20 November 2006

A few habitually superstitious moments!!

Narayana Murthy started watching the cricket match. He saw Indian wickets stumbling against Pakistan. Fed up, he went in and slept. Morning he grabbed the newspaper with a coffee. He was surprised to learn about the Indian victory the previous night. Analytical as he is, tried to find out the reason for this fortune turnaround. He found none. He declared in a press meet, which he attended that day, that because he did not watch the later part of the match, Indian team got all the luck that was required and he declared that India wins every time he stops following the match after a while. No one knew that winning a cricket match was as easy as that!!

My classmate, she always used to stand first in my class, every semester. Once, probably in 6th semester, that day we had received the previous semester’s results. She had topped again. We all started hunting for her to pass our congratulations. She was not to be found anywhere. When enquired with her roommates also we didn’t get to know about her whereabouts. She was seen in the college previous day, but was not present on that result day. It was late in the evening; she came rushing to the college, to see her results on the notice board. I spotted her then, congratulated and asked her about her whereabouts from morning. She told me, “I get weird results when I see it with a different pair of dress. I learnt in the morning about the result being displayed today and also I realised that I had left this dress at home. So rushed home and got it to see the result.” Would the result be different had she been wearing a different set of dress that day?

When Ganguly got out that day, he could not believe India was loosing again on a big final match. Having played excellently throughout the tournament, he was a bit disappointed. He sat on the couch in the player’s lounge thinking about this particular set back for his team. He had his T-shirt removed in a relaxing way. As soon as he removed his shirt, he saw kaif getting a hit to the fence. He sat there itself, in the same posture for next few minutes. Yavraj also started getting runs, both of them playing incredibly well. Someone asked Ganguly to meet a visitor. He refused to get up. He didn’t want to move because had he moved an inch from that place, his team would get unlucky and loose the game out. He refused even to wear the shirt. He remained in the same posture until his team won. He thought he brought good luck to the team by sitting on that couch bare-chested. Wouldn’t have India won had he gone out to meet his visitor or had he worn the T-shirt?

One of my friends bought a particular shirt to be worn for the final round of the interviews at a big company. He was wearing it on that day, but was rejected later by that MNC. Disappointed, he attended another big interview a few days later. He wore the same shirt in that interview as well. But unfortunately he was not selected that too. Next thing he did was to change his business attire and that particular shirt which was bought a few days back was thrown out of his house. And yes, he got a job at the next interview he attended!! This attire change brought him any luck?

I had to call up one of my friends, dialed his number on my mobile, but got connected to a wrong number. The guy who was on the other side of the phone was a fresher giving some interviews it seems. As I got a hint that I was speaking to a stranger, I was getting ready to hang the call. Same time, he said, “Please hold Sir! I’m getting another call.” He put me on hold and started conversing on the other call. Annoyed, I hung it. Soon, 5 minutes later, he called me and said, “Hey! You proved me lucky man. I got the job!! I’ll give you a big party.” And then we became friends. Would he have not got the job, hadn’t I got the wrong connection?

I used a particular pen, gifted by one of my uncles, when I was in school, to write my exams, any exam. I used the same pen for my 10th, II PU, all the eight semesters of my engineering. I cleared all these in flying colours. I was so fond of that pen, for all these reasons. I would take it out of my bag only for the exams. One day after my 8th semester exam, I was displaying it to my friends with an unprofaned pride and was telling them all the stories associated with my little wonder. Then, while handing it to one of them, it fell down and broke. My treasure lost forever. That day was gloomy for me of course; but gloomier, that day was, when I had my GATE exams. I cleared that exam, but not with flying colours which was required in it. I missed my long-served mate that day very badly. Was he to do anything in my GATE exams?

These things are just about a few of the experiences of superstition I’ve come across. Of course there are loads of such examples, I’m sure.
Are we really DUMB to follow anything so faithfully like these? Or is it just COOL to be following some ritual like these? Or is it an inherent fear in each individual that makes us follow something superstitiously? Or is there anything that makes us US, only if, we follow something special like that?

