Being the elder one in my family gave my parents a chance to improvise and take risks. While the younger receives more serious and well reputed results of their experimentation. Superstition was one such subject where my parents found their right concoction. Not too little and not too much.
Every culture is laden with a string of superstitions woven together through generations. The rationality gets questioned time and again. The questions and rejections quite valid in this scientifically awakened world. I don’t have a fear of being judged post this writing so I just wanted to write without the fear of rejection.
Like most kids I was always sacred of all things evil shown in movies, knife, bloodshed, weird background scores and even a black cat. All things filled me with horror but they were all sublime post I went to sleep. At the age of 13 as I recall my parents decided I should sleep on my own because the double bed too small for two grown up adults and two tall kids. Reluctantly I moved into the other room. Our home had three rooms. The rooms were not very far from each other as the entire household had a rectangular layout. They all had common wall between them. Though I sincerely tried sleeping alone but right in the middle of night I felt haunted. I would sneak back into the comfort of my parents bed. Waking up in the morning felt so warm and giggles followed. My sister especially was a tease. This kept on going for a month. Then my parents came up with a plan. They decided to plant a charm.
Going by the Oxford dictionary the actual meaning of charm is :
An object kept or worn to ward off evil and bring good luck.
For reasons obvious, it qualified as a anti-evil antidote. But there is a twist of tale, in the Indian sub-continents only the god-men or saints are accredited with the license to provide the charm (please don’t take my words as the norm). My parents completely skipped this part I guess. They assumed the role of god sent, god made, god mum and dad. 😉
Dad asked the goldsmith to make a hollow silver pendant. It was filled with something random and placed in front of god. I was given a brief about the powers of this charm how it ward off all evil spirits and made me stronger and confident. Minus the god men, minus the magical ash, minus the mumbo jumbo just like that it got added to my neck. Its power multiplied in the night while they played with my child psychology. The result was I slept much better that day and it kept getting better and better. So much so that I started cringing for my privacy.
I think my parent lost the biggest bet against superstition when I was born a Friday the 13th.
Our lives are driven by fact and faith. Human discretion is acquired inherently or by education of the mind and intellect. Our discretion helps us balance between these two driving forces. It is only dangerous when faith becomes fact.
I have always kept that charm close to me. Though its recipients have changed over the years. I made my hubby wear it when he was unwell. My daughter when she was hospitalised and now my son as he treads his first steps. Random thoughts and erratic fears all held together by a feeble thread of superstition.
P. S : The intention is not to make superstitions sanctimonious. Thank you!!
- 4 large slices of sourdough bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- knob of herb butter (if unavailable use normal butter)
- 350g wild mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- handful of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- This is a very impromptu recipe and honestly I haven't followed the measurements by the scale.
- Preheat the oven to 200C and Top heat for grill.
- Cut the sourdough loaf into thin slices and drizzle a bit of olive oil and fresh thyme. Grill these in the oven for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Heat the frying pan and then add the mushrooms, ensure there is no moisture otherwise mushrooms would release too much liquid and make it too moist. Then add the herb butter to the pan followed by the mushrooms. Cook for 2 mins, then add the garlic. Cook for 3-5 mins more until the mushrooms are soft and coated in butter. Add some more fresh thyme and squeeze a lemon.Then Pile them on prepared toasts and serve it hot with a glass of juice.