Of Superstitions…and Lizards: A Guest Post by Vidya Sury

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Vidya Sury

Vidya Sury is a freelance writer, professional blogger, a happy mom and a social media enthusiast. She loves coffee, music, photography, cooking and writing about health, DIY and craft projects. Vidya lives in India. She dotes on her son and thinks the sun shines when he smiles. She adores spending time with family and friends and working from home.

She used to carry a mini lipstick carousel, wear four-inch heels and change formal clothes four times a day for her corporate job (15 years ago). Now, she delights in working at home where she carries glue sticks and spare pencils and is able to dress casually and comfortably. Vidya firmly believes that there is a special place in hell for women who won’t help other women. She also has two left feet.

Find her on Twitter: @vidyasury

Find her on Facebook & here’s her fan page.

Her blogs are herehere, and here.

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I thought this would be a cool post for tomorrow, considering it will be Friday the 13th – but since a post was already scheduled for that date, I thought hey, why not usher it in with this one. And who knows, you could be reading this on Friday the 13th anyway, eh?

I’ve never believed in superstitions, although I may on occasion, especially when I’m anxious or worried. Like when my mom was in the hospital and I’d think, if that door opened before I counted to ten, she’d be okay, knowing very well that it doesn’t happen that way. Sigh. If the traffic light is green as I approach it, I take it as a good omen.

Still, I’m not crazy about superstitions. No Friday the 13th fears for me,  considering I come from a land full of superstitions.  Some of them are downright hilarious. For example, one month of the year is considered inauspicious so people usually don’t start new businesses, move, or make big investments, etc.  Hmm. And? With newlyweds, the bride is sent to her mother’s house to stay apart from her husband to prevent the chance of them “getting together” and conceiving as a result. Not auspicious. No-o.  I’m sure there’s a story behind this but it obviously doesn’t make sense in today’s world.

In 1992, we suddenly had to move, but wherever we went house hunting for a rental, the owners sternly told us there was nothing doing. We had the option of paying rent for that month, and occupying the next month – when the stars were aligned and ready for us. I remember thinking – what if we did move? As it happened, we did. It seemed better to brave the wrath of the stars and move than be stuck on the street with our stuff.

After a month in our new house I got a stupendous job offer. I took it. So much for the “inauspicious” move! I also lost a boyfriend – our relationship was turning toxic and we amicably decided to “remain friends.” As if.  Just goes to show you.

We have superstitions about lizards. Geckos are considered sacred. There’s a temple in South India where a massive brass lizard is embedded on the ceiling. There’s a little staircase leading to it so we can go stroke it to  -  ahem! Get rid of our sins. That’s all fine, but in the house?  Can’t stand them.  I know it’s inevitable when there are trees around. We have this belief about the effects of a gecko falling on us. I’m sure what really happens is the poor dude loses his balance and falls. And depending upon which part of the body he falls on, there’s a belief attached to it:

  • If on the head – death
  • Face – you’ll soon see relatives
  • Eyebrows – royal favor (eh?)
  • Upper lip (ugh!) – loss
  • Lower lip – gain
  • Nose – sickness
  • Right ear – long life
  • Right arm – health
  • Left arm – sexual enjoyment (oooh yeah!)

I could go on forever.  Then there’s the chirping of the lizard – depending on which direction and day of the week, it has various meanings.

The bottom line is that I’m afraid of them. I remember how I woke up one morning and went to the bathroom. I wasn’t wearing my glasses. But you know how it is with us visually challenged folks. We have a seventh sense (or would that be the sixth?) – heh – whatever. I sense this movement – and like I always do, wonder if I had imagined it. Then it turns out, as I stare at that place behind the geyser tank – we have a guest.  An unwelcome one.  It moved. I was paralyzed. As if it understood my feelings, it sinuously snuck further up. But I couldn’t stand there all day and watch. I had lunches to cook from scratch and boxes to pack. So I just got on with it.

When my husband woke up later, I told him and he laughed. He pretended to bring it out of its hiding place by waving a broom. And that’s about it. Then it raced out of reach. Throughout the day, I kept opening the bathroom to peek in. What I intended to achieve, I don’t know. Maybe I wished it would magically disappear. Eventually it did. We believe that reciting a certain prayer keeps them away. Not. I know the prayer by rote now.

But you can’t beat this superstition: when we leave the house and the first thing we see is a widow or a cat (odd set I know. Meeow!), our mission will be unsuccessful. I don’t endorse this.

We have other beliefs like:

  • No haircuts on Fridays and Tuesdays
  • No sweeping the house after dusk
  • If the right palm is itchy for women, bad news
  • Left palm itchy, good news (also precursor to dry skin)
  • Just as we leave the house, if someone sneezes, woe betides you
  • No payments on Friday
  • Crow cawing? Expect visitors
  • Serious discussion. Lizard chirping. Good omen.
  • Eating sweet yogurt before going out for something important, like an exam, is good.

Then of course, are the broken mirrors, black cats and other stuff that brings bad luck. I have flouted everyone of these. The outcomes were not even remotely unlucky.

My personal take? Have faith in yourself and a higher power. It’s always the right time to do a good deed. Have you noticed how the effort you put in is always directly proportional to how lucky you are?

Do you believe in superstitions? If so, which ones? Leave ‘em in the comments!

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  • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

    Hey Erin, thanks for the space. :D Hugs!  I really appreciate it!

  • http://www.wordsxo.com/ Julia Munroe Martin

    I love this: “It’s always the right time to do a good deed.” Words to live by. And such a fun and funny post — great way to start the day, thank you!! (and you’ve even inspired me to write a post about Friday the 13th!)

