4.30 pm: I am sitting in the garden with my family and friends when a passing crow flying 40 feet above, decides to defecate and like a guided missile, the shit falls on the baby’s head. While I am horrified thinking about the germs playing hide and seek in her hair, everyone around me starts saying ‘So lucky na’ and ‘What a lucky baby!’ Scrubbing this foul mess from her hair, I start thinking about all the strange, magical things that we as Indians, believe in!
1 We Indians believe in the magic of Godmen:
Though currently most are not actively practising as they are filing appeals in their various rape/molestation/money scam cases, don’t worry they will soon be out on bail and ever ready to bless you with your heart’s desire. They will magically create flowers out of water, help you beget a child (with some very, dubious methods) and manifest sindoor out of thin air. But ladies, please maintain a physical gap of minimum six feet so that you do not sully, corrupt their innocent, tender minds. (And are thereby also safely out of lunging distance).
2 We believe in magical birth control:
(We say it’s God’s will which pretty much means — no birth control!) With a population of 1.237 billion, especially with some states producing a minimum of six children per couple, we are blessed with large numbers in case we need to invade any other country once we stop fitting into ours!
3 We believe in the magical black thread:
An ebony thread tied around ankles and wrists, to ward off the dreaded evil eye. People think foul thoughts about you and as it reaches your body and is going to destroy you, the black miracle thread snaps into action and violently repels such thoughts (with an atomic force field perhaps?). I have been trying to sell yards of it to the pentagon but surprisingly haven’t had much luck yet! (Honest confession — my children have one firmly wrapped on their wrist too!)
4 We have magic rings:
Yellow sapphire on the first finger, blue sapphire on the middle finger, an emerald on the little finger all contribute to wealth, health and prosperity. We even have a cure for hemorrhoids (take that you silly people who study medicine for 10 years!). Just wear an iron ring on the correct finger and wave bye-bye (albeit with a heavy ring-laden hand) to your piles.
5 We believe in the magic of the average Indian man:
Breastfed by mommy-dearest till he is five. (Where do you think the dialogue ‘maa ka doodh piya hai’ comes from). If weaned at the regular six months and thereby having no significant memory of the maternal mammary, our hero would have naturally replied ‘No dude! I think it was Amul tetra pack’. He struts through life burping loudly, spitting grossly and caking his face in his sister’s ‘Fair & Lovely’ when no one is watching and despite this, since most of us reading this have found one such strange, specimen to love, I am convinced it can only be magic!
6 We have magical families:
Despite all the above weird, odd and unbelievable things, the one thing that we do have which makes almost everything else work, is our family. These huge masses of mom, dad, chacha, bua masi, didi, nana, and nani all come into play throughout our lives. We never let our babies cry, we don’t leave home at 18 and we look after our parents (and their brothers, sisters etc) always.
So, let crows shit on your head, tie your black thread, put on a urine colored stone ring, pray to some odd baba, but hold on firmly to your magical family because that is truly the best part about being an Indian!