A bit of crossing the fingers and sometimes toes, for good luck is okay, but there are also some very irrational beliefs that get a little too much to digest. We speak to some Bollywood actors who share their take on superstitions, the one they follow, and which ones they find most bizarre.
Ever since I’ve joined this industry, or ever since things have started going nicely for me, I’ve started doing this touchwood thing. If you have a conversation with me, I’ll probably touchwood at least five times during the course of it. And if I don’t find some wood, I find myself knocking on my head. It’s the funniest thing because of the number of times I do it in a day. Touchwood, touchwood…!
There was this T-shirt I had once, and the day I wore it, I got into an argument with someone. I didn’t think about it. After a few days, the same thing happened, so that night when I came back home, I came to this conclusion that it was because of the T-shirt. I don’t believe in superstitions, but still ended up thinking this.
We all are superstitious in the film industry. More than me, my wife (Maheep) finds them strange. I don’t like many things, for instance, not being called from behind when I’m going for something important. I tell my wife and daughter (Shanaya) to not drink water while leaving from home. They still have this habit of doing it.
For me, the weirdest one is the one where a black cat crosses your path. People would always tell me to be careful, but since childhood, I’d purposefully cross a black cat’s path. Nothing happens, you are your walk and talk.
I find it strange that when a girl is on her periods, even in modern houses, they’re told to not go inside the kitchen or cook. It happened with me recently. I don’t know from where did this originate, that you’re not supposed to touch anything, or visit the temple. When I was in school, I would go to Vaishno Devi every year, but when I’d get my periods, I’d be told to not go, and I wouldn’t since I was too small to understand the reason.
There’s this superstition that if someone steps over you, your height will stop increasing, or will affect it. I find that very funny because for people who stay in cities, where the buildings are tall and have multiple floors, so koi na koi toh guzrega na aapke upar se. Hawai jahaaz bhi toh upar se jaata hai. I find it strange, and I’m very curious to know which creative person would have come up with this superstition.
Something that I find bizarre is people hanging a horse shoe on the door. It’s apparently supposed to bring good luck but I don’t know how that’s even possible. There’s something else that I don’t understand is people saying ‘God bless you’ after sneezing. They believe that the soul leaves the body for half a second. I find it weird.
I’ve seen a lot of people stopping their cars or changing their path when a black cat crosses the street because it might lead to a bad omen.I don’t get it. It’s just a poor animal. How can an animal, which just walking by, bring bad luck to you. The cat is probably more scared than us humans in such cases.
Whenever a cat crosses path, people stop and walk three steps left and three steps right, and then spit before walking forward. Though I also do it may be because that’s something I see people around me doing it, but I find this practice extremely weird.
I’ve always been made to believe that you must cut your nails whenever you need money and feel rich. Isn’t that weird (laughs)? My father used to say this and it kind of stuck in my brain. So you’d always find my nails chipped. I even tell my daughter that she must cut her nails to let luck shine upon you.
Karan Singh Grover
When someone says ‘touchwood’ in the middle of a long conversation, how are they preventing bad intentions from coming to them or anyone else by saying that word and then touching wood? Don’t you think by saying that word, you’re actually making space for an intention that’s not so good?
This is something that I picked up from my dad. When you’re leaving the house or getting into the car, and someone sneezes, it’s considered a bad omen. It’s really funny. This is something that he’d follow and I’d do the same. I wait for a couple of seconds every time someone sneezes, even if it’s me, before I’m starting something, it has become a habit.
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