If you are a north Indian I won't have to explain what it the title means, but for the rest of us (I hail from south India) this is what my husband had to say when I asked him what it means (I'm not going to give it out right away...I need to build up the excitement).

As soon as I got married I moved to Gurgaon, a city very close to New Delhi and Hindi is the spoken language there. Luckily we studied it in school and even though my Hindi was very broken with a strong south Indian accent, I could follow conversations. At this point of time I would like to thank the Bollywood industry whose films I watched over the years and learnt more Hindi from here than at school. Now who wouldn't like to watch some lovey-dovey scenes and peppy dance numbers instead of learning sentence formation. Grammar is for dummies anyways!! :D

So I kept hearing this term 'jugaad' almost everywhere I went. 'We cannot find a part for this vehicle...no problem we can do some 'jugaad' 'is what the mechanic would say. Some days back this word was floating in my mind while still in bed, so first thing after waking up I asked my husband (who spent most of his childhood in north India and speaks Hindi better than his mother tongue Telugu) what would the English word for jugaad be. While he pondered, I asked if it meant creativity. He said, it could mean creativity, but also something more.

Just found out there is a whole Wikipedia page for this word. There is also a vehicle called 'Jugaad'!! :) I saw it a couple of times around some rural areas, but never got a ride in it. So basically my post is a waste??? Hey wait!! I will show you how I did jugaad! :P

You know the whole pledge I took about not making soap till I get back to India because of weight issues (not mine, but the soaps that have to be carried back in my bags). But soon enough the soap itch was getting too much to bear. So I scratched some internet pages to see if soap bars could be converted to liquid soap....Hallelujah they could be!! Some of my very first batch of goat's milk soaps were lying in the cupboard and had lost almost all the scent, so I scraped them up and added them to just about steaming distilled water, like the recipe said. I don't know where I found the recipe...just google it if you want to try. 

The old Goat's milk bar. I added 3 bars, about 200 gms
to about 7 tea cups of water. The recipe wasn't strict about the water

Soap shaving...I am craving something caramel right now

Into the pot of hot water

I stirred in a little bit of pumpkin seed oil (the recipe said you could add any oil for some moisturizing). In the end after the solution cooled down in went about 10 ml of Lemon essential oil.

I think it's ready

After some time, two layers...separation??
I don't know.
I just shook the heck out of it till it mixed again.

Well the soap solution is quite nice. We have been using it for a few days now and it isn't drying out my skin like the store bought liquid handwash. This is how I tackled the no soaping situation.

Jugaad, according to Wikipedia is an innovative fix or a work-around a problem. Many solutions to everyday problems lie in this widely used concept in India.

Do share your jugaad stories...would love to read them!!

I'm off to jugaad something for lunch! ;)

Wrapped in paper

For a long time the soaps I made were only mine so I didn't bother too much about how to wrap them. After the soaps cured they were cling wrapped and stored away until it was time to cover myself up in bubbles.  Here is how I used to wrap my soaps.

Fast forward to December 2011. It was almost time for the first sale and I was reluctant to use cling wrap on all the soaps. First coz it was plastic and second it doesn't wrap the square shaped soaps so well. The fit is pretty perfect for a round soap where the label can be placed inside directly on the soap and then cling wrapped and knotted at the back but not so easy when it is a square or rectangle. I leaned very much towards something made of cloth, but then the bags were pretty expensive to buy or even get stitched. Handmade paper is also expensive, plus hard to wrap the soap in. Did I mention I don't have very artistic hands. Add to that my paper thin patience levels!

Then one day I went to a stationery store and there they had lovely tracing paper. Bingo!!
Thick enough to be used as a wrap, but easy enough to wrap the soap in. Plus it was an A4 size that could be printed on. I got the whole bundle and after many trials came up with this:

A strip of A4 sheet and the label

The soap tops are exposed for anyone to see the pattern if there is one and also to smell the soap.  A small pattern is punched into the wrapper.

The little pattern on the wrapper

The labels are also printed on the same paper and are slipped in from the top.Since it is tracing paper, the text on the labels is visible.

That chubby hand is mine :D

Only problem is that the print somehow seems to be slipping off this paper and onto the fingers when touched. Must think of some way to stop that. Printing on plain white paper works well but the tracing paper looks prettier.

For now I am happy with this wrapper. Need to do something about the label though. You might have noticed the name 'Amoda' is used.  Will tell you why and how we settled on the name in my next post.

Happy soaping!!