Busted: Bhagyaraj's famous myth
This weekly column debunks the various myths propagated by Indian cinema—Tamil films in particular
In an age where lack of sex education is considered to be one of the main reasons for crimes against women, fingers have begun to be pointed at cinema for peddling harmful narratives. These myths take a life of their own and survive in pop culture for decades sometimes. One such is that drumstick is an aphrodisiac. It was first popularised in Mundhanai Mudichu when Urvasi’s character cooks an entire dinner based on drumstick to improve sexual relations between her and Bhagyaraj’s character.
Dr Parikshit Tank, MD, consultant OBGYN, thinks the idea is rubbish. “The number of things which have been purported to be aphrodisiacs will make for an endless list. Right from rhino horn to passion fruit, everything is seen as an aphrodisiac, but none of these have such properties. Some foods do contain things which kind of irritate the genito-urinary system. For example, there is something called spanish fly that irritates the urethra. The man may get some sensation and for someone who is already primed, this may aid him,” he explains.
“But real aphrodisiacs are to generate interest in sex, and even the example I gave is just a mechanism, a shortcut if you will, and not really something that sticks to the definition. It is only the psychological factor that is at play and it doesn’t really matter what you consume because technically, there are no aphrodisiacs. You can eat the blandest food that is available and yet, have a great experience so long as you are mentally up for it.”