' Super Superstitions!






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Super Superstitions!
By Anil D'Souza, Halealve

Nov 3, 2010

One fine day, I was taking a shower - not that I don’t shower everyday, I do - the soap slipped out of my hand and fell down, then in a span of 4 seconds it fell again. I picked it up and then purposely put it down again. I don’t know why I did it, but the rest of my shower was spent thinking about why the hell I put it down myself to make it a count of three.

Many of us might have had these kinds of experiences where we do not really know what we are doing and why we are doing it but nevertheless we do it. These are superstitions. I would define superstition as an act of blindly following weird things just because we were told to do so. Do we really try to get to the root of the superstition and find out why and how it originated? Some people do and many don’t even bother about it.

Coming back to my SOAP OPERA, my friend and I were having a chat over coffee and I narrated the entire opera to him. He also had gone through many similar experiences and fortunately for me, he knew a tiny miny bit behind the 'three times.' He said there was a Hindi saying 'TEEN TIGADA, KAAM BIGADA.' But in my case I myself bigadofied the kaam I was doing by dropping the soap the third time!! There is a similar saying in Malayalam - 'trividham dushta lakshanam.' Oh my dear god, I was practicing a superstition wrong for the past 15 years!

This is when I realized that either my ancestors who passed me the 'three time' superstition were wrong or superstitions are customized according to the needs of the people in different parts of India and also the world.

There are many more superstitions which I follow. I am a little ashamed of revealing all this, but shame is something which I left behind many many years ago. Before any exam, my mom has to call me and say "BOREN KARN BORAY" (Write well). I have never failed an exam and I don’t know whether it is because of mummy’s words or my studies, but I never dared to skip this custom. This has become a routine, a kind of custom I can never even think of ignoring. I am sure my future generations will have a superstitious belief that moms should call their children before the exams and say "boren karn boray," without even knowing the reason - that their great great grandfather was a stupid scared person before exams. (Hope this article is not archived by daijiworld team). Oh the shame has come back - I wont reveal any of the other weird things I do. Let me expose some of my friends instead.

My friends also have superstitions and I am allowed to reveal theirs without mentioning names. One among them believes that no person should cross over him when he is sitting or lying on the floor. This is a very common superstition followed everywhere across India. He believes this will lower his life span. After much research on how many years are reduced due to a single cross-over, the number of times he has been crossed over and applying complex algorithms on the data, we finally found out that he should have been dead 25 years ago! I don’t get how crossing-over is related to life anyways.

One more interesting story is that people don’t seek for blessings when the older people are lying down or napping on the floor. It seems seeking blessings from a person who is in such a posture would be like seeking blessings from a dead  person.

There are many more standardized superstitions we follow. A black cat crossing the path is considered to be a bad omen. It is widely believed that if one cuts nails at night, one will lose money. I never used to cut nails at nightuntil recently when I finally realized I don’t have enough money to lose. Who cares?

Another interesting superstition is that when a crow shouts (I don’t know what we call for a crow’s shout, so I directly translated it from Konkani), it is affirmative that there will be guests at home. How can a crow, which doesn’t even know where its next morsel is going to come from act as a guest forecast? Unbelievably true. I cannot forget my uncle who used to turn up every time my mom made moong curry for lunch. Maybe the same crows told my uncle that mummy is making moong curry.

I can go on and on doing analysis and synthesis of the astronomical number of superstitions we follow, but I am pretty sure that average concentration levels of bright and intelligent people reading this is no more than 1000 words. Well, there are lots of superstitions being followed in India, and many of them are baseless. Somehow they have got embedded into our culture and become a part of our life.

People believe superstitions hinder India’s progress, and it got me wondering how. I think our way of thinking is obscured because of some superstitions, especially in rural areas and these have to be clarified and only then can we think clearly. India has made a lot of progress in terms of urban development, markets, finances and exports. Isn’t it time we set our minds free in some aspects and make way for rural development?

