Wooing the Lady !!
I am completely in awe of the complexity of the universe and the arbitrary nature of many of its little wrinkles and fractal permutations. Infact, it all appears so difficult that we all pray for a little luck to get us through.
A couple of days back I was proctoring an MBA exam. Ten minutes before the end, this MBA student gives me his answer sheet and walks away. I was just putting his exam away,when he came running back up to me,and asked me if he could have his exam back. The way he pleaded with me, made me think that he'd forgotten to add something of 'great' importance.
There was just about five minutes left, and me being the considerate proctor, I gave it back to him and asked him to work on it very quicky. Unfazed, he took a piece of colored paper from his wallet, and rubbed it all over his answer sheets. After doing this for a while, he grinned , gave me his answer sheet and said
"Thats my lucky charm" .
I was too stunned to say anything.
Ah!the things one do to woo the lady.And if luck,indeed be a lady,the courting,the flattering,and the indulgences directed her way continue unabated.From the Exams to playing to walking to living,you name it,superstitions and good luck charms are embraced,usually against people's own good judgment.
But why do we do this? Just because, just in case, or just don't ask.Come to think of it, believe in them or not, good luck charms and superstitions have been an integral part of human life throughout history. From rain dances, to human sacrifices, to touching up answer sheets, they're all attempts to curry the favour of gods or the powers to be. Good luck charms and superstitions can serve simply as comfort, but at the other end of the spectrum, the world of superstitions can be a hall of mirrors navigated by people who border on obsessive-compulsive behavior.
The black cat crossing the road is a classic example. I do feel a bit discomforted when one crosses the path, but then the excitement of expecting the unexpected(which, by the way, never happens), makes me go on my way. But I know a few people, who would faithfully obey the sign from above, and turn back and go another way.
And to top it, intellectually people understand that it doesnt make sense, but emotionally they're unable to make the break.And we all know,Emotion always overruns intelligence, otherwise we'd have world peace, right?.
Well, I'd like to believe that, they're really an attempt to control the universe that is way too powerful for us to control. And now, I'm going to practise some 'mumbo-jumbo', and try my luck at making breakfast.