Coffee With Mi

Mi, I toast you with a tumbler of freshly brewed kaapi!

Fresh-Faced Forever

Neem. Always brings a smile, Mi.

I am wondering if I should feel guilty about going through my teenage years with smooth skin while my peers were busy trying all sorts of lotions, pastes and creams to hide those craters that would unexpectedly appear at the most inconvenient moments! How embarrassing to see the (then) man of one’s dreams, only to feel a pimple pop up! They’d freak out that no matter what they tried, it wouldn’t go. In fact the more they pampered it, the worse it got.

Why was I denied of those pimple woes?



Easy one word answer.

I remember how we would have a cluster of neem leaves soaking in the bath water to purify it.

I remember how, every Sunday, I would receive a little “ball” of ground neem leaves to eat on my empty stomach to cleanse my system.

Why, when I had chicken pox and the skin itched, Gopu mama would gently run a bunch of neem leaves on my skin to soothe it. And when I recovered, I would bathe applying neem paste every day.

I even remember those days, when I walked to school, there was this huge property I would pass through, that had a massive neem tree. During the months of March and April, the ground would be full of neem fruit. Oh, it would be so sweet! At least the ones that had something inside! The clever crow would have already had first dibs at it and would have discarded the skin of the fruit to trick me into thinking it was luscious and ready to be eaten!

You always encouraged me to eat the young leaves of the neem tree. How I love it! Oh, the memories of using a neem stick as a toothbrush!

Remember how, almost 8 years ago, when I developed a skin rash, which was later thought to be due to stress, the first thing you advised me to do was find a bunch of neem leaves, grind them into a paste and apply it on the rash?

I fondly recall boiling Vidur’s bath water with neem leaves.


This savoir, the neem leaf has protected my skin and my over all health throughout my life.

I smile to think of how everyone envied my clear skin! All thanks to the ageold wisdom of using neem leaves, as a medicine and a cosmetic.

Even now, I have a big pack of dried neem flowers – great to mix with hot rice and ghee and a remedy for stomach ache!

Little packets of dried neem leaves in the closet and bookshelves keep away insects.

And when the Tamil New Year arrives in April, with your birthday, I look forward to making the neem flower rasam and hanging fresh bunches of neem leaves in our doorway!

Now, when I see Garnier Pure Active Neem face wash, I feel so pleased!

Pimples can be such a problem. While I was blessed with good skin, I know how my friends have suffered during those growing up years.

The unhappy look on their faces when people stared at an eruption on their face as if it was the sole focus on their life.

The itchy feeling that kept them from giving their best in what they did.

Worst of all, the undermining of their confidence over their appearance making them hate themselves.

Everyone deserves to have beautiful skin. Apparently Garnier believes this too.

How wonderful to be able to carry healthy skin in a tube! No Pimples, No Marks with Garnier Pure Active Neem face wash!

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Vidya Sury

Writer, Editor, Blogger, Influencer. I blog/create content for businesses and edit manuscripts for authors and publishers. On my blogs, I write about all the things I enjoy in life: parenting, personal development, health and wellness, books, food, travel, gratitude, mindfulness, happiness. In my free time I play with my dust bunnies and show my diabetes who's boss.

5 thoughts on “Fresh-Faced Forever

  1. little “ball” of ground neem leaves to eat on my empty stomach to cleanse my system.
    you cant be serious….
    i wonder what it tastes like, do you add anything more to it or just plain leaves??
    your post was really informative,

    1. Hi Disha! Thanks 🙂
      Yes, pure fresh leaves were ground with the stone on a stone slab and then made into a ball. Tasted bitter. But I loved it. 😀

  2. Yes, even I remember chewing neem leaves… and even neem datun once in a while. I wonder sometimes if we have started walking away from nature… but then I take a closer look at the products available and think,’It cannot be possible. The ingredients tell me that we’re just changing the form of nature consumption.’
    Nice vibrant post.

    Arvind Passey

    1. Thank you, Arvind! Yes, it is heartwarming to see products are more conscious about what they put in them. Although, I can also see my Grandma smiling her contemplative smile and asking – why not just eat the ingredients? Why bottle them? 🙂

      Congratulations on the anthology!

  3. Nice, neat post ma’am. I only wish neem leaves in warm water were an option available to hostelites like myself bu I’ll try to get some neem into my diet and as a cosmetic. Thank you 🙂

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