"If it ain't broke don't fix it "- Sound advice which I have followed with respect to everything I own including my body. I managed to add 12 kgs to my normal weight without so much as a clue until my legs protested about the excess weight they had to transport. Even when the doctor showed me the counter on the scale, I demanded proof that his scale wasn't faulty.Well, the same goes for my skin and other body parts too and I have a good excuse for this negligence - I am allergic to most products in the market.

Recently I got a good lecture from my sister on my negligence with supporting evidence in the form of dark patches on my back and arms, apparently caused by exposure to sun and extreme dryness. She decided to take control of the matter, went and made a mix of gram flour and turmeric. I was supposed to mix this with curd and apply on all the tanned parts and I was led to believe I would become like Aishwarya Rai. I did as instructed, waited for a few minutes before washing and looked. I looked again. No change. I turned to her with a gloating smile and told her: "see, I told you, nothing works." She gave me a look she reserves exclusively for champion idiots (and me) and explained that I had to keep doing it until the tan disappeared. She packed a kilo of the stuff for me to carry to Bangalore. She reminded me to use it daily and as a motivation reminded me of an impending family function where I would be wearing saris when I might wish that these dark patches were not there. This is serious , especially when one has relatives who start conversations with comments on one's appearance ( 'have you lost weight?', 'you look bloated, menopause problems?' 'have you been sick - your skin looks terrible') Oh no, I must do something about this. And pretty soon. Cannot ask them to postpone the muhurtam until the patches are gone.

So every morning I make the paste and smear it all over and sit on the stairs ensuring that the paste doesn't leave tell tale yellow marks and ensuring that Munni does not have access to me - she loves curds and starts licking the paste off my arms. It is a messy affair but I endure with patience and persevere. As Bertie Wooster would have said, "I'm not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare--or, if not, it's some equally brainy lad--who says" that a thing of beauty is a job forever or something close.

It has been a couple of weeks now and when I scrutinise areas under treatment they seem to preserve status quo ante. Forget looking like Aishwarya Rai; I'd be glad if i looked like her mother in law! On the contrary, I seem to have gained a few pounds. Any expert out there who can confirm my suspicion that it is all due to the absorption of all this fat from curd? Actually you don't have to be an expert: just confirm. I just need an excuse to fend off my meddling sister when she gives me the third degree for having discontinued the treatment. And if anyone mentions the "black" patches at the function, I am going to use the "racist slur" trump card.
29 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Do you, per chance, have skin specialists in your city?
    If you do, perhaps a timely visit would do a lot of good to the audience at the muhurtam, whose eyes seem prefixed on your back.
    I have known of a few ladies who eat or swallow substances meant for application on skin surfaces and within unmentionable body cavities. You didn't eat all the curd and besan, by any chance?

  2. Usha Says:

    Doc: yes, Bangalore may be the silicon city but we do have people engaged in other activities too - I once went to a skin specialist who practically took away my month's salary at knifepoint ( he removed some warts)
    Hey, I could eat all that besan and tell my sister that I used it and I wouldn't be lying! What an idea sirji!!

  3. Altoid Says:

    How about wearing a burkha and claiming you converted, obviously they didnt get the memo? - takes care of weight related issues, imaginary skin related flaws and so on and so forth.

    Na rahega bhaans, na bajegi bansuri(muahahaha- to match yours!).

    Go have fun and binge...after all there's nothing to fear except the sky falling on our heads.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    You have them on the back, my mom has them oon her face.
    The black things are adamant stuff, they are there coz of years of negligence.. now if they say we are not going fast; I don't think even the docs can do anything good.

    About the weight, No I don't think so. You have not gained weight. Your sister is trying to make you feel very jittery and all! Don't give in ;)
    **Does that make you feel better?!!

    Ohh yes, you can use the "racist slur", at least we have term to use, some good out of the blood boiling trauma that we suffered coz of cricket.

    lov 'n' cheerz!

