Last February was my brother’s wedding. I was decked up for the occasion. From makeup to hair to dress to footwear, everything was just perfect. I received so many compliments from almost everyone who attended the wedding, making me feel so conscious about every eye that was staring at me. But more than I, my mother became more watchful or rather worried. She signalled my aunt in the marriage hall to bring something. Five minutes later, she came straight to me with eyeliner and put a tika at the back of my ear. If it wouldn’t have been in the middle of so many people, I would have never allowed her to do that!
Three functions were now over that afternoon, and on the same day in the evening we had to go with the baraat. I didn’t have any meal that day or the previous day, except for some healthy munching here and there, as I was quite busy welcoming the guests. Being the elder sister and being very close to my brother, I had to be a part of all the major rituals.
But as the day progressed, I started to feel extremely uneasy. My stomach started hurting very badly and I must have vomited more than ten times. I didn’t know what was wrong nor did others. My brother, parents and all the relatives were so much worried seeing me in that condition. I took medicines but there was no improvement. The function was about to start in the next two hours and I didn’t have any strength to move, let alone getting ready or doing some other work. I told my brother that I won’t be able to make it for his baraat. He gave me a look indicating, “Come what may, you’re coming!” I heard all those present in my house saying this was due to an evil-eye and someone has to do the ‘nazar utaarna’ thing for me to be alright.
My father, brother and I do not believe in this evil-eye concept. But the situation was such that we couldn’t deny people who were trying their remedies.
So an elderly aunty was called by a relative. She came near to me with some salt in her fist and was murmuring something. Having placed her fist over my head for about thirty seconds, she started circling her arm around my body for some time while I, dad and bhai exchanged looks. All this didn’t take more than two minutes. As she was done, she confidently said that now she’ll be fine. And guess what? Some 10-15 minutes later I did start to feel better! Half an hour later I got ready and two hours later I was dancing in the baraat as if nothing had ever happened.
For me, it was the effect of medicines and for all the others it was an evil-eye. Two days after the baraat, I fell sick again and was hospitalized for a week. But that’s a different story!