The Indian Obsession With The Phallus, From A Baby Boy To Older Guys…
Recently I happened to read a remarkable post The Potential Dangers Of Phallus-Worshipping A Toddler on this forum itself. The ideas and practices described therein were revolting to say the least.
But would you believe that I had a sense of deja vu after reading it? I was once upon a time a mute witness to certain similar (yet not so similar) activities. Read on to find out.
I witnessed mumbo jumbo rituals to ensure the long lives of men
It was sheer misfortune that I got married into an ultra orthodox house where ‘men’ were premium while women were no better than pair ki juttis/doormats.
My sasural /marital home had 8 members; six women and only two men, my spouse and his father, a veteran anesthetist. Imagine why and how their needs were prioritised at each and every step from food, luxuries, leisure comfort and most importantly, health.
You see, my blessed father-in-law had survived three heart attacks before I met him. Call it ill-luck or coincidence but my partner too developed certain cardiac ailments within five years of our wedlock. The two men having been reduced to ‘endangered species’ the four original (read senior) ladies – my mother-in-law, husband’s sister, sasuma’s two sisters – resorted to all sorts of weird rituals and mumbo jumbo to ensure the longevity of the men.
Each morning after ablutions, Ma and the masis would conduct elaborate prayers– burning lamps, joss sticks, clanging bells, flowers, prasad. Then they would gather up the dust from burnt out agarbattis mingling it with a pinch of Saibaba’s vibhuti (sacred ash). Next they would liberally smear father- son with this powder – wait for it – on their head/brain, and yes the genitalia region!
And these are well educated men!
No, no, the men remained fully dressed while this went on. At night, before bedtime this scene was re-enacted. Only the evening puja was a low key affair.
Believe me I was shocked, aghast, disgusted to be watching such bizarre, mindless activities day in and day out. I was horrified to see the senior gentleman’s stoic attitude. How could a ‘scientifically educated’ professional lend his tacit approval to such concepts?
Also everyone knows the brain and the heart are vital organs for sustaining life. Since when did genitalia get clubbed with those? I really have no clue. What is more flabbergasting is the blatant shamelessness of the two ladies, they smugly went about it with not a care in the world.
Am I liable to be pelted with stones or burnt at stakes if I shout out to people: Yes, this is a ‘fetish’ for the phallus!?
Image source: Still from TVC DesiKaliah E7S85, YouTube