Incandescent rains, warm cup of coffee, a plate of banana chips, my feet firmly tucked under the cushion of the living room, I was lost in the land of intrigue and murder,
My right eye began twitching; now every blighter and blighteress in town knows that the right eye twitching means stressful situations ahead. That’s when aunt Rajini’s favourite black cat crossed Paddamma’s path, and Paddamma the resident authority divination screeched….”apashakuna!!!” again apashakuna as all diligent viewers of Hindi TV series know is a bad omen.
One can’t help feeling sorry for the black Cat, I don’t mean the commando’s I mean the four legged feline, having to check out for screeching Paddamma’s before they go anywhere, I like to keep it simple,
If your nose itches it means it wants to be scratched there
if a black cat crosses your path its going somewhere.
I was told by relevant authorities that old wives tales need not be superstitions, for old wives tales sits deep in folk wisdom, while superstition emerges from ignorance or fear of the unknown. I have the authority of Bertrand Russell to say so, not to mention the stringent training by Merriam-Webster.
Now there is Stuart Vyse PhD actually calls superstition, Magical thinking , you check out his book Believing in Magine: Psychology of Superstition. Back to his authority, most people touch wood, believe in witches and ghosts, daayan’s and chudail in India. I do some unguarded moments, when thoughts like what is the psychology behind magical thinking, is it good or bad, do we suffer more when we don’t understand or is understanding in itself a challenge!! Touch wood those moments pass over quite fast.
Taking a deep breath before I start doing something is a ritual that calms me, If I take only six deep breathes with counts in place then that becomes obsessive compulsive disorder,(OCD) and if I believe that my work will be doomed if I do not do the ritual that becomes superstition.
Probably the need for certainty is the driving force behind most superstition. At times I wonder if keeping my fingers crossed, is just positive re-enforcement and an affirmation that I have placed my faith universe, maybe the sheer discomfort of keeping the fingers crossed keeps me focused on the goal. This maybe an emotional placebo that allows for belief enhancement.
Then there are those superstitions that trigger phobia, if hand a broom to someone you will have an argument with that person ; of course you will, I doubt if any one will appreciate being asked to do a clean sweep… or clean dirty bins superstitions can lull you into false security ask the gambler who lost the last poker game… I know of girl who stayed indoors an entire day because she sighted a single mynah when she went out and the school ditty was
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a letter
Four for a boy
Guess as we grow older, along with elves, and Santa we lose faith in superstitions. Vyse is gender biased he says women are more superstitious than men. What I understand is– People prone to anxiety disorders tend to attract superstitions. People who believe they are He-man (he is the master of the universe) tend to be less superstitious, as compared to the “Oh! The World is out harass me” believers.
Just because you rub the feet of John Harvard statue at Harvard for good luck does not make you the next study material for Sir Roderick Glossop, chill, it could just be your source of comfort, a way of connecting with the greater community, your loved ones whatever
When my right twitches I know it time to quit, that is quit worrying for my stress level are probably heading to the nearest Kanchenjunga or at least Sonsogor (highest peak in Goa.) but of course if the twitching persists, then into my mind creeps the monster called “What-if” and we are back on our way to Sonsogor, then I deliberately identify something that is out of balance in my zone, attribute the twitch to the that, cut cords, thank Archangel Gabriel for the annunciation and move on.
But again when afflicted by the thinking disorder, I do wonder what sustains the superstitions to linger generation after generation…I have recently been told by Emma Goldman that, patriotism, is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and false hoods, a superstition that robs man of his self respect and dignity and increases his arrogance and conceit” it’s time to ponder on this Kuwabara1
Kuwabara is the Japanese/Chinese slang for superstition. Kuwabara actually means Mulberry tree forest and it is believed that the Mulberry tree cannot be struck down by lightening so saying Kuwabara; Kuwabara protects the speaker from being struck down by lightening.
This blog is written for the #172 Edition of Indispire prompt put forth by R.Ramesh who blogs at http://ramesh-randomrambling.blogspot.in/