Super-(se bhi upar)-stitions

By Mimansa Bagri, Batch of 2020

You know that human body is complex and multi-functional. It helps us see, hear, taste, feel things and much more. But did you know that it also acts as a messenger of good and bad omen? You didn’t, right? I knew it. Our ancestors found such a wondrous use of this mere bag of bones. This conglomerate of muscles and tissues that could only do so many things, is also capable of sending and receiving messages from Mother Nature. Voila! These prodigious findings are also known as Superstitions. Technically, it is defined as the belief in supernatural causality—that one event causes another without any natural process linking the two events. Below are the ways through which a human body serves its purpose of harboring ports for the superstitions to originate.


Are you planning to cut your hair today? Be warned though, the devil might take up a sudden interest in you. Yes, there are certain myths regarding the days on which the hair must be cut. Cut them on Monday, you cut them for health; cut them on Tuesday, you cut them for wealth; cut them on Wednesday, you cut them for news; cut them on Thursday, a new pair of shoes; cut them on Friday, you cut them for sorrow; cut them on Saturday, see your true love tomorrow; cut them on Sunday, the devil says hi for a week (try to make this rhyme with one more stanza) So, the next time you want a new pair of shoes, you know what to do. Go to a shoe store! Eh. Also, the people who have to grab chunks of hair from the floor everyday, are believed to be wealthy. So girls, don’t fret over your falling tresses. Embrace them.


Does your left eye twitch frequently? Do people slap you often? (Is this bhaagambhaag?) Then, my dear friend, you are in the clutches of a fiery devil. No, it has got absolutely nothing to do with an eye infection or eyelid spasm. Do not, at any cost, listen to your doctor. He has not witnessed the wrath of the devil, yet. The most frightening variant of this superstition is of unknown origin. This superstition believes that the twitching of the left eye signals the death of a loved one. On the other hand, the twitching of the right eye is believed to signal that a baby will be born in the near future. Oh, your right eye is twitching? People still slap you though? Do not stress, as this is a sign of good luck. You can exchange a few slaps for some good luck, right?


Ah! The most salient part, through which the art of sneezing is achieved, which is the protagonist of many super (duper) stitions.

In Japan, sneezing once connotes that someone is speaking kindly of you. If twice, then the kindness factor gets replaced by, err, not-so-kind factors. Thrice, then the person shifts to disparaging opinions of you. And if you still have more coming up, then you just have a cold. Go, see a doctor. Physiologically speaking, a sneeze is a reaction to irritating foreign particles, allergies, illness or a cold. But of course, such simple and plain sailing reasons were not enough to satiate the entertainment hunger of people, so they created a multitude of sneezing myths that people still follow. Also, according to some old wives’ tales, an itchy nose predicts that a letter is to arrive soon. It is, however, not clear whether this superstition includes receiving email as well. Other legends say that if your nose is itching, then that means you’re going to kiss a fool. So, think of a solution real fast, and keep your nose from itching.


I’m sure most of us have kept our broken teeth under the pillow, hoping for an exchange of tooth to money. Cuteness aside, if you still do this, assuming that you are a “grown-up”, you need to go for a mental checkup. (Also, tell me if that exchange works for old five hundred rupee notes). Many ancient civilizations held strange beliefs of magic practitioners using your baby teeth to exert control over you against your will. Therefore, the disposal of baby teeth was incredibly important in these civilizations to ensure that teeth would not fall into the wrong hands. Beware of such practitioners, they might misuse your 15 year old tooth, and then you won’t be able to exchange the old notes.


Are you worried about the number of Christmas gifts you’ll receive this year? Are you hoping that it won’t be nil this year, as well? Well then, I have a solution to relieve (or increase) your stress. Count the white spots on your finger nails (include the toe nails too, if you’re getting real desperate) just before December 25th and their total will reveal the number of presents you’ll be getting. Easy, right? You might want to buy a few white markers, though, if you’re short of the white spots. Also, if you’ve finally decided to clean those dungeons of hell, then file them on a Monday, as it brings good luck. Trust me, you want all the good luck you can get from those dead thick layers of calcium.

Superstitions are baseless analogies created by our ancestors. There is absolutely no scientific proof behind them. When you understand their origins, you will find that they may have made sense years ago, but now, they mean nothing at all. For example, in ancient times, the spilling of salt would have been unlucky, because salt was so rare and expensive. Most superstitions are based on predicting the future in some way or the other, but good luck, wealth and happiness can’t be predicted by anyone or anything. You can, however, plan and work hard to secure the future that you want and, that is no myth at all.

Despite all this, there is but one last thing to be said,

On the belief that if you do not share and like this Facebook post,

Then sure as day in twenty four hours you’ll inevitably end up dead.