I keep asking that to myself very frequently.Although I know for sure that I am superstitious,I cant decide to what length I am.
A major portion of my growing up years has been spent with my maternal grandparents.Since both my parents were working my grandparents took on the responsibility of looking after me and Rags as the concept of recruiting a Nanny or sending your children to a creche was widely discouraged in our family.I’m glad they did as I now realise that leaving your child with your parents is much better and safer than leaving him/her in the care of a babysitter.Today whatever values have been instilled in me,I have my Ammamma and Achachan also to thank as much as Amma&Achan.
Having said that,I feel if my Ammamma and Achachan were a bit broader and less conservative in their beliefs,I would have been probably a different person today.More practical maybe.Even though they were settled in Delhi,their thoughts and mindsets were that of a typical orthodox Hindu malayali.Superstitious beliefs were inbuilt in them.So I was exposed to many a ridiculous beliefs from very early on.Some of them being….
Girls should always apply oil on hair on Tuesdays and Fridays and boys on Wednesdays and Saturdays.While I was growing I was told if I adhered to that my hair would grow longer and longer and longer,raised to the power of infinity!Anyone who has seen me would vouch for the fact that that was one belief that I certainly didn’t pay much heed to.My hair never grew beyond my shoulders!
You should never sit on a pillow,lest you should lose all your wealth.Bill Gates,take a note of that!You too,Tatas,Birlas,Ambanis and all those filthy rich people!
Never scatter salt on floor else you lose your wealth yet again!This is something even Ravs grew up believing like me.And now when we are at a restaurant and we, unknowingly spill some salt on the table,our reflexes would be in perfect harmony to take a pinch of the spilled salt from the table and throw it back over our shoulders.I know I know you would be thinking we are weird.But people,this is what we were told we should do to keep our ill-fate at bay in case we spilled salt!Come on,we are here in the Gulf to make money and not to un-make money!!
You should never watch moon on a Tue.If you do,then there will be a death in the family soon.How frighteningly ridiculous is that!
You should never cover your head with a white towel.If you do,then YOU will be the one dead soon!
Another one on the inevitable death is-Never let a lizard fall on your head or shoulder,else….yes,you guessed it right,Yamraj/Kaalan will come knocking on the door!
Fluttering of your left eye is an indication that an unfortunate incident is on its way.This is a very common superstition which I’m sure many of you would have heard about and some of you would even be believing in it.
You should not address a person from the back just when he/she is about to leave the house on work in which case it is believed the work will not be fulfilled.I remember the amount of scorns my grandmother had to endure from my grandfather whenever she had something very important to say to him and called him from his back just when he was about to leave home for work.
Another one in close lines with the previous one is-you should not recede your steps right after you leave your doorstep to go out.This is a belief I blindly practice though.It invariably so happens that Ravs forgets his mobile right after he leaves home for office and I forbid him from taking even one step back into the house.I go inside and get the mobile for him.
Another very popular superstition is when a black cat crosses your way making you believe its a sign of hindrance to all your endeavours for the day and you end up putting all your plans aside for another day and time when the black cat is out of your sight!
Then there is this superstition that my father still professes.It is not to plan anything after having your dinner.He believes if you make plans after dinner then they will never be implemented.
When I became a mother I was surrounded by these strange know-all well wishers who used to bombard me with various ideologies.I dont remember very many.Some that I do,I’m listing below.As and when I recollect more I’ll edit to add:)
I used to be told the louder my baby wailed the better the singer she would be.I’m not sure if she will grow up to be a singer(it will be a dream come true if she does),but hers surely is the loudest wail on the planet!Yeah sure!
And if I shaved my baby’s head before she turned two she would have long and thick hair.After my experience,I was certainly ready to forego this belief and not have her ‘Mundan’.From what I observe now,she has a much better textured hair than me.
I’ve listed about 13 and I’m certainly not going to stop at that.!13 is an unlucky number,you see.You’ve heard of that belief,haven’t you?So here is another one that I add
When our daughter began to attempt her first turn,R & I were told that if she turned to her left first,we’d be blessed with a son next and if she turned to her right,then we’d have a daughter.Or was it the other way round?We’ll know if and when I have my second child!
R and I are frantically trying to do away with our superstitions so that our daughter does not nurture any of the senseless beliefs that we have nurtured throughout our lives.I don’t know how far we’ll be successful.Whats the harm in trying anyway,isn’t it?
So,tell me,how superstitious are YOU?Do you have any interesting anecdotes to share?Or are you one of those more practical kinds who don’t believe in superstitions?