Sunday, April 2, 2006

Signs you're Indian #127: Crocin the Miracle Drug

Scientists have been searching for magic cure-all drugs for centuries. Something which can cure illnesses, prevent fevers, and vanquish diseases. Having multiple medicines which can achieve this is hard enough, in fact that quest is the foundation of what Western medicine is built upon, but to have one super drug is unheard of. Well, not if you go to any Indian household. Aunties and uncles know that this magic drug has been available for years. Of course we all know it as Crocin. (pronounced "cro-seen")

In my 28 years of existence there has been no ailment that Crocin has not been prescribed for. According to my family it can cure anything. At this point every non-desi reading this is thinking "what are you talking about?". I swear every Indian kid has been given a tablet of Crocin at some point in their lives for multiple unrelated problems:

Heartburn? Crocin
Diarrhea? Crocin
Marriage problems? Crocin
Having trouble in math? Crocin
Hungry? Crocin
...and of course, is your first tablet of Crocin isn't working? take another Crocin
The most bizarro part is that I have never seen anyone consume a Crocin (or really any Indian medicine) that hadn't already expired. I remember when I was younger and less wise I pointed out to my aunt that the medicine she was giving me expired 2 years earlier, and the answer I got was a combination of revisionist scientific theory with a pinch of racism for good measure:

Me: I have a bad headache and I have no appetite
Auntie: Don't worry beta let me get you a Crocin
[stage directions: aunt brings Crocin box, stage right]
Auntie: Here you go, take this with water
Me: Wait, this thing expired like 2 years ago
Auntie: Don't mind that
Me: What do you mean don't mind that?
Auntie: All the active ingredients are still good in this
Me: But don't you think they put these warnings on medicine for a reason? What if I die?
Auntie: Yes, but these warnings are just for the Europeans and Americans. Their bodies are not like ours, they are frail and can't handle anything. That is why they are always getting sick.
Me: But I'm an American...
Auntie: You were born in America but you have the strong Indian blood.


seeks said...

soooooo much better than any of my grandmother stories involving dirty socks wrapped around one's neck for a cough, sore throat, or any cold/flu like symptom. so much better.

Intelligentia said...

This is sooooo true! my father being a doctor, has handed me crocin for virtually everything (my personal choice being Ibugesic Plus which contains paracetamol + Ibuprofen).. According to my dad, crocin (ibugesic plus) and Brufen (painkiller) was the solution for almost everything! Not to mention that he thought that being a doctor (gynaecologist) made him a specialist on every known medical condition! he is no more, bless his soul, but your post is so true! and if he were here now, he would have given a lengthy explanation why...

Trade Buddy said...

This made me laugh out loud at work. Good job, Shakes!