15 August, 2006

Superstition and technology

We come across stupid superstitions in every day’s life. People do not realize how much it affects the other person. Everyone needs to put themselves in other’s shoes and see things. In South India, there is a general superstition about widows that they should not come opposite when a person leaves home for good deeds. Many times in my life, I have seen my Mom being a widow humiliated because of these. Our street was quite long and there had been many occasions of people getting back into their house when they saw my mom walking on the road. This has irritated me a lot. Why cannot people think in the right sense? Most of such things were carried again by women folks. Also, widows are not supposed to be present when good things are happening. I was too young when my elder sisters got married. But during my marriage, I made it a point to have my mother on the dais at the time when I tied thali (mangalsutra). Poor woman, she has raised us with all the hopes of giving us a good future. She has sacrificed so much in her life, to bring up the children. Why should the society deprive her from such moments? Is it their fault of becoming widow? What sparked me this post was last night TV program.

There is a very good program in Jaya TV called ‘Achamillai Achamillai’ hosted by cine actress Lakshmi. She conducts it in such a nice way. It is something unique. They bring into light many women who have struggled in their life with difficulties. Few weeks before, I saw a fire victim in this program who had her face totally burnt. She was interviewed and she contributed her success to the surgeon who operated on her. The surprising factor was the surgeon too had met a fire accident at the age of 9 and had major surgeries during her school days. She had to forego her studies for 2 years. Her mother decided to bring her up in Medicine, and she took a vow to study well and get into medicine to become a Doctor. She explained the amount of difficulties she had to overcome and today she is the head of the plastic surgery department in CMC vellore and has dedicated her life to help fire accident victims. She has not married and remains single to sacrifice her life towards the field. I bow my head to her courage, determination and service to the society.

There was another interview of mothers of test tube babies and the program helped those mothers to explain their decision for undergoing this treatment.

Case 1: The parents had a wonderful and naughty boy who was studious too. Everything was going well and he was doing his Engineering. The boy met with an accident while going for a picnic and the parents were devastated. They felt their life has darkened suddenly. Since they were too old to have a child, they decided to adapt a child. But according to the funny rules for adoption, they were denied. It seems that the parents should be lesser to particular age, since it may be difficult for them to help the child due to old age. The couple were even denied houses for rent because they were considered to be unlucky. They wanted to rent their own house, since the thoughts of their son was haunting them. But none came forward to occupy the house, since they felt it was unlucky. Later the couple heard about the test tube technology and went for it and they were beaming with joy, with their kid next to them in the show. They feel that their son is reborn to them. Hell with other’s superstition.

Case 2: A lady who was disliked by her husband, wanted to live on her own after undergoing lots of difficulties. She suddenly felt that she should have a child to shower her affection. She thought she may not be affectionate with a adopted child. So she asked her old mom’s opinion about having a test tube baby. Her old mom agreed to her thought. The lady decided to bear a child with the help of a donor. I could not believe this. This is no where than in Chennai. She even told her ex-husband about it, but he did not respond. She was legally divorced. Inspite of this, she proudly said that she had kept her ex-husband’s name as initial for the child since she feels that he was her only husband. I just thought whether it was right! Who are we to decide this? What a revolutionary thought? I am speechless.

Case 3: A young couple who married against their parents wishes. But after 2 years, the boys parents agree and they live together. The new daughter-in-law could not bear the insults in her new house since she was not able to conceive. She was abused a lot by her own sisters-in-law. She decided to have a test tube baby.

Most of these innovative techniques were carried out by Dr.Kamala Selvaraj a renowned Gynaecologist in Chennai, India.

I am proud of these people and the technology.


Kavi said...

Interesting Post !

Technology is increasingly becoming the ring binder to many pages in life. Some of course use it to abuse, while others use to leverage it for a life !
Like Dr. Kamala Selvaraj !

indianangel said...

Nice post Bala. We need women who are more brave, and its extremely gratifying to see women doing great guns today! BTW we should all be proud of Nooyi on succeeding as the first woman CEO of PepsiCO

shruti said...

nice thoughts dear...
technology has change the face of the world...n all that nonsense thngs have no place in todays world..
well just hope ,we we will be able to see that world where no one is curse bcoz of thier destiny..
take care

ambi said...

//I made it a point to have my mother on the dais at the time when I tied thali (mangalsutra). //

i'm really proud on U of being frnd(co-blogger) of mine. i enquired abt You to my brother and he told abt your good nature. :)

Chakra Sampath said...

> there is a general superstition about widows that they should not come opposite when a person leaves home for good deeds

- When we used to live in Srirangam, there used to be a mami downstairs who was a widow. Everytime I start to college, she would rush into her house. I had no idea abt the reasoning until one day she didn't notice my footsteps and I happened to see her. For the rest of the day, she kept praying for my safe return. From that day, I made it a point to see her & go, despite her objections.

On the other extreme, there was a neighbour who ddidn't want his own mom to come opposit when he steps out. How cruel?

வேதா said...

//there is a general superstition about widows that they should not come opposite when a person leaves home for good deeds//
thats so cruel u know, and more cruel is that these things are more followed by women. dont they think for a second that this might even happen for them. i also make a point that not to follow these superstitions.

Cyberkitty said...

Ya, I heard about this widows not allowed at marriage functions superstition - someone came with a wedding card once to our neighbours house with names of only the non- widowed members and males of the family written on it.

Ravi said...

Superstitious beliefs probably originated with some actual reason but our people blow it out of proportion to actually cause agony. The case of widows, even today, is very pitiable. In one of the episodes of "Achamillai^2", a woman, who till then spoke so bravely broke down when she spoke about how other ill-treat her because she is a "vaazha vetti". I was really moved to tears. The more sadder side to this is that this has no distinction between people who are educated and illiterate - almost all behave the same way!

visithra said...

