Sunday, November 18, 2012

'Killer' medicine, 'Cruel' ointment that claim to heal miraculously: Unique drugs and their advertisements on Indian streets

The 'Killer' Cure
Doesn't it seem odd that someone not only dares to name a medicine as 'Killer drug' or 'Cruel ointment' but also sells it openly and it is purchased enthusiastically.

The 'Qatil Dawa' [killer medicine] and 'Qatil Malham' [or marham] are sold as panacea. Rickshaws with loudspeaker installed on the top, are seen commonly in Uttar Pradesh.

The announcement, 'Qatil Dawa', doesn't surprise locals as they are used to it. But to an outsider it can come as an absolute shocker.


In today's marketing jargon, it can be termed as a super strategy, a bold branding move to term a product that should give people life, named as a 'murderer'.

But 'Qatil' word is sometimes used in phrases for sudden or quick action also, and also for describing a stunning beauty, as 'Qatil Husn'.

This is just one of the such medicines that claim to work wonders for you.

The advertisement medicine which is quite popular in small towns and rural areas, can be seen above. 

The second such medicine is Zalim Lotion, a strange name. Zalim (pronounced Zaalim) is also an Urdu word that means cruel.

There is no denying its popularity. It sells in glass vials and is not sold roadside but is kept at chemist shops also.You can see the advertisement in an Urdu journal.

If you are interested in reading posters and ads on the walls then you might have seen even more weird names and ads of miraculous medicines.

What about this advertisement which promises that you can get rid of 'bawasir' [piles] by a single 'teeka' [vaccination]? There are many more photographs which I have taken in the last few years.

They include pictures of 'Haddi-Jod Kenra', where a person sits on the 'takht' [cot], and the banner says that he is an expert in 'haddi baithana'.

So if your have an accident and your bone has got dislodged, and there is no relief despite getting all sort of treatment or undergoing surgery, its an option!

The quack claims that he can set the bone right with a few quick punches. Many vouch for the expertise of these self-styled orthopaedics.

Even more interesting the advertisements of Vaidyas and Hakims, who claim to get you your lost vigour back. 

They use catch-lines like 'bujha diya jalao'. I don't how far they succeeded in 'lighting the lamp' again as they promise. [It is about curing impotence]. But on these famous Gupt Rog doctors, a separate post is perhaps needed.

Enough for now. Goodbye.