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Suttipodal- to ward off 'drishti' or evil eye

Dear young friends,
This is for you:
A co-member of the ‘pattars’ group, after saying many kind words purely out of his affection for me, added a post script to his mail, which reads as below :
“After reading this, you should ask someone in your family to ‘suttipodu you”
Do you know what this ‘suttipodu’ is ? it is a home-remedy to ward off the evil eye, cast on you, or your belongings, action, success etc. Even a good sari or mookkuthi , long hair, proud walk, good singing , scoring good marks in the exam- anything can be the cause of an evil eye or drishti.
”Avalodu kannu karinkannakkum; karinkallai polikkum- her eyes are so bad that they can break a granite stone” patties, old women in the villages used to say.
There is a ‘pariharam’, remedy in our system, for every problem, So, your mother or grand mother or any elderly woman in the family, picks up a handful of salt pebbles adds one or two dry chillies and rotate  that stuff in her hand around your hair or face and sometime around your whole body, thrice, making circles in the air and  throws that uppu-mulakai collection into the burning fire in the fire-wood stove in the kitchen. It will make a put=put sound and with that is gone the condemned  ‘kandrishti’. The intensity of the sound is an indicator for the density of the ‘drishty’ cast on you and absorbed by the salt-dry chilly pack. In the olden days, fire-wood stove or ‘aduppu’ was the main heat provider for cooking and later, when that vanished from the kitchen, only salt was used as a dristhi repellent and thrown into the well water, and in the absence of a well, inside a bucket- full of water.
My mother and even my father, who was otherwise not very orthodox in outlook believed in  drishti and ‘sakunam’.  ‘konthaikku’ uppuchithippodidi’, he used to order mom, whenever he hears from my friends about my achievements in the school or college. ‘On putrasikhamanikku  uppuchithi podu’ he used to say sarcastically, grinding his teeth in anger, when I fail in an exam or someone brings complaints about me-such occasions were not rare !.
The manjal chatham balls which women throw away after removing the drishti of the bride and bride groom when they sit together for the oonjal, swing is a practice followed in our weddings . Arathi with
turmeric water, with which we welcome home the newly married couple and after every auspicious function at home is also some sort of suttippodal.
To be frank with you I don’t believe in sakunam or kandristi.  But my modern daughter in law does. That was how I happened to do that myself, as instructed by her, to receive my two nephews and Meghana’s brother when they entered our Baltimore home, for the first time, along with their spouses, recently. And I forced the young couples to part with some coins which they dropped in the color-water vessel, as per the  custom.  That amount I have kept safely for giving ‘vishukaineettam’ to the kids next year.
‘Why you don’t believe in these ?” I hear you asking. Like wind, I always keep moving while in India and I can’t wait for an auspicious object to come opposite to me every time I get out of the house. And in US, none comes opposite, no humans or animals.
And about the drishti, there is noting in me to attract an evil eye, not even an ordinary eye —ONLY YOU SHOULD BE CAREFUL IF I COME ACROSS YOU.
Dec 2, 2011
Dear Sir
As always your postings/stories/anecdotes are gripping and one cannot just read them. Some emotion or other always wells up afterwards. It is very clear that you have earned a lot of punyam (koti punyam, in our lingo) by the actions of yourself, your parents, thathas kollu/ellu thathas. How else will you have children, nephews and nieces doting on you. Believe me you are a very rich man, rich beyond everyone’s imagination with a vast trove of love and care. You would like to enjoy that wealth and pray every now and then to Siva & Vishnu there to keep you with Aayurarogyasowkhyam. My pranams to you on the occasion of your birthday. Please bless us.
P.S. After reading this you should ask someone in your family to suttipodu you.
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