Warding off evil
'The moon is my sun,
The night is my day,
Blood is my life,
And you are my prey.'
Be it a vampire, a ghoul, an evil spirit, a witch or black magic, for centuries we have been trying to protect ourselves against them. Ever since Pandora opened her box and unleashed all kinds of evil on human kind, we've been finding ways to rid ourselves from these creatures lurking in the dark.
One of the most common ways to ward off these immortal beings has been wearing or carrying different types of talismans. Some wear a taweez around their neck like a locket or around their arm as an amulet. A taweez essentially contains a piece of paper with holy lines/verses which are meant to protect and keep evil at bay.
Another commonly used talisman world over is the horseshoe. Hanging a horseshoe above the front door is believed to repel witches, sorcery and bad luck. Wind chimes hung in the doorways or on windows are also supposed to scare away evil spirits.
If different talismans are used as protection against different evils there is only one thing that seems to protect the whole of humanity against an evil eye or 'ku-nojor', and that weapon is the 'kalo teep!'
The colour black mostly from kohl applied as a dot on any part of the body is believed to protect a person (especially babies) from a curse cast by a malevolent glare.
Then again there are creatures like vampires who are known to hate the pungent smell of garlic. So, if there is ever a fear of being accosted by a vampire on a moonless night in a deserted street, keeping a few bulbs of garlic in the pocket or wearing a garland of garlic around the neck is said to provide ample protection against these bloodsuckers.
Better still is to consume as much garlic as possible because if your breadth reeks of garlic no vampire will want to be anywhere near you!
For all the things that people do, necessarily or unnecessarily, as a safeguard against evil, there are certain things that legends claim shouldn't be done because they have the potential to attract evil spirits and demons to us.
Some of the oft heard things are, not to be outdoors at dusk, or not to roam outside with open hair after sunset, as these are the times evil spirits hunt for a body they might want to reside in, and long manes attracts their attention.
Another vile activity that imposes dos and donts on our habits and behaviour is the practice of black magic. Always done with malicious intent, it is believed people who practice black magic need certain belongings of the person they intend to harm. Amongst these, are strands of hair and clipped nails. May be that is why since a young age we've been told to dispose these in water/drains rather than the dustbin so that no one with ill intent can get their hands on them.
Whether you choose to believe or you choose to dispel the above beliefs as mere superstitions, one thing is certain, that there are a lot of unexplained things out there. Whether there exists a world of spirits and immortal creatures is again debatable. But at the end of the day, at the end of a life, one thought needs to be remembered, good begets good, and bad attracts bad. That simple reality should be consolation enough to ward of all things evil.