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Wonder drug still going strong

By J.S. Ifthekhar

HYDERABAD, DEC. 27. Hippocrates may have given it the dignity of idealism, but Zinda Tilismath has given it a meaning, a touch of realism. Eighty years after it hit the chemists' shelves, the wonder drug refuses to budge or go away.

Somethings never fade. They acquire immortality and become part of the lore. Zinda Tilismath is one such legend. It vies with the architectural splendour, Charminar, to hog world attention.

A miracle drug is any drug that will do what the label says it will do. This Unani formula is never found wanting in its claim. To millions it still remains `Har marz ki dawa'. Be it cold, cough, dysentry, headache, body ache, tooth ache, stomach disorders or cholera - it is Zinda Tilismath that many Hyderabadis find relief in.

It was in 1920 that a young man, Hakim Mohd. Moizuddin Farooqui, dared to dream. Having acquired a degree in Unani medicine, he entered the work place with visions of making it big. And he was ambitious enough to track the rainbow and persistent enough to strike gold. The liquid formulation invented by him remains the pharmacist's envy and patients's relief. As the name suggests, Zinda Tilismath is every bit the magic potion it claims to be.

In these days of e-business when companies are sinking huge money in publicity blitzkrieg and relaunching products with elegant look, the makers of Zinda Tilismath are content with their present marketing strategy which is nothing much to write about. Yet, the product sells and sells fast. Reason - its high curative value and easy accessibility. This is often the only antidote available in remote villages and comes handy for a variety of ailments. What is more it has no side-effects and doesn't run the risk of deterioration.

During the last 80 years there is no major change in its packing. The orange pack and the black Negro, the familiar trade mark, stands out. And thereby hangs a tail. While all companies take pains to have the prettiest face sell their product, the makers of Zinda Tilismath believe black is beautiful.

`A Negro is considered a symbol of strength and his picture on the package means that the medicine offers such strong protection', says Mohd. Minhajuddin Farooqui, the eldest son of the wonder drug founder.

Macho Negros, locally known as Siddis, who formed the African Cavelry Guards of the Nizam, are believed to have inspired Moizuddin to go for the logo of Negro. And today it is as popular as the brand name. `In a way we are the pioneers in negative advertisement', says Mujahid Farooqui, the third generation entrepreneur.

The popularity of Zinda Tilismath has lot to do with its rich medicinal properties. The basic compound of course is Eucalyptus oil and the other ingredients include cinnamon, cloves, mint, loneple, black pepper, cardamom, alum, ferric oxide and omum seeds. Another important factor why many prefer Zinda Tilismath is that it can be used both internally and externally.

Other products of Zinda Tilismath Karkhana like Farooqui tooth powder, Zinda Balm too have good market, but there is nothing to beat the flagship.

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