expected that the people there are mad over coconuts. Literally every part of that useful and much loved tree is used for something or the other. And any self respecting house that has a few inches of space surrounding it will have a coconut tree!

I grew up in Kannur, in North Malabar, and one of our neighbours had an oil mill. In the evenings around 4pm, the  air around would be redolent with the smell of freshly made coconut oil.... We used to have our stock of coconut oil ( there was no Parachute around in those days) sent across from them.
While I enjoyed the body massages my mother used to give us once in a while, I certainly did NOT appreciate the daily head massages.  The shampoo bottle was confiscated after it became known that all that oil was being religiously shampooed away.  And we used to have to go to school with those oily locks that were the stamp of a mallu girl. Yuck!

But slowly, the goodness of coconut oil did sink in... When my sister's marriage was fixed, the good neighbour was approached for those dried cakes of coconut ( after oil had been expressed from them).Called Punnakku in malayalam, it was generally given to cows as fodder and as we had no cows, this was the first time I saw it. It was supposed to be soaked in water about half an hour before you had your bath and you were to scrub your body with the water logged cake. It used to be hard on your skin initially, but the more you soaked it, the softer  it became, and it had double benefits. The hard cake (before it became softer with the extended soak)  worked as a scrub, taking away the dead skin, and the soft residue worked to smoothen your skin and HOW! The results have to be seen to be believed. It was the best moisturiser ever! Needless to say, seeing the results on my sister, I started using it too.
Punnakku used to be ordered  post delivery of babies, for all the women in the family as well. (That bath (phew!!) is fodder for another post, another day).

I moved from home- to student's and after that working women's hostels, but coconut oil remained a mainstay of my (non-existent) skin care regime, though the neighbour's oil came to be replaced by Parachute. When I had a baby the goodness of coconut oil was reinforced once again. He had very dry skin and the doc recommended coconut oil instead of  all those 'new fangled ' baby oils.

So when I saw this contest for the goodness of coconut oil on women's web, I couldn't but add my bit about it. I can vouch for the  'jagaye love dubara' bit.. :-D

1 comment:

Gunjan said...

Hi, interesting post about coconuts. Could not stop smiling since coconuts have played quite a role in my story of late. It is not called 'The tree from heaven' for nothing...