Most of the soaps on Indian television propagate old wives’ tales and superstitious beliefs. If you let the milk boil over, there will be a death in the family. If you sneeze before leaving the house, you should wait before stepping out or bad luck will come your way. Recent daily soaps like Naagin, Vishkanya and Kaala Teeka cause more mirth than the mayhem that they want to showcase, due to the things that go wrong just because a cat crossed one of the character’s paths.
Mona Singh’s new show, Kavach, which was originally called Mangalsutra, revolves around her outlandish travails to keep her husband safe from the clutches of a past girlfriend. Taking cue from the bizarre trailer of the show, we caught up with a few television stars to find out what were the weird superstitions they’ve been a part of, on screen.
I followed this funny superstition during my younger days. I would not show any excitement if my exams went well. I felt that if I did so, I wouldn’t fare well. I would always say that my paper went just about okay, and then my marks were always great. I feel so funny about it now.
While shooting for a temple scene, it is shown that that after a flower falls on my feet, all my wishes are fulfilled. For me, flowers denote fragrance — that’s about it.
I shot for a show in which a glass of milk slips from my wife’s hands on the wedding night. It is considered a bad omen and I found it really funny. In my house, glasses break every day and my wife keeps buying more and more glasses.
It’s a grandma’s tale that whenever a black cat crossed your path, a bad omen will befall you. Once on the set, a stray cat happened to be in a male actor’s path. He refused to shoot till water was sprinkled on the spot. I was amused to see him behave like this.
A few years ago, I had shot for an episode of Talaash. The series dealt with supernatural elements. I essayed the character of a woman whose husband was gay. She was sexually abused by her brother-in-law and the mother-in-law was fine with the arrangement. Eventually, the family kills her and the body is thrown into a well. The superstition was that any woman who drank water from the well wouldn’t be able to conceive. It was quite weird, but it was still fun to shoot.
I have shot for sequences where rain is pounding, and then the phone rings, and it’s always bad news. I have never believed in such superstitions. In another show, my character had to tread on coals to get rid of troubles. I found it amusing while shooting for it as well.
I have shot several times for scenes in which a diya would go off due to gusty winds, and that meant it was a bad omen. But when there is a strong gust of wind, the diya will go off, no?
I have shot for a daily soap in which whenever my character sneezed, my screen wife or mom would stop me and say, "Now wait for five minutes and then step out of the house." I am not at all superstitions in real life. If anything has to go wrong, it will, as per Murphy’s Law. What does sneezing have to do with bad luck?