Current Issue

What We Use

Text and Photos by Adrian Fisk

As part of our continuing series, we go to Gurgaon, Delhi, where one multifamily dwelling is a microcosm of the role drugs play in daily life.
2nd floor, left
Sonny Anand, 38
real-estate consultant

“Booze and cigs, yes, but no medicine, I have never felt the need of it.… The beer is half full for a reason. I didn’t feel like finishing it last night and kept it. After shampooing, I like to rinse with beer, it gives my hair a lot of shine and bounce.”
—Sonny Anand
2nd floor, left
McDowell’s Signature Whiskey, Kingfisher Beer,
Royal Stag Whiskey by Seagram, Wills Classic Ultra Mild Cigarettes, Nescafé coffee
1st floor, left
Yadav, 39
works in agriculture

Mrs. Yadav, 36

(they live with their daughter, Monika, 15, and their son, Mohit, 10)

“The only time we use medicinal drugs is for colds or coughs — actually it is very rare we are sick so I see no reason to keep any medicinal drugs in the house. Sometimes I think people keep an unnecessary amount of medicine in their house; the best drug for fighting illness is a healthy strong mind and body.”
1st floor, left
Dilowin Plus, Paracetamol (painkiller)
Ground floor, left
Snigdha Banerjee, 45
cosmetics distributor

(she lives with Sanjeev Banerjee, 54,
Abhijeet, 21, son, and Nikita, 18, daugher)

“I am diabetic but do not take insulin, I never have, because it has an aftereffect. All these allopathic drugs have aftereffects and can make you more ill. My son had a liver infection and the medicine they gave him in the hospital made it worse. Ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine work in a more natural way with the body. I take Madhumehari as an Ayurvedic alternative to insulin, I feel very free and don’t have any problems.”
— Snigdha Banerjee
Ground floor, left
2 bottles of homeopathic liver medicine, Avomine (vomiting), Pantocid (stomach gas),
Pudin Hara (upset stomach), Hydrochloride (water purifier), Glizid (diabetes management), Rofaday 50 (painkiller),
Combiflam (painkiller),
Paracetamol (painkiller), Madhumehari (ayurvedic alterative to insulin), Amlycure (ayurvedic liver corrective), Amyron (ayurvedic hemeoglobin treatment),
Bioforce (use unknown),
Dufex (ayurvedic for chest infections), McDowell’s whiskey
2nd floor, right
Swati Arora, 23
works in a British telecommunications
call center

Simone, 1

(Swati lives with her husband
and mother and father)

“Most of the drugs we have are for my daughter, Simone. All of them were recommended by the pediatrician. The only time I take anything is if I have a fever or a cold — a Disprin or something. Sometimes we drink when go out, perhaps once every two weeks, but we don’t drink at home or keep alcohol in the house.”
— Swati Arora
2nd floor, right
Visyneral (vitamin supplements), Tonoferon (vitamin supplements), Badex (vitamin supplements), Bonisan (digestion),
colic aid drops (digestion),
Mox Suspension (digestion), Vizylac (digestion), Nasoclear (nasal decongestant),
Dabur Honey (colds),
Sinarest (colds), Dr. Reddy’s Mucolite (colds), Corinite (colds), Triaminic (colds), Solewax (eardrops), Crocin (children’s fever medicine), Magodol (children’s fever medicine), Wellaycin (children’s fever medicine),
Calpol (children’s fever medicine)
1st floor, right
Manish Babbar, 37
director at a telecommunications company

Nikita Babbar, 34

their two sons
Akshat, 6 & Arnav, 6 months

“It seems that drug usage is increasing in India. Stress levels have risen and some people I know keep medicines, like Combiflam and Digene, to relax in the evening.”
— Manish Babbar
1st floor, right
Corinite (colds), Nimulid suspension (headaches),
Dr. Reddy’s Mucolite (colds),
Crocin Suspension (colds), Nasoclear (nasal congestion),
Vicks Vaporub (nasal and chest congestion), Capex (colds),
Moov (aches), Bengay (muscle aches), Digene (digestion aid), Dabur Hajmola (digestion aid), Neosporin (topical antibiotic) Vepan (throat infections), Sandoz Growth (vitamins), Saridon (painkiller), Anacin (painkiller), Seagrams Blenders Pride Whiskey, Surfat (antifungal), Fungiclear (antifungal), Colimex (digestion aid for children), Oflomac (teething), Calophosphate 6x (homeopathic teething remedy)
Ground floor, right
Lilly Datta, 46
English teacher

(she lives with Jatinter Datta, 52,
cloth exporter)

“I don’t keep more medicine around, as by the grace of god we do not need it. We use ginger and honey for colds and fever. My mother-in-law taught me to use garlic tea infused with cumin seeds for the children in winter if they have the flu. My grandmother always said to put salt in your tea to clear a congested throat. I think the westernization of India has led to usage of more drugs; people increasingly talk about Viagra.”
— Lilly Datta
Ground floor, right
Beau Soleil, 1986 (french wine),
Combiflam (painkiller),
Disprin (painkiller)
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