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

       I would love to read that, Julia! Thank you for the kind comment!

  • Casey

    This is a really interesting post. I was surprisingly ignorant of Southern Indian superstitions. The one about a crow is particularly interesting, as it recalls an old English rhyme about magpies. :) 

    Thanks for sharing. 

    Casey

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

       Hi Casey. Crows are also considered auspicious – you know – every morning we offer a ladle of rice with some lentil and butter to the crow first, as soon as we cook. The crow is believed to be our deceased predecessor – and so, they’re served first. Then, when death rites (which are quite elaborate) are performed, until the crow eats the food offered to it, nobody eats. Some customs / beliefs are very interesting and promote hygiene. While others are conveniently man / woman made. :-)

      Thank you for commenting, Casey!

  • http://terrisonoda.net/ Terri Sonoda

    Lovely post, Vidya!  I have no superstitions to speak of. I think my OCD covers all that up. I’m too busy checking the burners on the stove multiple times to notice that lucky lizard. If he sneaks up on me, though, he’s getting squooshed, luck or no luck!    LOL

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

       :D Thanks Terri. Oh yes, I have that OCD too. Liz is always at the back of my mind and my folks tell me I am desperately trying to attract her. Yuck. Squooshed is good. Hugs!

  • Mary

    It is comforting to read I’m not the only one who falls prey to superstitions.  I certainly know better but I find myself saying a little mantra every time I enter the freeway, I never walk under ladders and if a day goes completely awry I can find lots of things I should have done or not done that would have prevented that from happening – none of them logical.  On the up side of it, I tend to dwell on the good signs too.  Like turning on the radio last night and hearing one of my favorite operas that I haven’t heard in years (the Aria from Bachianias Brazilieres by Villa Lobos) and deciding that was a good omen for my new film I’m in the process of completing.  It’s completely crazy.  So I appreciate your personal take.  Thanks! 

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

      Thank you, Mary, for the lovely comment. I think, like it or not, we all tend to do what you mentioned, whether we admit it or not. If, while leaving the house we stumble on something, we immediately come back into the house, sit for a second, have a sip of water and then leave. We never exit in threes. Before we leave on a trip, we place our luggage in the prayer room overnight…. :-) Some beliefs have become comfortable!

      I love it when am about to do something and a favorite song comes on, on the radio, like a harbinger of good things. I wish your film sucess! Thanks again, Vidya

  • Ally

    I like the geckos of Hawaii. But I don’t want any of them falling on my lips or nose. For no other reason than I don’t want a lizard on my face. LOL
    In general, I am not superstitious. But my son is a baseball player, and that is one superstitious lot. I have to admit it rubs off after a while. :)

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

       Ally! :D yeah…the very thought of geckos making physical contact is quite nauseating. :-) My son is superstitious though – (not sure if he’ll grow out of it – he’s 14)…. and some times it is comforting – and fun. :D Thanks!

  • http://makemommygosomethingsomething.com/ Kimberly

    This is just pure awesome.
    I always get my haircuts on Friday….opps!
    I love learning about your country. I really do. I feel so connected yet I’m miles and miles away. So when are you coming to Canada to teach me more?!

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

       Kimberly, I love you too! I’ll see you in April next year (2013) :D I confess to cutting nails and hair on Friday too  – and then feeling guilty as hell. :D

  • http://twitter.com/bdorman264 Bill Dorman

    Nope, don’t believe in superstitions. I might jokingly play off one for a sporting event or a lucky ticket drawing or something, but I don’t think me breaking a mirror has any impact whatsoever on what luck may desert me.

    However, just by someone believing in something like that so strongly, THEN that might make it so. 

    Penny right side up, right? 

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

       Well said, Bill! :D I don’t mind broken mirrors either – in fact, one year, every thing that could go the opposite way from what should have happened, did. And we experienced all good things :D  Right. penny right side up  – i am with that!

  • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

    I’m not superstitious at all, but I do not give scissors, knives, or anything that cuts as a gift because it my sever the relationship. If my palm itches, I never scratch it because the money that is on its way will not make it to me. If I dream about poop and touch it, I don’t wake up grossed out, instead I am very happy to know that some unexpected financial fortune is on its way to me. 

    • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

       Hey Claudia, We believe that dreaming of poop is good fortune too :D. Yep – sure you’re not superstitious at all. Just like me. :D

  • http://www.late-bloomers.net Barbara Klein

    Hi Vidya, Enjoying reading your posts catching up on a Sunday morning. This one is so funny, no, I am not superstitious either but will avoid walking beneath a ladder. A black cat crossing the road, coming from the left it bodes well, coming from the right it is a bad omen – or was it the other way round. Spit over your left shoulder three times (I would love to see somebody do that!) and everything will be right again.

    I love geckos and the funny noises they make. You talking about the falling geckos brought back the memory of a cockroach falling down from the ceiling (in Australia) and landing on my mother’s face, now, this is gross!

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  • sarang agrawal

    few days back as i was on the way in my two wheeler driving a small lizard fell between my cheeks and throat right side means on my beard what does that mean and last year also when i was driving a lizard fell on shirt stomach or chest area i am cofused so please tell what it means and come on me twice

  • sap

    Hi Vidya, I’m finding dead lizards! I found 2 at home & 1 in my office… in my room… is this an omen for something?

  • Marizol

    Hi Vidya,

    I woke up to a dead lil lizard on my bathroom floor. I dont know how it got there or how it even died. The only window is sealed with a screen, there are no vents and the from outside door is pretty far. I’m assuming it came from the front door and crawled to the bathroom but how it died is just a mystery. I really want to know what it means