No answer can be found for these things. We follow something blindly and having a complete faith in that exercise that it’d bring us good LUCK is a mystery that has stood out of unraveling path.

I think superstitions make us disciplined being. We draw a virtual boundary around us with superstitions, if we follow it, be in this boundary, we’ll be contended about our work. If we try outside the box of our superstition and fail at the first effort itself, we start blaming ourselves for going out of our boundary. Isn’t it true practically?

If a hotel has seen more number of suicidal deaths in one particular room, does it have anything to do with it being numbered 13?

This particular theory haunts even the most educated, belonging to any faith, caste, culture. There’s no difference between an atheist and a theist in observing a superstition in individual terms. It changes from one individual to another. A followed superstition may not be same in case of two individuals. Some people just follow what their elders tell them superstitiously, some others don’t listen to their elders, just frame their own superstitions. It is actually a complex psychological construct that determines our superstition levels. And it purely depends on the individual tastes.

Let me here not put my own ideas whether following a superstition is good or not. Let us discuss more about such experiences than debate whether it is good or not. Let’s just share our experiences and have fun.


Shruthi said...

Nice post, Srik! I think all of us have our own little beliefs.. and we stick on to them more out of habit and comfort than any belief of superstition :)
I know a girl who was a rank student in tenth... so for all her exams even in engg, she wore one and the same dress, which she had worn for her tenth exams. :) If she hadn't studied one word, but worn that dress and written the exam, would she have done as well? ;)

December Stud said...

Cool Post Srik....I bet all of us have some trait. The most common I ahve seen and heard is this "lucky dress" thingy. It's amazing to see how the dress brings all the luck. I ahve ehard of stories where people didn't wash their clothes because the luck would wash away or somethign. Now, that's a drag....:)

opinionated indian said...

Nice post... and as DS said, and I wholeheartedly agree, we all have that trait to a greater or lesser degree.

I used to do that a lot during cricket matches. Never get up when two [indian] batsmen were going at it coz everytime someone moved or changed position, one or both got out. Couldn't understand it... but thats how it was.

Keep writing...

Srik said...

That was really something to be noted. That girl must maintain her physique not to be healthy, but to suit to that particular dress. I guess she passes it on to her children as well :-) Well...I think people are crazy and have a reason for it, of being LUCKY.

:D:D:D Don't wash the clothes?? Mite be the odour is the factor that make it LUCKY? ;)

Yes, everyone has his own habitual ritual, which keeps him in the boundary of a particular discipline. Yeah that cricket stuff has been too much sometimes.

It happened once that India was playing Zimbabwe in a world cup tie. As usual, Indian batting collapse was getting everyone frustrated in the hall; but everyone praying for an Indian come back. Hall fell silent when one wicket(I waguely remember it was Jadeja's wicket) I loudly announced that India was destined to lose the game. Everyone started bashing me from behind. And finally India lost by 3 runs or something. From then on, until India lost the world cup, I was not allowed to talk inside the hall, this punishment was for bringing bad luck to the team with one "ADDA BAAYI"(Wrong uttering which ultimately triumphs) ;)

bellur said...

Cricketers have some strong beliefs that they follow while playing. Here are some superstitions that some players believe/d in:

Sachin Tendulkar wears his left pad first.

Sourav Ganguly carried a photo of his Guru in his pocket when he was playing. (Purposely wrote this sentence in Past tense).

Steve Waugh carried a red handkerchief in his left pocket, which was given to him by his late grandfather.

Phil Simmons had a cross attached to his sweater.

Mahela Jayawardhena keeps kissing his bat, while batting, when he is going fine.

Jonty Rhodes kept everything neat and tidy about him when he padded up and waited to bat. When his teammates rolled little lumps of paper and dropped them beside his chair, Jonty studiously picked them up.

During the 10 wicket haul taken by Anil Kumble, Sachin used to give Kumble's sweater and cap to the umpire before he was to bowl an over, and every time Sachin did it Kumble got a wicket in that very over.

Roshan Mahanama kept touching his bat to his chin when he was batting.

