Disclaimer: This post is not intended to offend anyone’s faiths or rituals. The belief in the evil eye is a subjective choice, and the “tips” to ward it off are intended purely in jest.
It is almost laughingly easy to “catch” the evil eye. Babies can catch it as soon as they emerge from the hospital which makes the kajal necessary even if the paediatrician advises against it. Pregnant women can pick it up any time, especially once their bump becomes evident, which is why they must remain confined to the house and avoid contact with the outside world. Vehicles can get affected unless you put up lemons and chillies in the front or some of those fancy, new-age gadgets imported from China. Heck, even homes—never mind how sturdily built with earthquake protection—can catch the evil eye, necessitating pujas and havans with generous dakshina to the priests conducting them.
So, how can you protect yourself from the evil eye? Here are the suggestions I have received over time and seen in action in my immediate and extended community. Feel free to try them out—at your own risk.
1. Conduct weekly pujas in the house, ensuring to Skype the proceedings to the in-laws who live miles away in another state. It is as important to broadcast evidence of having conducted the cleansing ritual as it is to hold it in the first place.
2. Wear rings, amulets, bracelets and pendants that have the godly power to ward off the evil eye. Don’t even dare to propose that they might interfere with other fashion accessories you might want to sport.
3. Please keep that black cat AWAY. You may find her cute, even affectionate, but there is a witch inside her body waiting to pounce at you while you sleep. And pray, who gifts someone a fluffy BLACK cat? Have they stopped making plush teddy bears?
4. Stay on house-arrest if you are pregnant. For exercise, sweep the floor and do the dishes; do not worry about losing your mind. Setting foot outside the premises will, most certainly, subject you to the evil eye.
5. Burn red chillies in the house after sundown, never mind how smokey it makes everything. Foolish child, you will not miss your lavender-flavoured air diffuser once the red chillies successfully suffocate the evil eye.
Have you ever tried any of these mantras to dissipate the evil influence or black magic around you? I will be honest: My Granny used to—still does—quite a few, although she is an educated and modern woman in many ways. When things go awry, with one misfortune swiftly approaching on the heels of another, I do find myself questioning: am I cursed? After all, our tendency to judge others is forever on the upswing; many of us poke our noses into others’ affairs, hoping their blessings could be ours and our miseries theirs. What if these silent curses have a way of coming true?
Well, it is easy to fall back on the notion of the evil eye when things go wrong. But I have found the reality to be different: things will frequently go wrong no matter what you do. Finding scapegoats is but a human failing to justify, find excuses, and essentially do whatever it takes to make the pain less severe.
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All this is, thankfully so, in my past. Yep, I have done the kajal bit. Not because it wards off evil eye as such, but because that’s what everyone else seemed to be doing. Funny, huh? Now I am at a totally different place. Absolute no, whatever anyone says! 😉
Haha Shail, yes, I somehow can’t imagine you giving in to any of this. But then, times change, people change, and sometimes, we do stuff just for the heck of it. 😉
List is very long for such solutions… If you hear early morning radio Fm channels… Some or other babaji will be given these solutions to their listeners…
sometimes I feel that the more people become rich… they believe a lot in all these things.
Oh yes, I have often listened to such programs purely for comic relief. 😛
That’s an interesting theory you propose – perhaps, with increasing wealth our insecurities also go up.
I think this is one phenomenon which will stay in India particularly for years to come. I am guilty of partaking in a couple of them, particularly the red chillies bit. And surprisingly, they didn’t smoke the kitchen at all. Which apparently is a sign that the evil eye was there. This has been the case every single case. Coincidence, anyone?
Every single time*
Yeah, I also think this phenomenon is going to hang about for a while. A long while.
Interestingly, the red chillies thingy is something my granny used to do when I lived with her. On several occasions, the kitchen didn’t get smoked at all. These were also the occasions when I had been unwell and she had suspected that something was awry. I think that when it comes to the evil eye, coincidences abound! 😀
I’ve seen and suffered many of the above things and even followed those silly things like wearing a kaala dhaaga etc on elders’ insistence. It changes nothing but I guess the feeling that ‘we did something’ about it keeps some kind of positivity in us.
I think you put it perfectly. Things like these give you a sense of control even if it is only an illusion 🙂
things will frequently go wrong no matter what you do. ”
A deep sigh!!!
Deep sigh indeed!
Nice one Deboshree!
Thank you, Sonia 🙂