Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Longings for a few petals from afar

[Sachets were first introduced to India in the 1990’s by an Indian company selling a 10-milliliter sachet of Velvette shampoo. Before the sachet, shampoo in India was only available in larger bottles, therefore limiting its sales success among people with small incomes (Moorthi, 2002).
Sachets meet the needs of the rural consumer in several ways. Sachets are inexpensive, they occupy a small amount of space, and they allow consumers to experiment with new products that they may never have tried before (Bailay, 2003). View as HTML]
The enigmatic appeal that a Blessings packet carries among the Savitri Erans cannot be overemphasized. At a young age, it used to appear as something utterly exotic. Those days the bald packets of parchment paper were circulated. Much later, the lovely envelopes embossed with different photographs of The Mother or Sri Aurobindo was introduced. Since then, they have become a sort of collectors’ item, and while receiving, one feels a bit expectant about the picture, in the same way as one feels before reading the fortune card delivered by a weighing machine.

That the flowers can do their job as long as they are afresh was an unorthodox idea then. More than anything else a few such avant garde seeming stipulations were sufficient to hook the young minds. The heady feeling of playing football in the Kafla Fandi ground on a couple of occasions with Mamu with the whistle was a perfect trap. No matter, none was able to comprehend even a line from the tantalizing prose of Ideal Child. Even now, one stumbles at each word; feels wanting and unable to face up to The Mother’s eyes, but the book and the blessings, nevertheless, were perhaps one of the finest attempts at sachet marketing.

Dried leafs and flowers were later a common fare in the Botany lab, but those petals sealed in a sachet bearing the ar(u)oma of the exotic name of Pondicherry (now, Puducherry, alas!) was always something special and intimate. The spiritual nomenclature of flowers by The Mother is so refreshingly futuristic. Some day, people will be eager to fathom their significance as endearingly as for, say, any Van Gogh. [TNM]

No comments:

Post a Comment