Craig Evans always used to put on his left pad ahead of his right.

When Grant Flower and Mark Dekker went out to open the innings together, one always said to the other, "I hope you get hit on the head," to which the stock reply is, "Same to you."

Mohammad Azharruddin used to wear a 'tabeez' around his neck whenever he came out to play.

Jimmy Amarnath always carried a red handkerchief while fielding.

Sir Geoffrey Boycott would always want to be alone in the changing room thinking things over before he went out to bat, even if his mom knocked, he would ask her to go away.

Imran Khan wore a tiger T-shirt in the finals of '92 World Cup as a matter of superstition.

Sunil Gavaskar always used to ground his bat first before bringing his right foot into position, while taking guard.

Loved reading this post.


December Stud said...

Talking of crcket, who can forget Srikkanth and his superstitions...everything from his name to his sky gazing.

Srik said...


As usual, Take a bow Mr.Encyclopedia. That was an incredible list, cant ask for more.

But u missed one thing, what DS has added.

Thank you both for the information.

Srik said...

I think
Grant Flower and Mark Dekker and Sir Geoffrey Boycott had weird habits right? :D

Wonderful to know these.

vijay said...

Srik, Good post... RK good one...

I guess these superstitions come without training. My son won't watch a cricket match on DD if it is being simultaeneously shown on another channel. He says everytime he watches on DD, Indian batsmen get out..

Veena Shivanna said...

I was talking to one of my friend's mom about the book 'Devaru' by Moorthy Rao & she was interested to read it as she is rational in nature. I told her that I beleive just in GOD & nothing more than this(Handwriting, jothisya, vaastu, good luck etc.,) its a psychological comfort one gets it when he feels helpless & awesome is that he turns out a good achiever. The beleif in him has given him all the boast to achive, all said & done whether its lucky dress or the pen, result is important. I would say all these changes your state of mind & drives towards the positivity. This was too logical a comment. I do admire the culture, beleifs & customs which has reasoning behind it. Like doing pooja everyday brings me a descipline in my life & gives me some time to spend alone & meditate. If somebody can give me a reason why I should beleive in what astrology say, I definitely don't have any problem.. Let me not forget to say this to you.. Srik, it was a fantastic post. Mohan has already complimented you on your way of expressing your thoughts. Its was too long a post, I almost skipped few lines guessing them on myself. The writings are more better when its brief & crisp. Examples can be as less as 2.. I know when you get yourself attached to pen, its hard to resist. I end up writing long emails which people skip sometimes based on their time & energy at that moment.! ;-)

Have a great day Srik! :-)

Srik said...

Vijay, Good one.. :)
Poor guy Nikhil. How would he know, otherwise also Indian batsmen wont stick to the crease? ;) LOL..

Point noted. I'll try to keep it short and cool.
But here, I was just providing some of my experiences so that people share more of such things..

Vani said...


I too have a particular dress which I have worn and fared well in every interview and exam so far.

Earlier I used to begin the Monday of each week, wearing white, anf my days would go fine.

But one thing I have noticed about myself, call it superstition or not, is that doom awaits on the days I wear red. I have subconsiously avoided red clothes from quite a long time.

nowadays, for lack of white clothes, I wear any color, but so far nothing untoward has occured.

I guess it's just that we tend to associate failures or success withe tangible qualities, and so stick on to some beliefs, however rational or irrational they may be.

Srik said...

Oh you... people, now we know what gift Vani expects from us, right?

Yeah Vani, You said it.
We try to associate our misdeeds to something tangible and get on in life. That may be another way of powering ourselves up? May be!!

Anonymous said...

reminds me of an akbar-birbal story:

there was this courtier (janitor?) that everyone avoided meeting first thing in the morning, because he was supposed to portend ill-luck.

akbar decided to test the theory. one day, akbar made sure that he saw that guy first thing after getting up. that day went really bad for the emperor.

so, he put the dude on death row. dude appealed to birbal for help. birbal taught him what to say at his hearing.

when his case came up for clemency, dude told akbar: "your face brings worse ill-luck than mine. at least, seeing my face, only your day was ruined. my very life is being taken away, just because you were the first person i saw that day!"

he was set free.

