My mom is busy roasting some puffed rice in the Kadhai for the evening snack and tea is broiling on the next stove. The smell of ginger and cardamom lingered in the air and in I went all gliding and locking and popping to the song playing from the earphones in my ears. I take a handful of puffed rice and I’m about to pop them into my mouth when my mom roars,
“Stop! How many times do I have to tell you? DON’T EAT DIRECTLY FROM A VESSEL!” 
I frown, “Mom, for the 100th time there’s no such thing as …”
“I said NO! Put it back.”
I sigh in surrender and put the goddamn puffed rice back. Take it again,put it in a plate and THEN eat it.

Now let me explain you the logic behind this.

According to the plethora of seemingly infinite myths that India harbors, this one means that if you eat directly from a deep vessel, IT WILL RAIN HEAVILY ON YOUR WEDDING.
 This is one out of a repository of incidents that I’ve explained. I don’t at all understand the concept of myths. First question, who was the person who had the sweet time to sit and make all of these. Second, how on Earth can people believe in them? These things are totally NOT backed by logic.

I was talking to an Irish girl once (don’t ask me how or when but I just was). So we talked about superstitions for a while and she told me some of the Irish Myths:

1.) A dead hand is believed to be a cure for all diseases. Many times sick people were brought to a house where a corpse was laid out, so that the hand of the dead might be laid on them.

2.) A crowing hen, a whistling girl, and a black cat are considered very unlucky. Beware of them in a house.

3.) If chased at night by a ghost or an evil spirit, try to get to a stream of running water. If you can cross it no devil or evil spirit will be able to follow. (Chased by a spirit-that’s a comforting thought.)

4.) Do not turn off a light while people are at supper. If you do there will be one less at the table before the year is out. (This is starting to creep me out).

5.) If your ears are burning, someone is gossiping about you. (Interesting)

6.) If you want to know the name of the person you are to marry, put a snail on a plate sprinkled with flour. Cover the plate and leave it overnight. In the morning the initial of the person will be on the plate, traced by the snail.

7.) Fairies live all over Ireland. The places they live are called forts, raths, or mounds. A fairy king rules each of these places. At times it is said you can hear sounds of music and merriment coming from the fairy places. (Fairies? I think I’m shifting to Ireland.)


You think these are spooky? Wait until you read some Indian ones:

1.) If a crow comes to your roof and caws, you can expect some visitors.

2.) If dogs near you are howling in the night, it is a signal of death.

3.) Never cut your nails at night. (I have never got the answer for this)

4.) There is a concept called ‘Evil Eye’ and elders in India often use things like ‘Kajal‘ to protect their new born from the evil eye. The effects of the evil eye may range from illness to death.

5.) Peepal and Banyan trees are considered to be the abode of the witches and thus should be avoided at night.

6.) Broken mirrors and broken God idols are the worst form of bad luck.

8.) You cannot buy iron/ eat meat/ cut your hair or trim your fingernails on some days of the week.

9.) If you or someone around you sneezes while you’re about to go somewhere (work, party) it is considered a very bad omen. You must wait for 5 minutes and then leave.

10.) If a black cat crosses your path, it is very unlucky.

Now when my mom chides me thinking that it would rain on my wedding I say, “Mom, how cool would it be? I’d love to kiss my ‘to-be’ husband in the rain.”
And I get a dead stare in return.

Note: I don’t mean to offend either of the cultures by this post. These are my personal opinions and as much as I doubt the authenticity of myths, I find them equally fascinating. 
Any Irish reading thisI love your country and your accent, really. 😛
Any Indian reading this- Aapne to suna hi hoga upar likha sab kuch. 😉

Faith vs Superstition

So it happened like this:

Me and my best friend were in one of those ‘late-night-conversations’ (and by late night I mean 4 am in the morning). Bring those eyebrows down; it’s very common for us to talk this late and we never run out of topics. Usually it’s one of those ‘what’ll happen 10 years from now’ kind of chats. We both get really emotional and most of the time it ends up with me assuring him that he wouldn’t lose me even if some guy comes later in my life.

But apart from the sappy teddy bears we are we’re also great debaters (actually, he’s better) but every time we raise a debatable topic we have a pretty fruitful conversation that ends up with us either not talking to each other or with a mutual agreement with the topic OR calling a third person and settling the dispute between us before there occurs a bloodshed.

That night we were talking about ‘Superstition’ and ‘Faith.’

“Aakansha, what are your thoughts on God?” he asked me.

“I believe in a higher power regardless of how people might ‘tag’ it. Some call it Jesus, some Shiva, Some Allah. It doesn’t matter how you picture it but I believe there’s something always watching us and guiding us throughout. Something bigger and mightier and powerful in every aspect. Something beyond the mortal grasp.” I said.

You see he’s an atheist. He doesn’t believe in any sort of God. Something happened in his life that forced him to stick to that notion. Anyway.

“I won’t argue with that thought but I think it’s all just bullsh*t. No one has seen him, no one has felt him-hell they can’t even picture him in unison and they say he’s protecting us, loving us-dumbas*es. Thousands and lakhs of rupees are spent on decorating and maintaining these stupid idols of those trillion forms of Gods. So much money is spent on so called worshiping them and impressing them. The Hindu temples offer milk and sweets to statues made of sand and clay.

They claim to eradicate poverty but are spending fortunes on things that ultimately go in the dump. Over 50% of the Indian population is starving and homeless. Instead of ‘impressing’ those Gods they could friking donate and help these people.”

Honestly, I agreed to what he said.

“Look,” I said “I understand and I completely agree. It cannot be denied that people are wasting both money and material on things that are trivial. I don’t believe in idol worship. I don’t believe in the innumerable superstitions that Hindu mythology harbors.

  • You don’t wake up every morning and pray to God and light incense and offer fruits you won’t be blessed.
  • You don’t remember all the various ‘Aartis’ of the Goddesses you won’t be blessed.
  • Go to the temple every Monday.
  • Fasting to prove your loyalty to your God.

I don’t even want to take the time to mention all of them.

Anyway. The thing is, you don’t have to go to extreme levels to impress statues made of clay. You don’t have to keep yourselves hungry to prove your love for someone. You sure as hell don’t have to spend millions on organizing ‘Kathas’ for Gods. You want to feel secure? Are you afraid who you’re gonna turn up to in times of need?

Just have faith. There’s not a thin but a very wide line that separate the two. Have faith in times of adversity that things will get better. Faith and hope are perhaps the only two things stronger than fear. I have been lucky enough to literally experience miracles, situations like ‘Holy crap did this even happen?!’ (in a very good sense). The so called ‘Gods’ job is to make you feel that you’re not alone and give you strength. There’s no point in worshiping if you still feel hollow inside like a chestnut shell.

No point in showing people that you’re a religious person. All you gotta do is believe. Faith is an important virtue to sustain life. You cannot live without the hope that better things are waiting. Because normally you might be independent of any sorts of dependence. But when life hits you hard you hold on to the last leaf. The last strand of straw in the gushing, thunderous ocean. THAT  is when you need faith. That is when you look around for hope and find it in the most unforeseen places  and THAT is when you actually find faith offering you its hands.”

Analogically speaking: “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl.

He was silent for awhile then said, “God, you’re so boring but I’m impressed.”

“Shut up a**hole. You asked for it.”

“Lol. On a serious note, I think that makes perfect sense. I hope I can find faith in the most unexpected corners of the world. Until then, I have you.”

“We should go to sleep now. It’s late” I lied.



And we hung up. For the record, I couldn’t sleep and neither could he.