Amma and friendly neighborhood maamis think that I have become a victim of the insidious evil-eye syndrome. Why else would I fall prey to an illness one week after I started working?
Of course, it is not scientific at all. But I know better than to argue with amma about such things. The more I will protest, the more will I anger her. And at any rate, it is nicer that she attributes my problems to an ambiguous and undefined third-party as opposed to me.
This is a first for me. I mean, all through my growing up years, I had done nothing special that would evoke the wrath of the evil-eyed-souls. I have witnessed, Nagam Akka (the oldest woman in our neighborhood) pay a visit to our house on a number of occasions to help T Anna (most frequently), S (somewhat frequently), Appa (rarely) and Amma (even more rarely) overcome this problem by drawing circles in the air around your head.
I have felt inadequate and under-accomplished.
But it has happened finally. A viral fever attack and I seem to have done the family proud. Nagam Akka came and did her usual whoosh-whoosh and gave me a two-rupee coin at the end of it.
Once the problem was identified and the solution administered, the next tasks involved the following:
a) Determining who the perpetrators are and their motives to subject me to the evil eye
b) To minimize recurrence of the problem
Now, why would anyone be jealous of me is a question that nobody has an answer to. Let us take the most notable event in my life in the recent past, my job. All my journalism school batch-mates have taken up more glam jobs and some of them are already on TV, reading the weather bulletin. And here I am, not even having the first byline to my credit. And given the large scale mirth that my work-place evokes among everybody, I don’t get the reason for envy. Something that is deep and hidden must be working for me.
To minimize recurrence, we do what good Tamizh people do. Break coconuts. Go to important and large temples, preferably in the neighboring city or state and pledge to break coconuts. When done with much feeling and immense display of strength, god will stop bothering you. Wait, god will bother you anyway, she will just make sure that the people bothering you will desist in the future.
Amma says, this Saturday we shall visit the temple at Vadapalani and break a hundred coconuts. We don’t want god to think that we will only visit temples in T Nagar, so we picked the closest neighborhood. Besides, it is a Lord Muruga temple, the true Tamizh god.
Of course, one will break only two or three coconuts, to merely establish to god that the intent exists. For the remaining ninety odd coconuts, a suitable valuation is done, which has no correlation with the market price for coconuts and is paid in cash.
I am already feeling better, thanks to the medicines of Dr Prabhakar, the wicked doctor and Gomathi Maami’s Kashayam, so I am not sure, why god needs to be subjected to this tengai display of love.
People normally fling the tengais when something truly path breaking happens in their lives. You know things like, dream job, gothram migration, pro-creation, world peace and so forth. And here I am, doing all that for a five-day viral fever.
Doesn’t god deserve more complex problems?