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Sep
10
2012
The Evil Eye
Author: Aruna

It goes something like this:  someone (either a stranger or even a friend/relative) looks upon another person with jealousy or envy – casting an “evil eye” upon that person, which may result in unexpected bad fortune or health to the recipient.  The person casting the eye does not have to do it intentionally – the envy may be something they cannot control or help but feeling.

Do you believe is Dishti (Drishti)?  Or is it just a superstition?  Apparently children are more susceptible to “evil eyes” – perhaps because of their desireable youth, innocence and beauty.

My family talks about Dishti alot – enough for me to take pause and give this topic some consideration.  I think it is subconsciously the reason I avoid certain people, or don’t reveal much about good things that happen in our family.  (At least it keeps us humble.)

In our family, to ward off the evil eye, we use kohl (either on the baby’s eyes or as a small dot on the cheek).  There may be other rituals involving salt, pumpkins or mustard seeds, or having kids sleep with their head in a certain direction – I’m not sure.  All I know is that the concept of Dishti always lurks in the back of my mind…

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39 Responses to “The Evil Eye”

  1. NainaDG Says:

    As a modern parent, I actually find this superstition a bit problematic because this is one of the superstitions when taken to the extremem can lead to really restricted lifestyles for women and kids in India and those of us in the Indian diaspora in other countries. There are a lot of traditions, rituals and myths that I’m happy to pass on to my son, this however is not one of them. But I do enjoy your blog and store immensely but I felt the need to disagree on this one :)

  2. R Says:

    This is something that really bugs me! Being half Iraki, but born and brought up in Finland, I never had to deal with the whole “evil eye” craze – but now as I’m married to an Indian, it’s really making me scratch my head sometimes… Very recently our friends were chatting with their family in India, and they told them not to let their over one year old nephew eat melon off from the floor (as they saw him do) – their family scolded them for putting the “evil eye” on him and all that, but the very next day they called back and told that the boy now had diarrhea and they shouldn’t have let him eat the melon after all…..

  3. jocuri biliard Says:

    I live in Romania and we have something like this here too. There’s even a method involving holy water to get rid of the “curse”. It’s pretty strange.

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