Tag Archives: retro

Found a tossed Bira cap in the garden, picked it up and pinned it up on someone’s softboard. Only because of the funky monkey on it.


The rest of this new desi craft beer bottle and the colours on it are just as funky monkey. There’s White where the Bira monkey just stares straight ahead, and there’s Blonde where the Bira monkey holds out a peace sign in Freddie Mercury style.

BIRA-bottles-white-blonde-tallThe best part about the packaging is that they have a Growler. That’s a traditional jar used to carry beer from the brewery to your home. Keeps it fresh and bubbly.growlerimg01-1024x887

I found Bira at Thoms. And you can read more about Bira here.

In 1998, the Tamil romantic hit was Jeans. It had ARR’s soul-stirring music and Aishwariya Rai at her peachy, youthful best. It also had a super cool packaging for it’s cassette. Jeans pockets, I say!

Here’s a part of the email from Praveen (co-founder of Wooplr and Pii friend) who submitted it:

“It was the summer of ’98 and I even remember what was playing that night the shot was taken. It was from this dud of a movie called Jeans, but then the songs were melodious and the video was spectacular – especially the one that covers the then ‘7 Wonders of the World’. But what really stood out was the packaging of the audio cassettes & CDs. As this was before the internet age dawned in India, there were quite a few unconventional anti-piracy measures undertaken by the producers for the audio release. One of them was to package them in Denim Pockets – now, how cool was that.”


A bottle of Rooh Afza is a bottle of concentrated goodness. Filled with water lily and rose extracts, raisins, fruits and a whole lot of other exotic goodies. It’s best had with cold milk and one ice cube. My mum used to make me drink it and give me the bottle to hold so I’d be distracted by all the colours on the label.

This picture here was taken  on the streets of Haridwar where Rooh Afza is used in a cold sweet dish that I refused to taste!

Jackson National Integration Party Tissues. Tissues that illustrated on its pack that the whole of India - Punjabis, Maharashtrians, Parsees, Goans and all - should party together for national integration and use Jackson tissues to daintily brush off any samosa crumbs.

Last spotted at Patel Stores, Bandra. But available nationally for integration, we hope. 

Via Pii friend, Purvi

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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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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.

Here’s a pack you’ll find in every Indian refrigerator. Salty, golden Amul butter and the itsy-bitsy, utterly butterly, red-polka-dotted girl. Rebranded and given a new avatar by Sylvester Da Cunha’s agency ASP in the 60s and designed by Eustace Fernandez, the pack and the girl haven’t budged an inch for half a century now. The ads are lapped up just as much as the butter -

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Fastrack dabbas made India spend a bit more time playing with the packaging before opening it. This was at a time when packaging was a solid-coloured plastic box that you had to wrestle with for your watch. Not too long ago actually. So at a time like that, this pack actually had a story, it made …

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