Abiding nostalgia for the delicacy -- castor oil

I recently came across one of Gopulu's famous cartoons depicting the scene from a typical Tam-brahm household where a child is being persuaded to drink castor oil.This brought back memories from my own childhood.

Castor oil, a bitter, gooey and foulsmelling liquid, was the grandmother's remedy for all stomach-related problems. All the members of our family had to undergo the ritual of consuming this concoction, once every six months on a Sunday morning.While some of the adolescents among my four siblings sometimes managed to escape the ordeal, the smaller kids had no choice. The previous night my mother would brew a special `kashayam' consisting of some herbs.On the appointed morning, two drops of pure castor oil would be added to this `kashayam` in a tumbler and we would be asked to drink it. Invariably the kids would hold the tumbler at an arm's distance and make all kinds of faces before gulping down the repulsive concoction, holding our noses tight! If the younger kids threw tantrums and refused to imbibe the liquid, then my father would take charge. He would hold the kid on his lap, while my mother forced the liquid down his or her throat using a small `gindy' (a silver cup with a beak).........Read more


Source web page: The Times of India

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