Monday, 8 April 2013

When DIY is plain stupid.....

I do lot of DIY, fact there are so many things which i do at home and therefore blog about those which work well for a long time too. So me saying that DIY could be nonsensical is a little oxymoron !

So, here's what i think :

1. Don't trust all the bloggers and their recipes: Why ? Because some people try them from someone elses' recipes and get excited after 2-3 times use ,blog about it in superlative terms and then abandon it  !So the cycle continues !
  Internet is littered with a lot of people blogging about poorly thought out and useless DIYs ! E.g Baking soda for hair wash and to wash dishes as well - not as and when required but daily use!
 Trust recipes which people having been using for years and ALWAYS make a little ,use it for months before raving about it!One man's honey is another's poison !

2. If DIY is an expensive replacement:
     Why would you want to go buy raw materials and then combine to make a mediocre product. DIY is usually about saving money, having the pleasure of making a product which you like and which performs great too.
For e.g: Making a scrub soap with oats and soap which you have at home is a great idea.But if you don't eat quick cooking oats but you go and buy 200g pack [ near my house usually available in 400gm and 1kg packs ] oats to make a scrub soap then isn't it stupid ?
 The same thing applies to herbs: Herbs work well when they are fresh !For e.g:Though ritha and shikakai whole pods keep well when stored properly, but if you are the kind of person who has rushed mornings and wants to only laze in weekends or forgets to use them or whatever , there is no point in investing in them if you not going to use them regularly. The last time i bought ritha 6 months ago it cost me, 80 rs for half kilo and i use them regularly.
 Let's face it: Its much work and planning and cleaning the bath room afterwards ! Though i am used to the drill, on lazy or tiring days i use shampoo happily.
    And i usually buy only Reetha these days not even shikakai or other hair care herbs - I am using up shikakai which i bought 4 years ago and i have 25- 30gm of nagarmotha and jaswand lying around which i use only with egg hair pack  which is rare in itself !
    If you are going to use besan face pack once a month- there is no point in collecting skin care herbs just because recipe calls for it. Besan and milk work fine in itself ! Ayurveda is not cheap anymore.25gms of good quality packed herbs,if you atleast use 3 of them for face pack will cost you double of what brands like Lotus and Himalayas sell the whole tube of face mask or pack.To give fancy feel, you'll atleast need 3-4 herbs plus besan/multani mitti.
     So, if you are one of those people who use a DIY only once or twice a month , then i think buying the readymade tubes from good brands makes more sense !
     I have been buying only rose water- rest of the herbs i use which i had bought years ago and i still haven't finished them !I use face packs only 4-5 times a week that too if i make it a point to use.
     If you don't suffer from soap/SLS or commercial shower gels allergy or don't have issues like eczema then there is no real need to invest so much time and energy in herbs/powder ubtans especially if you are assembling them on your own !
    I use reetha/ soapnuts as hairwash /bodywash/facewash [especially in summers] when i make the liquid twice a week. So the effort vs advantages works quite well for me.Spent /used reetha works as fertilizer/bulking agent for my potted plants too.
    The feel of hair with reetha in any form is NOT same as using a shampoo so that requires getting used to. So think before trying out any DIYs especially for skin and hair care.

3. If DIY doesn't have shelf life:
     I do sewing,make chutneys,pickles, masalas ,pasta and pizza sauces because i have learnt things in details and also these things have shelf lives. My mom had a sewing machine - the traditional table one- i oiled and took care of it,learnt to use it and now i sew on it. It was free of cost- all i had to do is learn sewing from mom and actually Sew !
     I usually buy whole khada spices- so making all masalas on the go and as required comes easy to me...
I make preserved lemons, amla murraba because they stay well and are easy to make !
  So if your DIY doesn't have reasonable shelf life, it is less of headache to buy ready made especially if consumption vs effort vs time required to make it is not proportional !
   In contrast, i never make namkeen at home except puris for sev puri [ My mom started tradition of making pani puri details at home- we bought puffed puris from outside though].
Deep fried snacks are to be eaten only once in a while anyways.So,i don't bother making them at home anymore and also its only me and dad at home!We buy from reputable shops for ourselves and guests. That way, our consumption remains less and under control !

   What do you think about this?


  1. i loved reading your article. very different and highly practical... i agree with each and every point..!! i use the shikakkai stuff weekly once for my hair spa.. actually my mum uses it on my hair and washes off the bathroom floor later. :D It really works, helps cool body etc etc etc but if i had to do all the stuff by myself, i would only shampoo.. :)

    1. My mom used to only boil shikakai -reetha when i was 13..then i started doing it. My mom had a lot of other work to xi and xii i started using nyle shampoo and used herbs only rarely.its only recent 10 yrs have i been regular !

  2. loved the article ! Very thoughtful and intelligent !

  3. Amazing perspective at DIY. Because so many of them jumping ont he bandagon.
    As much as I love things that you make for your yourself , I too believe DIY is overrated most times ! :)


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