 

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Comments on this article
Gayathri, MAngalore, DubaiMonday, November 14, 2011
Hi Anil, Your articles have the knack of holding the reader :)
Loved the Comments by Anthony and explanations by Abraham.
Many things our elders say definitely has a reason behind it, some may not be applicable now, I believe if a cat crosses our road it may be unlucky for it, than us.
When Mother or anyone who has the highest respect in our heart encourage us to do something we get that strength and courage to face the problems of our lives, you may take it as blessings.
Mind is everything, if you get any doubt about a thing then do not do it, and about Bharani Krithika again God is almighty no superstition is bigger than God.
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Nancy Martis , Shirva/ BahrainMonday, February 28, 2011
Very nice article .... good luck keep writing
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rajinder, indiaThursday, December 16, 2010
one should not have curd at night because it effects your work n u will face a financial loss..
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Congrats Bro !!!, Mumbai/AmsterdamSaturday, December 04, 2010
Bro.. you have a fan club and all .. too much i am impressed.. Ek autograph plz bhej de na ...
Comment on this message     

Ancilla Sequeira, Moodubelle/MumbaiWednesday, November 10, 2010
Well written article Anil. You have got a beutiful style of writing. Keep writing. All the best.
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Suryatapa, AucklandTuesday, November 09, 2010
Well written, Anil! Another feather on your cap :)
Comment on this message     

Arun, Mlore/DUbaiTuesday, November 09, 2010
HI Anil.. good article.. Were u student of St. Joseph Engg College ?? I remember i saw u in SJEC.

@ Jess Miranda: I am your fan u know that??? How r u doing? Waiting for your article dear.
Comment on this message     

adshenoy, mangloorFriday, November 05, 2010
"Superstitions" are super institutions of belief with experiences and practiced practices in oldest traditions and cultures of belief. The chinese and Indian cultures,our hindu culture are predominent.
These beliefs are not followed blindly. One example comes to my mind is being "Feng Shui" in chinese and "vastu Shastra" in india. There are reasons and benefits(light, air etc) in following these asthetics in buildings and homes. Can anyone remmember a little childs forhead with a black thikka?
Comment on this message     

STALIN MISQUITH, MANGALORE/BAHRAINFriday, November 05, 2010
Nice article....kaali billi or whatever superstitions, I don't believe in this. Be optimistic. Thanks Anil, keep it up. God bless.
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Shwetha, Mangalore/BangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
Hey Anil its nice to see ur article afer a long time...its really a good one. keep up the good work buddy )
cheers,
shwetha
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Abraham Coutinho, Mundkur/BombayThursday, November 04, 2010
Ms. Jess Midranda. Here are some anweres, I know, for your questions.
1) Monthi Feast- Odd number of disches. One Jesuit Preist in Italy on Fest day ate 9 core meal of fish. It was given much publicity. We follow. I read it in "Examiner" a Catholic Church affliated Press Publication.
2)Bharani & Krathika are inauspicious day as per Hindu Calender/Panchanga. Do not do good works on that day. Else you will face bad results.
3) Akshya (unending/inifinite)Thrathiya (third Day). All prospertity is yours on whatever you do on that day. You will not find shortage/poverty. Lucky Day.

So is also one and a half day of Diwali & Padya. In this time you can do any auspicous rituals without consulting "Panchanga" as per Hinduism.
4) Patikara - I have seen that practice. Do not know the reason.
5) The Mirror - It should be whole always. Do not look your face in the broken mirror as your forehead is seen in it where your destiny ( Hane Baraha/ Lalata Lekhana) is written by Bbramha. Do not voluntier to see it in fractured form by your own faulty action.
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Anil Dsouza, Halealve/CardiffWednesday, November 03, 2010
Jess, First of all,thanks. I m truly honored . You r the only fan i have now :)