- s.b.

p.s.: having said all this, i have to confess that i am not immune to superstition :-)

Srik said...

hmmmmm s.b.,

Thats an interesting story. I remember reading it in Amarchitrakatha magazine looooong ago :)

Yes, no one can say that he is completely immune to superstitions. Good or bad, its a part of one's life. Until our superstitions doesnt harm anyone else, I dont mind seeing people follow something superstitiously.

Veena Shivanna said...

Ultimately Srik wants to do everything in life with a ps below it. "As far as its harmless to anybody!".. Thats a great thing actually ;-)

Srik said...

I want to do somany things in life, Veena.
Let me list them all in a main post sometime.

And my idea is to have it all done to see smile on all the faces around.. U know :-)

mouna said...

i am reminded of a short story by ruskin bond, where this young guy's bat is lost or has broken, am unsure, and is on a losing spree. he goes to a neighbourhood sports shop. where, the owner gives the boy his bat, and teaches him a new word, 'confidence' , the baoy does score well in his next match and his team wins

i guess this highlights our lack of confidence, or rather, the courage..... in whatever things we do....

ps: just thought of sharing it with you... :)

shark said...

Very nice post Srik...:) First time here. You have a very nice blog here!

Your blog title took me back to my PUC days..:) we were called "LLB"s.. Ladies of Last Bench ;-)

Ok, now on the post.. Have you read a book called "Alchemist"? To some extent it answers the questions as to why some of us superstitiously believe in some things, and why are they meant to work.

It's kind of hard for me to understand.. but my uncle used to say that if you strongly believe in something, it will truely come true... :) So may be these also work the same way!

Srik said...

It shows one has to be mentally prepared to face a thing well in advance. our ability to perform is directly proportional to our ability to think!!
Wonderful story. Loved it. Ruskin Bond..I admire his works.

First of all, welcome to my blog and thanks a lot for those good words :-).
Pls do keep coming back. You have a very informative gr8 page out there.

Yes, Alchemist, I have read. It says we need to read 'Omens' in nature.
But it cleverly doesnt give any details on how to read them, is there any pattern. Read them as you perceive.
And ur uncle has said the rest of the story, believe in what you believe is true and that would reap with good results.
Wonderful analysis. Thanks again :-)

Srik said...

you doesnt look like an LLB ;) for all those studious and wonderful posts.

Sometimes its true that LLBs are more creative.

Veena Shivanna said...

"And my idea is to have it all done to see smile on all the faces around.. U know :-) "
I am glad that you are targetting something which is quite difficult.
"All" the faces is the difficulty here.. I wish I live so long to see that day, Good Luck!

Srik said...


Thanks for the wishes..
I believe its not a hard task at all!!

Anonymous said...

A great set of observations. Basically consider that when we shift our responsibility of something happening to weird things like dresses etc our mind tends to get clean/clear and our actions in that particular item will be that much more crisper like i can write the exam bettern having my lucky pen..here my result is not linked to my study but to the simple pen!!!

Give me insight to bhagavadgita where the eseence preached by lord is do your stuff and leave results to me...

So all such lucky charms are indirect use of bhagavadgeetha in action,


Srik said...


Thanks a lot for that wonderful technical analysis of the situation!!

Wonderfl. It shows we have all the answers in Geetha..and we dont usually look at it.

A very good observation. Take a bow from me..man!! :-)

Priya (mpriya@wordpress.com) said...

nice post..yes the "lucky dress thingy" is some thing one of my topper classmates in college used to follow very strictly..he had this very wierd looking purple shirt (with lot of criss cross designs), which he would wear to all the exams..dont know if he would have fared well without that shirt ;)..but that shirt ooof a definite eye sore (horrible)...

P.S: have blogrolled you

Anand Balaji said...

An impressive post Srik. You're truly gifted. Give yourself a pat on the back!
I have a few superstitions that I carry out religiously... but I'd rather not pen them here!