Sunday, March 23, 2014

Interpretations - Scary Mirchi

Depending on where you go in India, there are numerous ways to ward off the evil eye. The simplest of them is a charm made of lemon and chillis strung together and hung in vehicles and doorways to immunise them from the envious glances of others. When the lemon and chillis wither, indicating the absorption of withering glances, they are replaced with a fresh set. Depending on the region and the superstition, the number of chillis vary and so do the accompaniments, like a piece of coal, a conch shell, a black fabric-stuffed voodoo-esque doll with white features or, as in this image from Ladakh, the face mask of a ferocious dharampala (guardian deity) wearing a crown of skulls. 

An edited version of the article was published in Culturama's October 2012 Issue.

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