May 19, 2005

Shy softness

Liril is the lime-flavoured soap that set many tens of thousands of teenage hearts a-flutter in the mid-70s, when their ads featured Karen Lunel (whatever happened to her?) in a bikini in a waterfall. Yes, my heart too, and hold on a minute, it is fluttering now... I believe the issue of JS (Junior Statesman, and mention of that name is a certain age giveaway) that featured a poster of her in that bikini was that magazine's highest seller. It was also, oddly, the last issue of JS ...

... but this is about Liril. The soap is out in a new avatar, at least as far as advertising for it goes. A new box as well, and I'm looking at one now. On one side it says "look for the Love Notes!" So I do, and on the back is this:

    Set the letters right & get the message across, from your heart to his. [Aside: why "his"?] U-N-A-J-A-I-R-M-E-J-N-A-A

Upside down answer reads: "JAANU MERI JAAN".

Now here's something for all your lovesick ladies: pick up a pack of Liril, look for the Love Notes, unscramble it (or just turn upside down and read the answer), and spout the result at him.

Then watch him run screaming for the hills.

But there's more on this box. Specifically, this blurb:

    Discover the mysterious recipe for "Deliciously Fresh" skin. Start with ingredients as different as Aloe Vera & Lemon. Mix them carefully, in just the right proportion and viola [sic] - the Tangy Masti of one mingles with the Shy Softness of the other to give you skin that blushes at the slightest touch!

This is almost too much to take! First the love note, now this! My heart, it flutters. You know, I've always, always wanted Shy Softness in my soap ingredients. And the thought of getting Tangy Masti with that for free! Violin! Sorry, cello! Sorry, viola! Only, as far as I can tell, "skin that blushes at the slightest touch" is skin that is so sore and raw it's painful to touch.

That's what the Tangy Masti does, I have no doubt.

Take that, from your heart to his. Watch him run screaming for the hills.


Abhi T said...

Violin! Cello! Laughing, mee melo!

Anonymous said...

viola! violin! too much only :)
but seriously what is wrong with them - have you seen the ad on TV? suddenly Liril is no longer about freshness and all about steaminess and sweat.UGH. Wonder what Alyque Padamsee's take on this new avtaar of Liril is.... to me, it is a sure sign of desperation at Levers... read this sometime -

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know name of the tune/composer of that jingle in Lilril ad of 70s?

Sourin Rao said... one longs for the days of Lifeboy or OK..nahane ka baada saabun. Scrub, scurub, scrub all the dirt, sweat and grime away from your body and later use it to scrub your dirty undies. Served both purpose just fine.
Also BTW, sachmuch kafi baada hai!

Sunil said...

Don't know Dilip......but I sent the wife this blog's link, she found it funny, and thought Lyril was being smart. I dare not argue with the wife, when she says she's going to buy lyril on our next trip to India.


Quizman said...


Btw, isn't Jaanu Meri Jaan incorrect ? I thought Jaanu = Meri jaan. So was the Shaan song flawed?

Phoenix_In said...

le Reel !

Varun Singh said...


How about "Bade bade pahiye hain iske, badi hai iske baat.. Jaise bhi mushkil ho raste nahi koi darr ki baat.. PANTHER PANTHER.. Yahan bhi le aaye"

Suhail said...

A gentleman takes his daily bath early morning, comes up on the terrace, loosens up his hair to be dried, and spreads his arms and legs in a peculiar way - trying to be in a lotus-like pose, basking in the sun. He performs this ritual daily without fail. Why ?


jo OK saabun se nahaaye, woh kamal sa khil jaaye

I remember using OK saabun to get rid of chiknaapan of my hair oiled with "Parachute Coconut Shudh Nariyal Tel", (my mom thought, oily kids make for good math/science scores) in quantities that can easily humble Iraqi oil-wells. I also remember some more things, but feeling "shy" to disclose them. Good one Dilip. It brought out that 5-year old in me :D

Anonymous said...

Your a cappella group will simply zoom to the top of the charts and stay there...I want to add my all-time favourite to your list...the ad for Victor underwee-ar.

Oh my dee-ar
main layi hun tumhare liye
Victor ke V-front vaale underwee-ar
Aa-ha-ha-ha Victor

And if you need someone to train your viola, oops, voila!

Dilip D'Souza said...

