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The Evil Eye

In India, people blindly believe in the so-called bad effects of the evil eye.

So a truck driver will write, “Buri nazar wale tera muh kaala”; literally meaning, “If you look at my beautiful truck with an evil eye, may your face be blackened”

Or grandmothers will deliberately put a small black mark with an eye liner (Kajal), on a newborn child’s cheek, again to protect it from the evil eye, saying “nazar lag jayegi”

But Indians do have a propensity to take things too far. But I had not expected to hear something like this…

Apparao is a farmer in one of the Indian states in South India. He is one of the few Indian farmers, who are fortunate enough to own his own farm, however small it might be.

His farm is located very near to the road, where there are many people either walking alongside or traveling in their various modes of transport.

For the past 2-3 years Apparao is flummoxed…his farm thrives for some days at the start of the farming cycle, but as the days go by, the crop deteriorates, and the final yield is minuscule, just enough to feed his family but never allowing him to make decent profits.

He has tried all tricks in an agriculturist’s bag to maximise the yield but to no avail.

He has spoken to the best professors from the local agricultural college, who have given him sound advice, but at the end there is minimal improvement.

His friends too have pitched in and given their advice on steps to increase the yield but all their efforts have come a cropper.

One day Apparao is sitting with his friend, Bhaskarrao, enjoying the local toddy. He tells his problem to Bhaskarrao.

“I tell you Appa, you must see this awesome movie. The heroine is so sexy” coos an inebriated Bhaskarrao.

But Apparao is in his senses. He sticks to his point, “Bhaskar, my crops are failing once again. I don’t know what to do. Please give me some idea, my friend”

But Bhaskarrao is lost in his film world, “Appa, let me take you to the movie. Ok, it’s on me…ooohh, that heroine…”

In spite of so many pegs, Apparao is still standing firmly on his legs, “Bhaskar, please, please tell me, how can I protect my crops”

Finally Bhaskarrao loses his cool demeanour, “You and your crops. Do you really want to know what you should do? Ok, I will tell you”

“You put up big banners of this heroine near your farm. And mind you, she should be in a bikini in those banners. I will come to your farm instead of going to the movies”, so saying Bhaskarrao storms out of the toddy shop.

Someone else would ignore this advice as a drunkard’s foolish talk. But it actually sets Apparao thinking.

And lo! And behold! In the next few days the banners are up, the passerby no longer stare at the farm since their buri nazar or evil eye has got something else to ogle at.

Apparao is happy and a national newspaper deems this story fit for publication.

If only a cute actress not winked her way into the internet record books, Apparao and his sexy scarecrow, if you can call it that, would certainly have broken the internet.

And I am not at all trying to prove that a drunkard’s advice will always pay such bountiful dividends.

Yatindra Tawde

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