I don know about the vegetable count during monthi feast, but As u go north from kundapur to goa, we cook fish and have two kinds of curries- one spicy another with roce. As i said customised beliefs :)
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Jess Miranda, Ann Arbor, USAWednesday, November 03, 2010
Part 2:
5. If the mirror falls and breaks into pieces, the belief about the bad luck continues for certain number of years.. Am not so sure with the numbers though…so, what is the connection between mirror and the bad luck?
I will be back with many more practices as I don’t remember them now

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Jess Miranda, Ann Arbor, USAWednesday, November 03, 2010
Part 1:
Hey Anil,
I would call this writing as wonderful. I love to read your articles for 2 reasons. One for information and the other is to know the style of writing. I would be proud to call myself as one of your fans.
Few days ago, I was thinking of writing an article on superstitions. In order to get more data I posted a status in Facebook and the responses really scared me to think of writing. When I couldn't think of facing them, I realized about not having guts to face the mob in daiji. (just kidding)
I would want to present few things over here, so that I would get an answer from the readers for my un answered questions below, whether they are called as blind beliefs and do you agree with me about the existence of practice of this among us still.
1. The following of odd numbers (1,3,5,7) of dishes when we celebrate the feast of Nativity of Mary or Monthi fest? Do we have real reasons behind it?
2. On Bharani Krithika no weddings, housewarming takes place? Is there any reasons? ( I am not sure whether it is blind belief or any scientific reason behind it)
3. The Golden link on Akshaya tritya where they buy gold thinking auspicious day by paying more than the price it should have been? ( Lucky are the gold shop keepers)
4. When small kids fall sick, throwing ‘patikara’. Any reasons behind it, does it help?
(Will be continued in Part 2)
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Jams, BomboyWednesday, November 03, 2010
Spit on a lure you are sure to catch fish
Throw back the first fish you catch then you'll be lucky the whole day fishing
If you count the number of fish you caught, you will catch no more that day.
Spit on a new bat before using it for the first time to make it lucky
If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff you will get your wish.
To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.
Or disinfect the seat they sat on, as they approach the door to leave!
If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.
A cat onboard a ship is considered to bring luck.
It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.
It's bad luck to pick up a coin if it's tails side up. Good luck comes if it's heads up
Cows lifting their tails is a sure sign that rain is coming.
For good luck throughout the year, wear new clothes on Easter
If the bottom of your right foot itches, you are going to take a trip.
There is a Biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.
It is traditionally believed that Eve tempted Adam with the apple on a Friday. Tradition also has it that the Flood in the Bible, the confusion at the Tower of Babel, and the death of Jesus Christ all took place on Friday.
If the palm of your right hand itches it means you will soon be getting
Comment on this message     

A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.Wednesday, November 03, 2010
"yesterday's blunder can be turned as today's superstitions". Fear factor has played a key role in
influencing the mindset of the ordinary people to believe blindly all the superstitions of the past
century.

One person might have faced a bad luck by watching the black cat crossing the road, so he or she
began to spread the news to the neighbours, and that became the  "gospel of bad luck", and everybody began to repeat after that.

There are other superstitions came into our lives from the practical aspect of life, but now the whole
way of life has changed this is the time to discard them. There was a superstition that "crossing the ocean was a bad luck". It was dangerous to cross the ocean in those days, but it is not dangerous
now. Time and technology have replaced all the unfounded fear and superstitions attached to it.

When I see a black cat crossing the road, I say " that is a good sign" and I never had any bad
luck (positive confession). As we believe, events will take place. By positive thinking
and faith in a blessed end, we can overtake all the superstitions of life which are enslaving our
progress, both in thought and actions.
Comment on this message     

