Is Evil Eye Really Evil (Hi Nazar Lag Gaee)

 

Aray aray nazar lag gaee merey chand ko (OMG my cute little baby would get an evil eye)! This is what a typical Pkaistani mother would think if someone praised her cute and healthy baby. Even if the baby is growing leaps and bounds the parents would not want anyone to notice it or at least not say it for the fear of evil eye. So naturally I was stunned when my American friend complained about how much her toddler was eating. If anyone asked her how the baby was doing she would laugh and say “Oh I need another job just to feed him. He eats so much.” People playing with her toddler would often remark “Oh man he is getting bigger by the day. Too heavy to lift.” This was a culture shock  for someone who grew up thinking that every little praise turns into evil eye. I would be like “Oh wait till he gets sick and then you people would stop marveling at his size and health”. Believe it or not that never happened. Except for occasional tummy ache and cold her son never got sick and continues to thrive even to this day being 17.

And this friend was not the only one. I learned this lesson early on. My youngest was born in New York, my only baby by the way who has a chance at US presidency. The older two were born in Pakistan and hence would need a fake birth certificate just like Trump insinuates Obama to have. Anyways, I went shopping with him being in the stroller. In the payment line at Macys someone looked at him and remarked “Oh the big black eyes. How old is he?” I said “4 months”. And they replied “Oh wow! He is a BIG baby”. I got concerned “Oh ab to nazar lag gaee” (Now that evil eye would get him). But that hardly happened and slowly and gradually I got used to it and started accepting the praise more graciously with a smile.

1No vacation is complete without shopping. Recently vacationing in Turkey when we went souvenir shopping I couldn’t help but notice this blue key chain size thing with a black circle in the middle hanging pretty much in every souvenir shop. When a vendor tried to sell it to me as the best souvenir for the price I couldn’t hold my curiosity and asked him what it was about. He said “ma’m it would save you from evil eye”. I laughed and giggled at the coincidence. Just like the mosquito repellent in the yard you hang this blue oval shaped glass with a big black eye staring at you to any object as an evil-eye-repellent. It was the size of a Christmas tree ornament. I bought a few as souvenir one of which proudly hangs in my Lexus staring and casting a spell at no one but me. What an irony that is!

I still have some of these left. f you want one just shout out. But the condition is that you answer at least one of the questions below to help me solve the mystery.

a. Is evil eye part of eastern culture?

b. Is it even real or we just made it up?

c. If it’s real then why don’t the cultures that don’t believe in it, get struck by it?

d. Does it strike us because we  have trained our brains to expect and accept it?

See now I have a headache. I think mujhay nazar lag gaee. Can someone get me my Turkish repellent please!

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Is Evil Eye Really Evil (Hi Nazar Lag Gaee)

  1. Iffat Ge the nazar lag gai part is so relatable .. Even if you have something as simple as flu aunties would say aray tumko nazar lag gai hogi .😊😊😊

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  2. Well, I have ,what, over 40 Chamsas and other amulets from those parts of the world hanging in my collection here at home, all against the evil eye. I don’t know if they work or not ( my intent in collecting them was to do so because they are so cool, beautiful and decorative,) but – tfoo-tfoo-tfoo- nothing really bad has ever happened to us. Tfoo- Tfoo- Tfoo!!! If no one else wants one, I will be glad to add another to my collection, thanks.

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  3. Oh, and I think that that is just an Eastern/Mid-Eastern belief. In Western cultures, there are other beliefs, some would say superstitions. Like black cats bringing bad luck, never walk under a ladder, throw salt over your shoulder, don’t step on cracks, etc.

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  4. A very good point. Here are what I think the answers to your questions should be. I believe the ‘evil eye’ does exist and it’s not just a middle eastern/Asian belief. Many other countries far from this region believe in it. However, I also believe that the origin of what the evil eye is, has been lost in history and cultural superstitions.
    It strikes us because us Pakistanis have it ingrained in our minds since childhood that the evil eye causes all things bad. Growing up I learned to differ between the real evil eye and the superstitions mixed into the same concept.
    Lastly, the cultures that don’t believe in it get struck by it because its real 😁
    But we need to prioritise and learn to differ between what we believe, think and suspect. Sometimes what we call the work of the evil eye is nothing but the product of our own jealousy, curiosity and conniving nature.
    So let’s just love and let love! 😊

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