How superstitious are you?

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?

19 thoughts on “How superstitious are you?

  1. REally could connect to it, because, believe it or not, in the SErvices Family I grew up, my paternal grandmother would insist πŸ™‚ My Ammamma was quite cool about things though she knew the Encyclopaedia of Superstitions by heart and could tell us some scary stories to boot :D!!

    And some of these, out of sheer habit I still do πŸ™‚


  2. The calling someone back when they are on their way out..
    Not oiling my hair on Mondays and Thursdays..

    Lol.. and some silly others πŸ™‚

    And yes, my muthashi was an institution! Have written about her on Overdrive. A Woman Extraordinaire:)

    By the way, I shall def. do your tag πŸ™‚ In the mean time, I have tagged you!!!


  3. Well most of us develop superstition on our own. i generally put my left socks first,,football players dont shave till the tournament completes…etcetc


  4. Most of these I also heard, even in my family today my mother doesnt welcome anybody to stay in her house in those 15 days of shraddha. But i never nelieved in anything, but human mind being what it is, sometimes we succumb to this weakness,, so to save my children from these things, I never told them anything, if u dont know U wudnt bother, not even those which i followed:), so my both the children today dont have any superstitions. when my son was young 5 yr old, whenevr he had exam, in the morning I wud see him running to the lawn, one day I asked him what he was doing, then with lot of pruance he came out that one of his friend said that if he ate Tulsi leave before going to exam, he will fare well:).
    Then I sat with him and explained amd made himunderstood that only studies make u fare well , nothing else.God only helps those who help themselves.


  5. πŸ™‚ I`ve grown up amidst a superstitious family too. Not my own folks though. My grandparents.And surprisingly, now when I have the intelligence to think for myself, I still find myself blindly tied to some of these. It is surprising, is it not? πŸ™‚


  6. @Sunder:You’re right!In fact I still feel that some of the beliefs that my grandmother did thrust on me were purely to keep me from doing any mischiefs as a child and not because they were things she herself believed in and practiced.Like the one about sitting on a pillow!
    @Renu:You showed me such a nice way of ensuring that my daughter didnt garner any superstitious beliefs.Thank you for explaining it so well:)
    @Piper:Yes it is my daughter.Thank u so much fr the lovely comment on her.
    And yes we are so influenced by what we grow up watching that we blindly follow them even when we are aware they have no reasoning whatsoever!


  7. I have heard about all the above mentioned..
    one more to your list: dont use left hand to pass things.. like money, keys etc.
    I remember this so well because I was and am quite affected by it being a left-hander.
    I dont beleive in it but sometimes do it merely to satisfy elders.


  8. These are many of the superstitions I grew up with too and followed some of them half-heartedly out of force of habit. But not for long.I have never been one to follow anything blindly. I always ask myself ‘why??’Sometimes I find answers of my own, Like, a child who cries louder is supposed to become a singer (or likely to is the word I have heard) because loud crying indicates lung power. Since singers need that too, they say, he will go up to be a singer. Actually this is not a superstition but something said in jest, at least it is so with us.
    My elder son used to ask me for dahi (curd) before going for an exam as he heard that brings luck. It is in some story in the Hindi text. I indulged him. But now both my kids are quite grown up and they are absolutely free of superstitions (unless of course they come up with their own in the future). Right now, they try to reason out whatever they hear. We discuss and try to find why it is that people thought so, how the belief came about. It is interesting when we do that. We even try to find explanations for the pushpak viman and the weapons God’s gave (did they come from another planet?? Could people communicate via telepathy those days?? etc) the mortals on request.
    So as you see, we are a family quite removed from the usual!! I remember following religiously ‘no oil bath on Mondays as it will affect your husband’ (fear factor) I have left all that behind. I just don’t bother about any of them anymore. I KNOW that what happens is not due to mustard falling or lizard (btw how can you not let a lizard fall on you?? It doesn’t consult you before falling!!), what has to happen will happen. Probably some of these had origin for the sake of convenience (which is meaningless in the present scenario) or to make people follow something for their own good by instilling fear. Like maybe they (whoever they are) wanted people to be careful and not waste salt or mustard so tried to instill fear by saying if you drop it it will cause a fight in the family.
    Ooops I have rambled for long!! πŸ˜›


  9. OMG, I not only write looong blogs (as friends remind me often enough) I have gone on to become a looong commentator too *shame faced*


  10. LOL,Shail!!Very interesting!If you have a logical reason for your beliefs,like the one on crying more to become a singer,it is still fathomable.But when you believe in scattered salts and mustards,applying oil on certain days or having curd before venturing on an auspitious deed without any sensible reason,thats when it gets beyond comprehension.

    You are right,maybe some of the beliefs were thrusted by people to instill some fear in us for our own good.
    You indeed have quite an interesting family,Shail.It is very important that you have such discussions in the family like you do.Its from your home that you learn to be wiser the most,isnt it?
    Did God’s weapons come from another planet??LOL!!Or why do we keep fast on certain days,like Monday for the well being of your husband,thursday for children and likewise?Why do we think God will bless us only on those days and not on rest of the days?Its quite a thought.
    Please dont look shame faced…you’ve really put across some very interesting points:)


  11. See, got me too to type a looooooooong comment!Not as long as yours though.You are a master at it,aint so??ROFL!!


  12. Why, why, why, Deeps, did you tell me these??? Now I am going to worry all my life when I don’t follow these πŸ™‚

    That pillow- wealth thing and not returning once you are out – my mom was particular about.. Now, Poohi sits on all the pillows possible – so I am seriously worried about our financial stability πŸ™‚


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