I grew up in a family where blind beliefs were deeply rooted in our culture. My parents followed various superstitions, and I often found myself questioning their validity. As I grew older, I started to distance myself from these beliefs and realized that they were baseless and only served to hold us back.
One of the beliefs I encountered was the notion of avoiding two bad times in a day, which is practiced in Tamil Nadu. These bad times, known as Raahu Kaalam and Yemagandam, occur every day for a period of one hour and thirty minutes each. People avoid these times by not leaving their homes or starting any new work. While this belief may have been useful in the past when agriculture was the primary occupation, it is not relevant to our modern lives. Since moving to Hyderabad in 1972, I have stopped observing these bad times and have not faced any negative consequences.
Another belief I encountered was the idea of moving a car to the front before reversing, which supposedly brings good luck. My father never followed this practice and would start the car in the garage and immediately begin reversing. However, many people believe that moving the car forward a little distance before reversing will bring success in all their endeavors. I have never subscribed to this belief as it is baseless and has no scientific explanation. I have observed that Westerners do not blindly follow such beliefs like we do in India.
The belief in the number nine is another superstition that I have never followed. In India, people often try to get the number nine in their car registration numbers as it is considered lucky. However, I have never given much thought to this belief and have chosen registration numbers that are easy to remember. For example, my Rajdhoot motorbike had the registration number AAY2002, while my Fiat car had the number ADX9449. My ambassador car had the number ABR 2882, and my Matador van had the number ABR 7337. Recently, I bought a Nissan Micra car with the registration number TS09 6886.
In conclusion, blind beliefs have been a part of our culture for centuries, but it is essential to question their validity and not let them dictate our actions. As for me, I have learned to distance myself from these beliefs and base my decisions on logic and reason rather than superstition.
I will share more of my experiences in the next article.
J N Daamodhar