Bipasha Basu Charms Rickshaw Drivers
Did you know most theatre actors would positively cringe if wished good luck? And Shakespeare’s Macbeth is considered so inauspicious that actors performing the play avoid using its name? Likewise in India, actors have their own rituals meant to invoke protection and prosperity.
As the star of upcoming horror flick Raaz 3, actor Bipasha Basu told the Times of India “religion and superstition are part of our country… We actors pray a lot. Before any release everyone goes to dargahs (shrines) and temples. It shows the vulnerable side of an actor.”
In Raaz 3, which is scheduled for release in September, Basu plays a fading star that dabbles in the black arts to destroy an up and coming rival. To promote the film, Basu was recently spotted distributing nimboo-mirchi (a charm made of a lemon and chilies) to some rickshaw drivers.
Nimboo-mirchi is believed to ward of evil. It’s supposed to appease the goddess Alakshmi, the unlucky sister and polar opposite of Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity).
“It is fun,” says Basu. “Every Saturday I buy it and put it in my car. My mother has made it a tradition and asked me to do it.”
According to Scene Magazine, other celebrities known for their quirky beliefs include Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Datt, both of who insist on license plates with specific lucky numbers. Hrithik Roshan who was born with two thumbs on his right hand always refused surgery, citing that the extra appendage was lucky. Vidya Balan religiously sticks to the colour red, and Shilpa Shetty sports two watches when she cheers for her cricket team, the Rajasthan Royals.
Superstition occurs in every culture. It may be invoked through talismans and gemstones or simple routines like as a pinch of salt over the shoulder or the soft murmur of a “bless you.”
But whether it seems irrational or just plain absurd, adhering to superstitions is understandable. Whether these traditions contain some mystical grain of truth or simply act as a placebo, they make people feel better, stronger, and safer. And perhaps that’s where the real magic lies.