Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Twigs That Cure
































































































































































In Kolkata city, we find many amazing things to make us think silently. Often we will wonder whether such practices are a way of life/culture?!

Anyway, today I am uploading the man-( many more like him around the city) who sits on the pavement with big bunches of different kinds of twigs and roots.

I walk past them all the time. Never bother to find out what all these twigs are for... recently a friend of ours came to visit us from other part of India.
With humour, he mentioned that these twigs are meant for removing one's mistake/misfortune/woe...etc.,
The other day, as I was in and around our neighbourhood, St. John's Church http://www.indian-cemeteries.org/cemetery_details.asp?town=Calcutta&cem=St%20Johns%20Church
near Raj Bhavan, http://maps.google.com/maps?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enIN272IN273&q=raj+bhavan+calcutta&um=1&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=title

I saw a man with his bunches of twigs. I decided to find out what exactly are all these twigs for. They look like some wild simple shrubs, and I can only identify "Touch me not" ( mimosa pudica ) among these twigs.

I began to ask this man questions after questions.

Oh... we have language problems from both ends.

Fortunately, many customers came for their twigs, and with their help and the explanations, I found that behind these simple twigs, there are many amazing 'remedies'.

It goes like this, these men -I guess I'll call them the medicine men- will have a board hung on the wall of a building.
It is like a table, showing the individual plant's name and its purpose. Almost like a medicine guide book!!
This is especially helpful to the customers, who can not decide which twig to buy.
Otherwise, the regular customers can simply instruct the medicine man to give the required twigs that they need. It is like going to a drugstore, and asking the druggist to give an aspirin!

I noticed that someone even came with a description,that too with a contact mobile number,this must have come from some more senior medicine man!!

Now the interesting part happens!

After the customers mention the twig/twigs, the medicine man will take out the plant from the bunch. He will remove the bark, and with his knife he cuts 1" or 2" inches of it from the root/twig; swiftly tie the cut piece with some thread of different colours, though the colour has got nothing to do with the root.

And with expert hand he will make it like a talisman which is to be worn around the belly.
( some customer does not know how to tie this talisman, but don't worry, the helpful medicine man will give a hand to tie it for him!)

I began to ask questions again... the purpose of these talismans!

I was told, except that thorny twig, which is to be consumed (for diabetics ), the rest of the twigs/root/branch are used as amulet/talisman.
And these talismans/amulets are for guarding against jealousy/ ill feeling... and even help to win a quarrel!!

Hmmm....I am not surprised by such answers! The reason is, I see some very educated customers coming for these amulets!! After all, getting a promotion and the like can create jealousy! Right?! And petty Pickering do take place in our daily life.

No wonder, we see more of such medicine men sitting in the busy offices/ business thoroughfares than in a quiet lane.

But does it really work? I have no clue.

But again,looking at the brisk business this medicine man has, I must believe it helps.

I asked this medicine man the last question... or is it my own thinking aloud!?

..."To me, these twigs are more of a medicine for mental peace than they are for physical ailment?!"... Smilingly this medicine man nodded his head to agree to my guessing .

Well... our human brains do create amazing imaginations and simultaneously, able to find the cure to calm it too!

Or, is it one of our ancient cultures making us preserve nature like the way we are made to preserve flowers, for in India, each and every flower is linked to different gods/goddesses...

If it is true, to my believe, I wish these twigs will begin to heal the world !!
Amazing indeed.....!
By the way, I still haven't asked
what ailment does the "Touch me not" cure..... !


P.s. check this up