Our Mindsets

Sravani singampalli

© Copyright 2018 by Sravani singampalli

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When I was in Delhi, the capital city of India I always got to listen to weird and extremely scary stories of people being possessed by the evil spirits. There are many haunted places in Delhi and I have visited almost all of them. My friend used to tell me that she could always smell something queer in the air around.

As a child, I always used to get overexcited after listening to such stories. Excitement and curiosity were always visible but as days passed by I developed a phobia which affected me in many ways. I never dared to go to the washroom alone during night time and even the slightest noise or moves sent shivers down my spine. All these incidents made my childhood very interesting.

When I was in fifth grade, one of my close friends narrated a very strange story to me that left me wondering about the night sky. She advised me not to look at the sky after midnight 12 and when I asked her the reason, she simply said that earthen pots filled with porridge float in the sky during that time and if anyone beholds them then they would break over our head and evil spirits captivated in them will be free and enter our body. At first, it seemed very funny to me so I wasn’t ready to believe. I told the same story to all my friends and classmates at school. Though it appeared intriguing nobody was ready to believe. I kept on pondering all these stories. I always liked questioning people and stories like these made me question more about the ghosts and their existence. Although my conscience wasn’t ready to believe these stories but at the same time I never dared to look at the sky during night time because of the phobia that was constantly developing within me. I still remember the day we all locked ourselves in our rooms and were not willing to come out. Somebody from our colony spread very scary rumours that shook all of us. People actually started believing these stories. This rumour was about a witch that was believed to visit houses asking for fresh onions and if anyone believes her words and gives her onions then she would squeeze the onions in front of them and it will ultimately lead to their death. The most astonishing thing was that our parents also believed this rumour and were ready to go to any extent to protect us. Somebody said that application of turmeric paste on the doors and on the walls outside would scare this witch away so we all used to do that religiously every day to protect ourselves. When I remember all these incidents now, I just feel so weird and stupid but I can bet that if the same rumours spread even today people will surely believe and continue following the same solution of applying turmeric ( turmeric is considered sacred in India and is very powerful ) on the doors. This attitude of ours will never change. Human beings are sceptical about almost everything and our mindsets will remain the selfsame even after 20 years and this will press on for years to centuries.

We can refuse to believe and manage to believe at the same time. If we ask people whether they believe in the existence of ghosts and demons then I’m sure many of us would shout a big ‘no’ but a dubious ‘yes’ would soon follow it. We say ‘no’ to feel confident and ‘yes’ to protect ourselves at the same time.

Sravani singampalli is a published writer and poet from India. She is presently pursuing a doctoral degree in pharmacy at JNTU KAKINADA university in Andhra Pradesh, India. Apart from writing she likes drawing and painting in her spare time. She is very fond of House Sparrows. 

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