A famous ritual in India following the birth of the baby is to protect him/her from evil eye. People use various methods of keeping the evil eye away. Some of the common ones are putting kajal (kohl) in the eyes, kala tika on one side of the forehead, silver bracelets with black beads (Nazariya) or black thread or gold and silver chains around the neck, wrists and waist (Aranjanam), rings and many more.
All these things could be harmful for the baby. We think we are helping ward off evil eye from the baby – but these might lead to issues.
If the thread is tied too tightly around the neck or wrist, it might hinder in the circulation of blood. Also, the baby could get tangled in the same if she pulls it or could get stuck in some cloth or button. These could even lead to a fatal situation. Moreover, each time you bathe a baby the thread becomes wet and takes some time to dry. The wet thread often leads to itching and rashes on the sensitive baby skin. In case a baby happens to put the thread or the chain in the mouth it might lead to choking.
Kajal or kohl is usually put in the eyes, as a black spot on the forehead, behind the ear or on the foot. Some use it to strengthen the eyes while others use it to keep the evil eye at a distance. According to an article by FDA, kajal should not be applied as it is made up of lead and other harmful materials. It can lead to lead poisoning. Imagine we put the lives of little babies at stake, who are not even aware about the world.
When my daughter was small I refused to follow these rituals. One day she fell ill, and my maid started saying, “See I told you to put a kala tikka, but you did not – now she is so unwell”.
And to my amazement she walked to the kitchen, took salt along with seven red chillies and put them on fire. The whole house was full of chilli fumes. My daughter and I were literally coughing our lungs out.
And that was not the end, after burning the chillies she walked up to my daughter, swirled the smoking red chillies around her and threw them outside the house. After her ritual was over she walked up to me and proudly said, “She will be okay now, don’t worry”.
When the baby is upset or cranky then why we don’t consider growth changes or teething, or may be fever or a colic pain. Babies grow rapidly with each passing day and changes happen at a rapid pace. For once we should give a thought regarding the development of the babies.
Let me know if you believe in these rituals.