We Konkanis love our coconut. The morning begins with the sound of garr garr i.e the scraping of the coconut and then the mixer goes whirr with it being ground for the chutney. In earlier days, once breakfast was over the women would oil their hair with yes…some coconut oil and then plait it. Next would be the turn of the kids. As soon as they were caught their hair was oiled and then it was the turn of their massage. Yes, kids were massaged with oil regularly till they were 10 or so. And I believe that it is for that reason my ma-in-law, & my parents still have healthy skins even though they are in their 70s.
And then again started the process of garr, garr, the scraping of coconut for the lunch. The process of scraping coconut comes naturally to us. I never remember our elders ever teaching us how to scrape coconuts… we just knew. Coconut is used to make chutneys, in gravies, in desserts. My mom I remember used to panic if there were no coconuts in the pantry, ‘how will I cook’, she used to scream.
So dependent on coconuts we are that the very first thing that the women used to do whenever some land was bought, was to plant saplings of the coconut. Men would just have to build their buildings around it.
My earliest memories of my tryst with coconut for personal grooming is when my mom would call me to oil my hair. I would do my best to avoid her. And if I got caught I would keep screaming, ‘enough’. So there was no scope of oil massages but then I went to hostel. Few months gone and I understood with the state of my hair and skin, that indeed I needed something. With my hair I was not that adventurous and stuck on to the good old coconut oil. But for skin I did. I tried everything that my hostelmates did, ripened banana, papaya, egg whites (ughh) everything and then realized that there was no need for all that. The family potion was good enough. And just before bath, applied some oil to myself and rubbed it nicely. Not for me the packs of egg whites and messy papayas. I was fine with my coconut oil.
And then post delivery, my ma-in -law arrived with some special oil. It was of course coconut oil with some added herbs. My mother used to apply it liberally and then bathe me with boiling water. It was torturous then but my skin … it was soft and glowing.
Today I am a busy mom juggling too many things. And I do not have the 10 minutes required prior to bath. So what do I do, I just reach for my Parachute Advansed body lotion. Result a soft and glowing skin which does not need any more botheration.
This post is a part of Women’s Web Goodness of Coconut contest