Anagha was a 16 year old girl preparing for her 10th board exams. Her exams were about to commence in due course . She lived in Delhi with her parents, younger brother aged 7 and her widowed and orthodox grandmother.
The date of Anagha’s first exam finally arrived. Her first paper was Hindi. As she started for the examination centre, an ebony black cat with luminous green eyes happened to cross her path. Her grandmother overlooking from the balcony beckoned her to stop!
‘I don’t think this is the right time to start. Black things and especially a black cat portend ill luck. You can relax and start after 10 minutes,’ she said.
‘O granny, I’m already getting late, I shall miss my exam if I don’t start right away, my faring badly has nothing to do with a black cat crossing my path. My preparation is great, and I am going to come off with flying colours in my Hindi exams so please don’t stop me!’
A few days later Anagha’s brother Kinjal was playing in their garden. Granny noticed that the amulet tied around his neck was found missing.
‘O where is Kinjal’s amulet?’ granny searched around the house in mad frenzy. After an an hour of exhaustive search, it was finally discovered in a garbage pile.
‘How did it land here?’ granny enquired.
‘O granny, take heart! I threw it in the pile of mess! If a black cat can bring i’ll omen, then how can a black amulet be a harbinger of good luck??’ remarked Anagha.
Granny had no explanation for this query.
Anagha cleared her board exams with distinction in each subject, scoring the highest in Hindi!
While some superstitions in India has some scientific basis, others are illogical and untenable.
For instance, it is a common superstition in India, that one should not eat during a solar eclipse. If we dig deeper, this belief is founded on sound reason. During an eclipse, when the moon comes between the sun and the earth, it releases harmful radiations which releases bacteria that can affect the food we eat leading to indigestion and upset stomach. It is desirable to put a few tulsi leaves in the food and eat it as tulsi leaves neutralise the bacteria.
There is scientific basis for the age old belief which upholds that women, while menstruating should not visit temples. According to Ayurveda, menstruation is closely linked to the functions of the doshas. During menstruation, vata is the predominant dosha which causes the downward flow of blood into the earth. In a temple, the energy ( such as that of the puja table, offerings, altar) is flowing upwards. This can cause bodily discomfort.
Thus, some of are superstitions do have a scientific backing, still others can be passed on as fib. It is pivotal to study the cause and effect relationship before jumping to lame conclusions!