  5. Hip Grandma Says:

    I now see why we hit off from day 1.I've been planning to try and pedicure my feet at home but never find time to do have a meddling sister and I have a friend who keeps reminding me that as a diabetic i cannot afford to ignore foot care.Come monday mornings she confonts me with dirty looks.I am spared these days since I wear socks to college and she is too decent to make me take them off to inspect my feet.but 'if winter comes can spring be far behind?' I'll have to give up wearing socks soon....:-((.BTW curds don't make you fat unless orally consumed.

  6. maasi and cousins use to tell me to put beauty products and this and that to get a glow on my face...obviously I would never! and then I developed eczema on my face!! because of!! so I had to go to the doc and stuff...but whatever I am still the same..though I do use vaseline and a little cream every now and then :)

  7. Serendipity Says:

    :) Such a cute post!

    I took PPP to a beauty parlour and the lady took "Mummy" (Southie twang included) into her *ahem* tender loving arms (they looked sore later)
    and did a "platinum pedicure"
    She scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed more.
    PPP looked bored and sore and her feet looked no different!

    Live and let live in denial! We are thin ! We are oily skinned! HAIL HAIL! :)

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Damn. It doesn't change. Earlier, mom used to hide the butter because i would gain weight even if I looked at the damn thing. Then I lost 30 kgs (ALL unhealthily which goes to show that all diet-shiet are phooey) and you know what? 'They' all call me skinny. "Oh, you look anorexic" etc. :| "Your skin looks dry" "You have a bald patch" and the worst yet... "where did your b***s go?"
    Two things I can share...
    1. what my Thamma (paternal grandma in Bangla) always said "snow cream" works... no paste-shaste, just plain cold cream. Rub it in copiously, or just plaster on at night before going to bed. Sooner or later it WILL soften the dark skin -- tried AND tested.
    2. ANYONE and i mean anyone say anything about your ANYTHING, please just STARE at their nose and say, "Uh, you have a funny nose, but i understand," pat their arm and walk away. TRUST me...the nose is the bloody centre of anyone's face (usually!), they WILL stop dead with their comments. Again, tried AND tested (very evil grin)...

    And erm... i just cant get myself to read other blogs... but yours... Please dont stop writing. Your words are, well, warm.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Isn't honey supposed to bleach skin and make it softer? Maybe you can try that next :)

  10. The Nomad Says:

    Hit on your blog by chance... Loved it. Gal of me own heart... Meddling sister... What will we do without them... I have ahd them all the time.. When I was in myn 20's it was... put on some weight... 'thodappa kutchi mathri erruke...' and now it is do something about you dryskin, this and that.... Well I just smile and grin and go on....

    Have fun... and keep reading Wodehouse, to keep that smile going

  11. MWAHAHAHA indeed. Usha, you are such a delight! :-D

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Binge today for an inch tomorrow.For we do not have lands to invade.

    I felt hugged by reading your words.
    A blue ribbon to you :)

  13. hari Says:

    Hi Usha,

    Wanting to look like Aishwarya's MIL, quite a modest ambition.

    Anyway forget concentrating on beauty Usha, rather focus of good health. Focussing on beauty will have only skin-deep effects, positive or negetive I am not sure. But focussing on health will alone generate from within a lasting beauty which you will cherish forever.

  14. Mahadevan Says:

    I just repeat what P.Chidambaram tells investors.

    'Take well informed decision'.

    This blog reads like an essay by A.G.Gardiner or Robert Lynd - delightful style, keeping the readers aborbed.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    By allergic you mean you'd rather not use all those chemicals, right? (That's what keeps me away.)
    Vicco turmeric--can't personally vouch for it but at least there's no curd and sitting around till it dries to wash it off involved!

  16. Lavs Says:

    I came here only to read others' reactions:-)Will save Jhoomur's idea for future purposes.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    :) Nice post, as always.