And it is my evershining duty to add to this list the everfresh ditty from Vicco Vajradanti:

Vajradanti vajradanti
Vicco vajradanti, toothpowder toothpaste,
Ayurvedic jadi-bootiyon se banai porn swadeshi,
Toothpowder toothpaste,

A stern wife tells me that "porn" should be "poorn". Apologies.

Anonymous said...

Tsk tsk, your site is no longer family safe, with people talking about "porn swadeshi".

My all time favourite ad is
Doodh doodh doodh doodh
Wonderful doodh
Thandi me daalo doodh me ice
Doodh ban gaya very nice
Piyo daily once or twice
Mil jaayega tasty surprize...

After that ad came out, my mom never had to complain that I don't drink milk.

The song was:
Jaanu, meri jaan
Main tere kurbaan

So, "Jaanu = Meri jaan" is correct.

I didn't know OK had nahane ka saboon... I thought it was only ragadneka saboon.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Tanuj, one more thing: don't be surprised if vibha whispers 'jaanu meri jaan' into your ear one of these days.

She already did. These hills are very beautiful this time of year. Now if I could do something about this sore throat ...

Quizman said...

One cannot beat the translations of Dr. Asjeet Lamba, the legendary usenet poster before the WWW was born. His sense of humor was unbelievable, as this article on Arranged Marriages will attest.

Anyway, his post on Hindi Films was very famous in the early 90s. It included some of the more famous ads in those days, including OK, Vicco Turmeric etc. The translations are Rolling-on-the-floor funny. Read that link now! :-) This is one example:

Vicco Vujradunti Ayurvadic Cream

Woman: Badde naazon se paalee hamaaree banno. Tujhe dulhan banaye
(sings) re pyaaree banno. Tujhe haldi ka something-or-the-other lagaayen sakheeaan. Teri kaya ko komal banaye sakheeaan. Teri sakheeaan are getting carried away singing and dancing...

(Aurat: My daughter, I have raised you with immense care and at great
personal sacrifices to me. I have kept you away from all those sleaze-bag boyfriends of yours. So let your pals take this opportunity to put a lot of gooey stuff on your arms, legs and face (since we can't show anything else on Doordarshan (TV)).)

(Boy in audience: Aha, meethee meethee.) (Yeah, tastes sweet.)

Sorry for being a comment hog. :-)

Sourin Rao said...

HaHa Neela. Computer generated hair...really funny. But here are a few famous that got missed out by the gang:

Bajaj: Jab mein chota ladka tha,
Bahut shararat kaarta tha
Meri chori pakdi jaati
Jab roshni deta Bajaj

Or the evergreen
Khaana meri jaan, meri jaan
Murgi ke aande
Khaana meri jaan,
Murgi ke aande
Omlette khilao, boil khilao, fry khilao

Gawd, now this tune is stuck in my head. Thanks Neela....

Anonymous said...

Dilip, I'm heartened. We (i.e. copywriters) are often told that no one reads body copy (or pack copy, in this case.) And here you're turning the pack this way and that, nailing typos and losing your heart to winsome adjectives... Thanks to consumers like you, we still have our jobs. :)

Kapil: The composer was Vanraj Bhatia.

Anonymous said...

Also, dunno if this will help your fluttering heart, Dilip, but Karen Lunell migrated to Australia years ago.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Quizman the Comment Hog (TM): the translation racket Dr Lamba runs reminds me of the translation we used to sing lustily in college: "My eyes, rainy season, still my mind is thirsty... still my mind is thirsty." (You are left to figure out the Hindi original, not that it's a tough job).

Be a Comment Hog anytime.

Chappan, that's not a bad tune to have in your head, you have to admit! "Sunday ke Sunday" is a terrific song. Damn, now it's stuck in MY head!

Leela, the stuff on the body packs or whatever you call it is ALWAYS worth a read. Often more rewarding than sundry things like books.

Incidentally, thanks for the news about Karen Lunel. This flight to Sydney is sort of crowded, but I'm on...

Anonymous said...

now I know why ogilvy said - when you have nothing to say, sing it. but 'porn swadeshi'? a.k.a jawaani ki raatein and shaitaani ilaka?

Anonymous said...


>>Kapil: The composer was Vanraj Bhatia.

Thank you. Do you remember the name of that jingle or song? Extra credits ;-) for anyone who can point me to a MP3 file online.