Right from my younger days I have been a staunch brand-loyal person. The multipronged stimulus that we are subjected to these days by the media and ad people was not present in those days. Though we used to have our table top radio, it was not run by private companies nor did it have commercial multiple channels. The government owned radio would dispense only information and entertainment. So, brand loyalty had never been at jeopardy.
As I grew up, I continued to be a single brand person unless I saw extraordinary merit in the later arrivals. Thus, I had my favorite soap and my favorite shampoo. In spite of the bombardment by the TV channels, I would never change the brand.
But, as I grew older, my senses started becoming involuntary victims to the audio-visual onslaught. Whenever I had the remote in my control, that is, after 6 pm every day, I would ‘mute’ the ads so that it would cut off the audio part at least and thus counter it. But, Ramu who wields the remote from 6 am to 6 pm, never believed in ‘muting’ the ads. In stead, he would claim that he always shut his mind off them.
Thus, once I ordered ‘3 Roses’ tea though I had been consuming ‘Red label’ for years, all because the television had been blaring ‘3 Roses’ since morning. Similarly, I who never had the dandruff problem ordered an anti-dandruff shampoo in my grocery list, once again due to the involuntary audio retention. Once it was brought home, I had no recourse but to use it.
When I opened the bottle and applied the shampoo on my hair wetted with hot water, I could get a strong smell of raw turmeric. Turmeric? I know that our ancient root recently ‘discovered ‘(and patented?!) by the West was antiseptic, antibacterial, antibiotic and what not. But did people know about its depilatory action? Ladies of yore would always be adorned with strong application of turmeric on their temples, hands and legs so that it would give them a clear, hairless skin. And this anti dandruff shampoo seemed to be full up with turmeric!
Of course, the removal of hair may not be as instantaneous as the removal of dandruff as claimed by the makers. But, what about its effects in the long run? A shampoo guaranteed to ‘clear all’ might not only clear the dandruff but also the wanted hair with repeated usage. No wonder, the youngsters with their latest toiletries must be wondering why they had to lose hair while their elders who relied on oil andsoapnut/shikakai had managed to retain a reasonable shock of hair.
Have the makers of shampoo ever warned the younger clientele (captured through young oomphy bollywood heroes and heroines) that they are all going to turn out to be a gang of sinister looking ‘Yul Brynners’ if they use their Turmeric based shampoo over a couple of years?