IVAN DSOUZA, Bendoor/MuscatWednesday, November 03, 2010
Love the Animals, then we will like the black or white cats and will give the chance to cross our way. If human beings thinks that cat cross is risk, then may be cat will also think that a what this human beings are in lack of sight on nature, donot have the eyes to see the beauty of nature.
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susheela rodrigues, mangalore/romeWednesday, November 03, 2010
The crow caws, the cock crows
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Alwyn, Mangalore - USAWednesday, November 03, 2010
Good Article. Superstitious beliefs are made by people and not written any were in any religious articles. It is still in practice in India because of two reasons mainly to protect our commitments and to cheat others. One example is I gave some money to a friend and he refused to pay back and when I asked he said, “Black cat came front of me so I could not go further”. Is it funny? The same way if you wet in rain you will get cold, drink bitter medicine some new moon day and all. Media and all educational institutes must educate every one regarding our basic life and how it is functions.
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Juliet D'Souza, Neermarga/mangaloreWednesday, November 03, 2010
Well written. nice article
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Rani, UdupiWednesday, November 03, 2010
Some of these superstitious beliefs were deleberately brought in to inculcate fear in people so that they follow rules of the society or sometimes just to keep out the troubles. As far as I think, the story of not cutting nails at night, may have been created to avoid some one hurting himself at night (remember there were no electricity at the time) or to avoid children putting them in their mouth etc. I believe, there was always a logic behind most of these superstitions. Some followed it for psychological reasons and some to avoid trouble.
But I think ping soap 3 times was bit unhygeinic!!!
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Francis, Mangalore/ChennaiWednesday, November 03, 2010
A crow does not shout or crow. A crow caws !!!
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Abraham Coutinho, Mundkur/BombayWednesday, November 03, 2010
All is not supertitions. In Black Magic black animals are used. So Balck Cat is blamed.

Every thing has not come from Hindus. Not crave blessings from Bed ridden persons has come from Bible. Isac - his 2 sons - Esua with hairy skin and Jacob with smooth skin diguised his father. So we are not allowed to carve blessings from a person of infirm mind, on sick bed unless he sits on it. Sick person should only say "God Bless you". If promises some thins & he dies it is binding.

Other things - Bad Signs/Omans:
1. Do not stitch cloth when put on = it is done only on dead body. Means you are equal to dead man.
2.Don't cut nails in the night = Have you got no time during the day being a "Grahastha" who does things openly. What were u doing then? Sleeping? for u have to steal in night? U R a "thief"
3. Crosssing the human body. Wrong explanation. One should not cross the child on mother's lap while applying oil. If crossing person dashes mother's legs, toes distangle and legs open up and the child's head will bang on the floor. To stop it,we are feared "life span will be reduced".
4. Do not comb hair in the night. Applies to married women. She need not look beautiful to her husband in the night. Such thing is needed & done by Postitutes.
5. Approaching single Bhramin - "Apa Shakuna". He alone is enough for death ceremony. For "Ygnya" more needed.
6. New Pot (Hosa Madike) is to take fire to cremate. So people put some coal black lines,on way before taking it home.
Comment on this message     

Arwin Rodrix, MangaloreWednesday, November 03, 2010
Nice article Mr.Anil...The word 4 CROW'S shout is CROW itself...When a crow shouts would rather b WHEN A CROW CROWS!!!
Keep writin n God Bless...
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Deepak D'Cunha, Mangalore/KuwaitWednesday, November 03, 2010
Dear Anil,
Well written article."BOREN KARN BORAYlaay"! :)
Comment on this message     

Antony T. D' Souza, Karkala / QatarWednesday, November 03, 2010

At times superstitions are born out of bad or good experience.
It seems one brought one broken mirror to his home, accidently after
some time their family life was broken hence after that rumor made rounds
“broken mirror should not kept in the house”. Next to follow, we call money
plant, one did plant in his house and after planting, incidentally he became very rich,
hence saying continued “ if money plant is grows to its full size” you will become
richer.

However, I have seen one family, one after another two divorce.. later united,
neighbors are eagerly awaiting for their third divorce but I heard husband and wife
relationship is growing everyday very very stronger. Pinch of salt, had Anil’s mom
told “BOREN BOREN KARN BORAY" (Write WRITE well) Anil could haves secured first rank
or gold medal every time he appeared in the exams..

Therefore, superstitions are revered out of fear or cheer due to some incidents taken place and rumored in the society became sort of custom or folkways specially in our Hindu society led my Brahmins

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