“What has really changed?” I asked myself one evening. Planning on making some eggs on Tuesday evening. Why was it such a weird question to ask just for eggs?
I’ve been questioning my superstitious beliefs since few years now. And each time I still plan on doing something, I ask myself if I’m in anyways going against my morals or teachings?
For all those who are unaware, eating non vegetarian food (including eggs) on a certain day is forbidden in India. Again, depends on which religion you belong to, which caste, which sub caste, based on your house God and such factors, it depends. In my home, it’s always been Tuesdays and Thursdays.
While growing up I followed it because I was told by mumma. It was absolutely fine. As I grew up, I started questioning myself on somethings that I’ve followed diligently as a child but starting to wonder why.
Some basic examples of things I followed once without a clue why:
- Not eating certain things on certain days
- Breaking of any glass item in your home signals a bad luck on it’s way
- Not cutting nails during evenings
- If someone sneezes right before leaving home, wait for a while and then leave
- Not sleeping empty stomach on Sunday nights (else I would apparently have nightmares)
- The (poor) black cat is not auspicious if it crosses the way
- If your stars show you belong to number 8, you are unlucky and brings all possible problems
- Not starting school (or even college) on Tuesdays (mainly in south India)
- Not shaking your leg while sitting, it brings bad luck
- Sweeping during evenings drives away money (or rather money God, Lakshmi)
- Three being a bad number for anything. Buy in even numbers (even if you don’t need it)
- Some mothers checking if a girl has flat feet, since it might bring bad luck to her son (this happens during arranged marriage scenarios)
- Not washing hair (taking a head bath) on certain days
- Eclipse time is really bad to go out, or make food or some variants of these
- And the most ridiculous things of all (for me personally) – Nazar/Evil Eye. And this means you aren’t supposed to say anything before doing it, else it wouldn’t complete. Or if someone says you look nice, you might fall ill next day due to Nazar! Apparent solution – If it’s not a person, hang chilies and lemon outside the building or car. If it’s a human, use a black dot (kajal) behind the ear or head for repelling bad energy.
- And something that’s always bothered me – Girls not entering kitchen or temple when they are during their periods. Why? Because they are impure and it’s not allowed to go near God during the time.
And who knows what more follows in various parts…
Well, my question to myself is, what is the reason for these.
Over the years, I have tried to explain these to myself and after each question, tried to justify them too. But some are just not possible. Most in fact.
But are they really?
Yes, most are explainable why and how it might have started. Question is, do we still really need them?
My possible explanation to myself was, once upon a time, when there was not too much food, light during evenings, and once if something wrong happened on a certain day – followed all these centuries for people to believe it is so. And some particular day isn’t right/good/auspicious.
Maybe there was scarcity of meat at some point of time or place. Hence the restriction for meat. Or maybe it’s good to have a balanced meal and not overeat anything and hence the rule.
Maybe there was scarcity of water during some times of year and it was easier to save more water if we don’t take full body shower on some days. Hence the rule.
Since there was no electricity at one point, it wasn’t advised to sweep the floor, since one could easily lose valuables if they were fallen on floor. Hence the rule.
There was no proper sanitary pads and girls were with limited energy (maybe) and hence the advise to take rest and not to enter kitchen. May have been unhygienic.
Some people have flat feet, we are born with it. Can’t be changed.
Why blame your mistake of breaking a glass as bad omen? Just be careful next time. It’s simple.
Why get late for a meeting/appointment and leave late because of a sneeze?
Some people are born on a Tuesday, you can’t do anything about it. Each day is a good day. Especially if you are born that day.
People were not so informed about eclipse and causes and effects. Hence the prohibition.
But today, in this advanced world – People are informed, educated and if not, they inform and educate themselves (thanks to Google).
Food and water is available (to most) in right amounts.
Electricity is available.
And most importantly, women have all the more advantage with various kinds of menstrual products. When women can participate in Olympics during this time, they are capable of being more fit and hygienic today too.
Then why still all the prohibitions?
And lastly, my favorite point that I always have long discussions about – Nazar/evil eye. Why blame someone else if you fall ill due to common cold? Why blame someone if you fail in an exam when you didn’t study? Why blame someone else for a dull face, when you didn’t sleep well. It might coincide sometimes, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is responsible for your problems or failures (most of the times).
What rattles me even more is that people from my own generation still don’t find logic and yet follow.
It comes down to one point – yes, it’s a personal belief. I don’t have a problem what who follows.
Since the time I have stopped or rather argued with myself about what and what not, I’ve gained more confidence in myself.
If it’s my fault, I take the blame.
If I have a problem, I solve it.
All one needs is strength and belief in your own self. Find a way and help yourself. That’s the best thing one can tell themselves each morning.
After all these thoughts I ended up making a delicious egg curry and enjoyed it with some rice after all 😉
Keep smiling and stay strong 🙂