Out of all the TJ’s packaging I just went through, this one spoke of an India that’s fast disappearing. I thought I should feature it before we move completely to an e-docs in e-folders world.

P.S –

TJ, by the way, is Tihar Jail. The inmates make these. Click here to see all their products.

Pii received her first gift :)

It’s a precious vintage matchbox from Russia. All four sides can be used to strike and the matchsticks sit snug within these 4 walls. And when not playing the role of a matchbox, it sits quietly on a table looking like a normal little box.

Love the art-deco feel of the colours and design on the cover, very strict, controlled kind of art.  I have no idea what the word means though.

Pic: Pii

With love: From Haki, Pii’s uncle-in-law. A gypsy soul who hitchhiked his way from India to Europe in the decade of hippy power. He currently spends time between Europe, Kerala and the Cholamandal Artists Village in Chennai. Meet him on FB here.


Kumkum is used in Hinduism as a protective mark for the sixth chakra or the ajna chakra. The powder is actually safrron that turns a brilliant red after slaked lime is added to it.

Kumkum is also worn religiously by good Hindu wives. Which explains why Eyetex here has used the actress (Deepika) who played Lord Ram’s wife in the epic-super-dhamaka-hit-television-series, Ramayana.

Pii love the jasmine in Deepika’s hair. Heavenly jasmine and earthy kumkum scents. Someone bottle ’em, please!

Picture courtesy: Pii.


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Being seen with a Charminar pack in the 70s and 80s was the coolest thing next to being seen in an open-top jeep. The pack carries a line-drawing of the charminar, a monument built by one of the sultans of Hyderabad to keep evil diseases away. Ironically this monument sits on a cancer-causing cigarette pack …

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Presenting a lunch-time favourite. The classic Indian three-tiered tiffin box or dabba. Used by office-goers and school-not-so-goers all over the country to have full meals from 1 to 2 every day (except weekends when the quantity is much more). The dabba comes with separate compartments to carry different types of food in. Chapattis in one, sabji in another, rice in one, dal in another, and so on and on and on, depending on the number of tiers you have been blessed with. All made at home with a lot of love and the warmth still there when you open it at 1. Sigh. Also, read about the Mumbai dabbawallas here - and

Parle G biscuits come wrapped in yellow and red wax paper, and plastic like the one featured here. The little girl with long lashes is a mystery but the biscuits are the largest selling in the world. The Russians love them just as much as they love our beaches. The ‘Parle’ comes from Vile Parle in Bombay where it first was packed in 1929, and the G is for Gluco. Learn something new everyday etc, huh? Available at every store, supermarket, roadside shop and even with some of ‘em ciggie/ chai shops-on-cycles.

Picture: sue_tra on instagram.

This is telephone brand Sat-isabgol. Made in North Gujarat from the seasonal psyllium husk and valued the world over, morning after morning, for its dietary fibre’y goodness. We love the nearly-neon look and the retro graphics, but most of all we love the telephone icon. We assume it means ‘dialling tummy’. Available at all stores around India.

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