A few weeks back we had some acquaintances over for lunch, when a remark by one of the guests made me reevaluate my take on the whole concept of the evil eye.
I don't know what the beliefs are in the other parts of the world but in India, many believe in the concept of misfortune, ill health or injury due to the evil eye. We call it nazar. It is basically the occurrence of something untoward due to something being said or even a glare by someone.
One of the guests told us in no uncertain terms that M would fall sick. Yes, almost in those very words...
As a student of science, I don't want to believe in these things. Actually, in most cases, I don't but then there is also a part of me which does. I'm also certain that in moments of weakness the human mind rationalises these beliefs. But still, a part of me doesn't completely negate these beliefs either. Why that is also the reason why M wears a charm to ward off anything, well, evil.
Maybe it's the mother in me which makes it difficult to question these beliefs now. Then there is also a part of me which says what could be the harm in being careful?
Also, as I'm growing older, I find it difficult to diss every other belief of my elders and my culture. Yes, some I still find hard to digest but there are also those which I want to find out about more before forming an opinion. Basically, as long as a belief doesn't ostracise or hurt someone, I'm willing to listen before articulating my view on it. But more on that in some other post. Today, it's about the evil eye.
So, that day, one of the guests told us in no uncertain terms that M would fall sick. Yes, almost in those very words—that she would fall sick. S and I were left dumbfounded. We really didn't know how to respond to him. So, we let it pass. He was, after all, our guest and we concentrated on serving him and the others instead.
But two days after that, M did fall sick. We had almost forgotten this episode when she was suddenly down with fever and chest congestion. Of course, the changing weather and M going to crèche could be the reasons for this sudden ill health. And it's okay because kids get sick. Also, I rather have her learning and mingling in the crèche than be at home. But I just couldn't shake off the feeling that a prophecy had been fulfilled, a bad one indeed.
A lot of questions crept up in our minds as a result of this. Was it really the evil eye? Should we be more careful with M?
A lot of questions crept up in our minds as a result of this. Was it really the evil eye? Should we be more careful with M? Were we overreacting? We must be overreacting!
And then came some probably more sane questions. Who talks like that? We'd never go and tell someone that they or their child will fall sick. What kind of behaviour was that?
Well, whatever the reason, evil eye or not, we decided that this was a very wrong thing to say to parents. Maybe M falling sick was a coincidence and a result of the weather. In fact, I know it probably was. Kids fall sick all the time and frequently too when they are that young. So, maybe what he said had no bearing on what happened to M. Maybe there is no evil eye. But it certainly was an evil kind of thing to say that my child will definitely fall sick. Don't you think?
Tell me, do you believe in the evil eye?Suggest a correction