    Yes, I did fall off of the blogger world for a bit and am now back.

    Good to be back. :)

  18. Dhanya Says:

    Ha ha prevention is better than sure.. So use sunscreen.. n a salwar always works wonders for the black spots ;)

  19. Anonymous Says:

    As is said "...this too shall pass." So before you know it, this not-so-skin-deep problem will fade and you'll be your usual self again. You *must* believe me!
    PS: We have to meet up...long time overdue! What say?

  20. Usha Says:

    altoid: Aha. Burkha it is then. I can use my old curtains for the purpose. two birds - one a manner of speaking...I am not the type to harm birds etc.

    Veens: Talk of being adamant, the patches seem to cling to you - a bandan for life.
    re: weight, hugs. Just what I needed. Why can't you be my sister?

    Hipgran: While I understand how much of an effort it is to remember all this, I do think you ought not to neglect your feet as you are diabetic. Please make amends.
    Curds don't make you fat - hm, then how do you account for my weight gain. And here I thought you were a friend..hmf!

    Anisha: This human skin seems such an attention seeking thing - why cant we have skins like tigers or even cats. pretty colours and design and all you need is a good lick once a day!

    Seren : Platinum pedicure eh? what might that be I wonder - expensive enough that the parlour lady can buy herself platinum?
    PP for PPP - look at the alliteration.
    Absolutely - it is all in the mind!

    Jhoomur: Such a comfort to know one is not alone in one's suffering. Snow cream it is then. And I am going on the offensive and using the nose line BEFORE they start on my tan, weight, height etc.

    Lekhni: Honey, ok. will give it a try. At least it will make me sweet if nothing,hopefully!

    NC:Welcome, thank you please keep visiting and sharing your thoughts.

    JLT: HUGS!

    Sree: Thank you. :)

    Hari: Yes apparently bad skin is an indication of bad health according to me all knowing sister! I agree totally with you .:)

    Mahadevan:Thank you. That is a HUGE compliment.

    CW: By allergy I mean the whole range from mild itch to rashes and skin peeling.
    Vicco turmeric - do they still make it? Will look for it.

    Lavs: hehehhehe. yes most of the time I find that the comments are more interesting than my posts.

    Chitra: Thank you and return to blogsville soon. you are missed.

    Dhanya: Sunscreen. I have seen a few brands in my supermarket but never know which to buy. And then this fear that I might have reactions after spending a fortune. Trouble is none of them come in sample packs.
    It is salwars I have been hiding under all these years and neglected these parts.

    Ravi: Yes I believe you. haven't I always? :D Sure we must. Will mail you.

  21. Unknown Says:

    hey girl - everhear of doctors? Get yourself checked. BTW Tagged again.

  22. Pradeep Nair Says:

    My wife does the same, calls it the curd soap!

  23. Anonymous Says:

    putting on weight by applying curds!!!!!!!!!!my my, you really have a sense of humour:-)

    the phrase 'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever' was penned by Jhon Keats.

  24. Mahadevan Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. ~nm Says:

    I was laughing reading your post! Very funny!

  26. Anonymous Says:

    The last time I visited India, my mom packed me a kilo of some such stuff as well. It now lives safely in the bottom of one of my kitchen drawers. I wonder if I can make pakodas with it. :)
    If you really want any more (unnecessary) advice, try using any generic 0.1% Hydrocortisone cream. Both my husband and kiddo use it for dry skin - it works pretty fast and you can stop using it once it becomes better.:)


  27. Unknown Says:

    i have seen this site where they are providing free websites to interested bloggers.
    I have converted my blog to at no cost.
    Have your own brand site instead of using free services like or
    Have complete control of your website.
    You can also import your present blog content to new website with one click.
    Do more with your website with out limits @

  28. WhatsInAName Says:

    I know just what to prescribe to people who are skinny and want to put on :D

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Hi check out this list the site has many beauty parlours Bangalore beauty classifieds