If someone asks me “Are you superstitious ?”, at the outset I might say a big “No”. But deep down in my heart, are a lot of Ifs and Buts of doing things, which has been absorbed like a sponge, when I was young.
Nothing was learnt consciously, but so many things were ingrained deep into my mind, by following and doing things at a young age, as told by the elders in the house.
Lemme not confuse superstitions with basic rules of the house, regarding discipline, hygiene and good manners. I feel that these rules are implemented for the betterment of one self, while superstitions sometimes hurts the other person, when followed.
Many a times I wonder, whats the use of following these superstitious beliefs, while all it does is confuse our mind, makes us less human and hurts the other too !!!
Here are some example :
There’s this unspoken rule in the homes of our sect that we are not supposed to give / lend anything that’s white in color after 6pm and that white color includes milk, curd and money. If we give away those things, then they’ll reduce in our home too, is the superstition. Like giving money after 6pm, will make Goddess Lakshmi to go out too.
See, this is a crucial thing for everyone. No one wants to mess with Goddess Lakshmi, right ??? So, this is followed very seriously in our sect.
The dhobhi brings in the clothes by 7pm. Now, do I pay him or not ??? The dhobhi works hard the whole day and his earnings for the day is going to make a meal for his family. Now, if I don’t pay him, am I not being less human, in trying to strike at his meal ??? Under this situation, the superstition fades and humanitarian concern creeps in and I go ahead and pay him.
When my neighbor’s father passed away, she was running to and fro for the ceremonies and came back home late at night. Then she realized that she didn’t make curd and wanted a spoon of curd to add to her milk. Now, when she came to ask me for a spoon of curd under the situation she had been and I refuse to give her, what kind of human am I ??? Here again, the superstition fades and human concerns wins over.
There’s one more clause to that superstition too – don’t lend / give money on Tuesdays and Fridays – they are the days of Goddess Lakshmi and the same story goes again.
Here comes my house-help with a sick feeling on her face. Later she tells me that she is suffering from bad throat and fever. Part of me is happy that she still came to work and the other humanitarian part is feeling bad for her. So, I went and asked her whether she took any medicines or did she see a doctor. She was planning to go to the doctor after finishing work and asked me if I can lend her 100/- for the same. That was a Friday and again the superstition started spreading its wings in my mind. But thankfully, the humanitarian part was more forceful in giving her the money to go and see a doctor.
When we walk on the road or drive in a car, one sight that we see constantly, is the beggars on the road. I know there are many, who are trying to cheat us in that facade. But do we have time to go and investigate who is the true one and who is not ??? So, when I’ve decided to give money to any beggar who comes to me, I just go ahead and give it without thinking about anything. It’s the thought of giving which is very important, in my opinion.
Here’s a funny superstition too – whenever someone leaves home, one is not supposed to ask them – “Where are you going ????” Then that work will not happen. So, sometimes the question is re-phrased like “Where will you come from???” ha ha ha….this is totally ridiculous. A job or the purpose of going out for work, is certainly not based on a silly question, right ???
But sometimes, when I go out and my daughter asks me this question, I do get bugged – see, this is what years of graining in the wrong thing can do. But I try to overcome that emotion and answer her in the earnest.
I really don’t know what made those people create so many superstitious beliefs in our day-to-day living. But I certainly don’t believe in following them, when my humanitarian concern is at stake.