“Wear a bobby pin in the back of your head, and a kala tika behind your ear” said my mom-in-law, “and this thread around your wrist”.
She handed me what looked like a normal black thread but was rumored to have super powers that would control people’s bad vibe towards me. I smiled and realized looking at the watch there wasn’t enough time to go over this again. I was running late for office and the office cab driver called several times to remind me that he had arrived.
I was in the 7th month of my pregnancy and was exponentially growing each day. My foot size had grown by 2 inches and the flexible Paragon slippers weren’t fitting either. My feet had swollen tremendously to the point that my OB/GYN Dr.Kankal had taken some photographs to share with her patients. She wanted to boast about how I still travelled to office despite a heavy body and swollen feet to others. She was very supportive of me working (office) as much as I could and I was determined to too. Everybody around me grew anxious and nervous as I passed each day being pregnant. They would fret about my feet to almost everyone who visited or even called while I would literally put them up and relax.
I was active throughout my pregnancy managing office, travel and everything in between. I would clean, cook and do everything like a normal person. I would return the stares of strangers who couldn’t take their eyes off my belly. This was a phenomenon that I could never understand but it never bothered me to the extent of wearing some extra shield in the form of threads to protect my baby.
I’ve been a spiritual person who never believed in rituals. I never argued with anyone or had armchair discussions with people on religion or rituals to prove my point, as long as I wasn’t forced to perform them. I’m a firm believer of science and never followed any superstition. My hands were all empty with just an engagement ring and no threads or rings crowding the space.
None of these rings or threads brought prosperity or money as was promised by their promoters. Most of them were gimmicks to fool people. Superstition is a powerful tool to make people not believe in themselves and their karma. It has created a hysteria in people to fast forward their luck and by no tangible proof. It finds its major audience mainly in the poor or the rich people who would rather spend all the money on some threads or rings than work hard or save it.
No matter how hard I stood my ground, I was always warned about other pregnancies. Most deliveries in the family were premature due to unfortunate health scares. Everyone had assumed that I too would have a premature baby looking at how huge and swollen I looked. There is no right answer to what could save a health scare during this phase. Surely, not these tools that everyone assume will act like an extra protection. Proving the statistics is unfair too because there is only so much that is under our control.
During my entire span of pregnancy, I did yoga, took long walks and always ensured to eat well. Even when I took my maternity break a month prior to my due date I read books, wrote, watched movies, listened to music. I figured that if I spent my days with a happy mind it would make the pregnancy a lot pleasant and keep the baby happy and healthy. I believed in my own karma that would pave way for my future. If something had to happen it would even if I had a humungous coral ring adorned. At least this way I won’t be living in constant fear.
Life is beyond these phenomena, especially these superstitions that we have conditioned our mind to believe even more than believing in ourselves.