In a world where people are encouraged to follow their dreams, we brown people are asked and encouraged to follow our superstitions. Going as far as believing that a certain piece of cloth is lucky or unlucky for us! I was a relatively happy child when I was 10 or 11 years old and used to laugh a lot. On everything and anything! that’s when my Ama told me, “Jo jitna hasta hy usay baad mein utna he rona parta hy!” I don’t know whether she told me that because she believes it or just wanted to shut me up for being annoying but after that, I literally started measuring how much I laugh.
“Okay mein ny thora ziada has liya hai aj. Pata nahi kis baat pay rona parega ab?!” this is no exaggeration! Every time I laughed, my brain recalled what my mother told me and wahi battesi andar ho jati thi.
As I grew up, I realized I wasn’t the only victim of this mindset. It’s a Pakistani ritual! Literally, everyone I know religiously believes in multiple superstitions. One would think that getting a better education would eradicate this mentality from our youth, but no! I know people who believe in all kinds of bullshit. From the position of the footwear to eating habits, Pakistani’s have got it all covered. There are probably a thousand senseless things that our parents or grandparents made us believe. We all know the most common ones; black cat, the intruder! Or Having hiccups means ‘some loved’ one is missing you or not having milk after eating fish!
Here are a few amusing ones;
1. Comb dropping/Crow cawing
Apparently, if you drop your comb while combing your hair you might have some unexpected guests. This is something that I heard from my own cousin while I was doing my hair. I was shocked to hear how stupid people can be. Though there’s another way to tell about the arrival of unforeseen guests and that is by the crow’s caw. It is believed that if a crow comes near your home and caws a lot then you might have some visitors coming. So, it’s time to stop calling your friends and family to let them know that you’re on your way. Your brow bros got you covered!
2. Eham kaam pay janay walay ko pechay sy mat bulao
If you call someone who is going for an important job, chances are that they will have a bad day and won’t be successful in whatever important task they had to do. Getting a serious scolding from my daadi taught me that. I called my Aba when he was going to the airport to remind him of something and apparently calling him unleashed a demon who was with him all day and made sure that nothing goes well for him.
3. Shoe theory
So, there are multiple theories when it comes to shoes. If your slipper is upside down, it insinuates that there is going to be a huge fight in your family. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the dialogue, “chappal seedhi karo!” now we know what slippers being upside-down position means. But, there’s another one! if your slippers are on top of each other it means you will travel. So, for everyone who wants to travel and believes in superstitions, I recommend you start doing that.
4. Maghrib k baad darakh k pas khulay baal rakh k na jana
This is a scary one! Now I say this because I’ve heard some strange stories related to it. One of which was about a girl who had long, luscious and silky hair. One day she went out after Maghrib, without tying her hair. On her way, she passed through a tree where jins lived. One of the jins fell in love with her hair and decided to keep her. The girl died after being tortured by the jin!
I don’t want to believe that a jin will kill if you leave your hair untied after maghrib but the story did scare me to my core. So, ladies, tie those beautiful locks!
5. Itchy palm
THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE! Each hand has two different meaning and both of them are pretty comforting. It is said that if your right palm itches, it means you’re going to get money! Who wouldn’t like that?! The itch in the left palm denotes that you’re going to beat someone up! Now isn’t that comforting? Punching someone who annoys you? And then blaming the itch?
6. Eye twitch
Same as the palm, each eye has a different theory. Each eye predicts your future! But it’s a little complicated because it’s different for single and married people. So, if a single person’s right eye twitches, it indicates something bad is going to happen to them. However, if a married person’s right eye twitches, it brings good luck to them. So, if you’re single and your left eye twitches, yay!! But if you’re married and your left eye twitches, nay! 🙁
7. Cucumber theory
This one is funny! And I was guilty of believing it (blame my daadi). Rumor has it that cucumbers have poison in it but there is a way to take out the poison. All you have to do is cut both the edges of the cucumber and rub each side with that edge which makes the cucumber poison-free. I unfailingly followed that but then I grew up.
8. The ultimate winner – Nazar
I’m not going to deny that evil eye doesn’t exist. It does and one should always keep themselves protected by duas. But then again, there is a difference between keeping yourself safe from Nazar by duas and actually being so fearful because of it that you stop living your life the way you want it. I know people who are so paranoid of the evil eye that they deliberately stop themselves from being happy, from sharing their happiness with others. “Nahi usay nahi bata rahi, nazar laga dege.”
The most common thing that I’ve noticed is that Pakistani people don’t post their baby’s photos on social media. Be it Instagram, Facebook or even WhatsApp because of ‘Nazar lag jaege’. With all due respect to their choice for their own kids but what’s the difference between a Pakistani baby and a European baby? I see my newsfeed flooded with their baby photos and videos and don’t see them complaining, “Haye meray munnay nu nazar lag gaye!”
These are only a few of what our society believes in. there are literally a thousand more! We’re living in the 21st century and its time we leave all these superstitions behind us. Educate ourselves better for a better living for us and for future generations.
Read our take on ‘The Kind of Men women choose to marry’ here.
For more funny superstitions, watch this video here.