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A Fantasy in Materia Medica (Great Grandpa Homoeopathy's Family Reunion)

Prof. Dr. Diwan Harish Chand

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As might be expected there were a few pregnant ladies also. They had their cravings altered in this state. But Mrs. Lyssin Doggie had some unusual and strange cravings. However the liverish Mrs. Chelidonium and the touch-me-not Shrimati Magnesia carbonica themselves felt like that and so sympathised with Lyssin.

Graphites was the one very difficult to please. One wondered how he got so fat with all these aversions in food. If there was fish-he said "No", warm food-he did not like and here he kept company with Phosphorus and Pulsatilla. When offered roast lamb with tartar sauce or grilled chicken he would again decline as he did not care for meat. He even hated to think of meat. One wondered if he had been a delegate to the World Vegetarian Conference! Even members of the S.P.C.A now ate meat and so do the Buddhists of Tibet. He was also averse to salty food. Why? For wasn't salt the very essence of life? In the Orient people swore by salt. Ever since the origin of life, which started in the saline seawater, salt had permeated every cell of the animal kingdom. As he did not like anything else it was presumed he would take a large helping of pudding. But he did not want sweets either, they nauseated him. So one didn't know what else to tempt him with. This cook was rather civil. If it had been an Oriental Anacardium cook, he would have cursed him to hell with the remark that he didn't know what his wife made for him! Could all these aversions be ascribed to some skin allergy or were the gummy oozing all his baldness coming out!

Allah be praised! While everyone was heartily enjoying the delicious food, in a remote corner of Great grandpa's mansion lay the prostate Miss Colchicum. "Why, what happened? Why aren't you joining the rest? Are you grief stricken or love stricken? Asked one of the guests. "Oh no, only Miss Ignatia gets grief stricken, I am nausea stricken. The very thought of food makes me feel sick and the smell and sight of it makes me faint, especially the fish that is being served. You know that's why I had sent special instructions to put me up in a room far away from the kitchen."

The last thing to be served was coffee. Great grandpa Homoeopathy did not like anyone to take coffee but you know the younger generation. Everywhere and anywhere they think age is disturbing the old man's mental equilibrium and this is just one of his fads. Monsieur Angustura vera had the greatest craving for it. Wherever he went he carried his tin of instant coffee. One wonders if it isn't the coffee that has made him oversensitive. The meticulous Arsenicum, the fat and lazy Carbo vegetabilis and Conium, the old maid, along with some more friends also liked their cup of coffee. Miss Capsicum would take it even though she felt nauseated afterwards. This Miss Capsicum, whose popular name is Chilly but paradoxically her contact and company make everything hot and burning, is all the same liked by the corrosive Mercury.Chamomilla and Nux vomica hated coffee (sometimes, however, Chamomilla craved coffee and felt better after taking it). Such are nature's ways! One wondered if the already over-sensitive and peevish Chamomilla would not become more intolerable with this added stimulation. With Nux vomica it was understandable as it caused dyspepsia, which this body executive could ill afford. But one wondered why the Calcarea carbonica was also averse to this beverage. The paradoxical and sighing Miss Ignatia refused to take coffee as it made her feel bad afterwards.

After the coffee was served cigarettes-long ones and short ones, filter tipped ones, strong Virginia ones and milder ones and fat-bellied cigars and tapering bidis. In small pretty boxes was snuff and on silver trays betel leaves and small silver coated or uncoated round pellets, some mixed with lime and such like and others plain. The more exclusively aristocratic of the guests took out their own smelly pouches containing some brown shreds looking like charred straw to be put in their expensive pipes. However, in all these different and ingenious ways was concealed the same inebriating being. Ladies and gentlemen, now I will tell you the secret and present to you-The Dame Nicotiana tabacum.

She was discovered with the new world by Columbus and his men, who introduced her to the fashionable society of Europe from where she extended her influence by her bewitching charms to the rest of the world. She has her ardent lovers and even a large and ever growing army of slaves which now includes an increasing number of ladies too. Those that once come under the influence of this relentless mistress find it very difficult to get out of her clutches. They are absolutely made for her and crave her soothing influence again and again even at the risk of losing their health and virility and suffer in countless other was for prolonged indulgence could cause many a heartache and even cancer of the lungs.

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