I am glad you decided to make sure ur mom was present at ur wedding

i never understand this stupid procedure - if u are born u will die - hence how can u discriminate - one day u too might get into such a situation

the cases were pretty interesting - uncommon in india but pretty common elsewhere

it takes time for ppls mentality to change unless we decide to help change them but practicing it ourselves no change will come

infertility, having test tube babies or adopting - theyre all the same - its just a need to love a soul

Jeevan said...

Very Nice post, today's science world is cutting the supersitions, even though its growing in some corner of this world. we can only cut that, to destroy it, everyone should think.

When my uncle dies, we decided not to give any way for Superstition, to enter our cousin sister’s life. Our society should change the views.

Barani said...

Very Interesting Post !! First time here. Got thru Ram's space !! Will be a regular here,


Loga said...

Very nice post!!

Thanks for sharing about the show!!

Its good to know how technology has improved

Chandrika said...


Technology is fast grwoing and it's really satisfying to see that more and more hapless women are finding a new lease of life...

Let me tell you about my experience... I was a patient of the doctor who had mentioned, when I was in India and I remained a patient for 5 yrs..I was just 17 when I consulted her for a common problem... Despite being a renowned doctor, I was misdiagnosed, put on medications which turned my life into a nightmare...I had another diagnosis done by a couple of other doctors and armed with the results, we confronted Kamala. She simply brushed it aside saying ' I have been taking these medications for the past 3 yrs and nothing's happening to me..What's wrong with you taking it?'...I was 17... She was somewhere around 50 and a mother...

Balaji S Rajan said...

Kavi - Thanks. I agree with you.

Indianangel - Yes we should be proud about such women.

Shruti - Yes. True that our aim should be see that world where no one is cursed because of their destiny.

Ambi - Thanks for your comments. Like minded people make friends.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Chakra - I have seen my mom too coming back within seconds of leaving home, just for the reason that someone in the street was leaving to work. I was fed up of such scenes. Shame on that guy, who did not want his own mum coming opposite just because she was a widow. Illiterates.

Veda - Good that young women like you are rebellious and discouraging such thoughts. Let a new generation come up.

Cyberkitty - Yeah.. I have come across such events. Some people used to bring blank cards and hesitate. Upon my volunteering to write my Mom's name, they used to write.

Ravi - Yes. I too remember that program and the lady. It was pathetic to see her crying and it was very emotional. I felt bad and was ashamed of the society. What else we can do?

Visithra - But these kinds of belief and practise still prevails in South India (as far as I know). Though of late many are changing, young women like you should do something among women to bring in more good thoughts.

Jeevan - You are a good thinker and pure. I appreciate your family's behaviour for not giving thought to any superstition when your uncle died.

Barani - Thanks for your visit. You have a nice voice brother.

Loga - Thanks for your comments.

Chandrika - Sorry to hear about your experience. Hope you are well now. I agree. Sometime bad experiences result to be a nightmare.

vibhor said...

there is lot of superstition that hurdles our growth..it can be realted to anything..people just follow because they have been followed by centuries..but now we are the one who has to change this...
we have to come forward for this by creating awareness n all..

hope to get a better world soon..

RandomThoughts said...

I do catch the show sometimes. YEs ,sometimes we ourselves are confused if we are superstitious or plain stupid.
I'm sure your mother must have felt so proud to have a son like you!

All the best to you.


Raji said...

It is really depressing to see such superstitions still exist.
One of our neighbours a 20 something woman, was denied entry in the temple on the day of vilaku poojai as she has lost her husband in a tragic road accident. It was heart breaking to see her leave:-(
The sadder part was except for my mom nobody objected to her being sent off.

MellowDrama said...

Well put. You know it is not just superstitions, it is also the thought that women do not amount to much, in our society. If you have lived in Delhi or Cochin you will know what I mean. And truly women are the worst misogynists...I mean most of these customs are followed by women. What about the monthly cycle ritual where the hapless 'victim' isn't allowed to enter the kitchen, touch a person who has bathed etc etc etc...IT SUCKS, and our generation HAS to make the change

dakaltiz said...

First time here Balaji..
A good post showing completely differnt angles of our society...

Superstition...hell w/ that.. guess itz comin down these days...

Techology...Good to see such brave ppl in our tied society...

Marutham said...

How have you been?
Hm.... A different post! :)

Case 1 & 3 - Very touchy!! :)

Hatsoff to those DOCS!

Balaji S Rajan said...

Vibhor - You said it rightly. People have been following it because it was there. Yes we need to change it.

Randomthoughts - Nice to hear that you too watch the show. It is exposing certain sections of people who are still backward.
Thanks for your compliments.

Raji - Very sad to hear about the young lady's sufferings. Time will change people.

Mellowdrama - Oh..yeah... I have always told that women are again the reasons for such things. Many have to change. Another one such a nasty thing is the rituals carried for a widow after her husband's death. It is a horror.

Balaji S Rajan said...

dalkatiz - Thanks for visiting and your comments. Superstition is ofcourse coming down nowadays.

Marutham - yes... case 1 and 3 were very touchy. It brought us tears in our eyes when we watched.

Barbienan said...

Very true balaji. People should overcome the superstitious belief and try to make things as practical as possible to have one's happiness sustained. I know what it all means to the so called "society" as long as they dont have their own experience

Balaji S Rajan said...

barbienan - Well said. Ah... society. Once they experience they shut their mouth.