Painted Pumpkins and the like
In my post “Painted Houses at Chennai” moyra commented “I am hoping someone could please explain to me about the effigy hanging in the last of three pictures” The picture referred to has an effigy tied to a new building under construction at Velachery.
I thought I would do a post on this subject of painted pumpkins and the like.
d4dpak and ravisha in their comments have explained it better. People use different variants to ward of the evil eye on something new and these fixtures can be seen in shops also. One such fixture commonly used is in the image above. Here the object is made of coconut tied with turmeric coated thread to which a large sized shell is tied up. Hung for display and sale in a shop at Bazaar Street, Mylapore. On closer examination i find an alum also forms part of this assembly.
Painted Pumpkins are tied in front of shops with the same belief. In Mumbai, 2 green chillies and one lemon fruit attached with a thread will be sold at the traffic signals on Fridays (or is it on Tuesdays). The car owners / drivers buy and fix it in their front bumpers – I wish I had an image of this item.
In Temples, before the deity is taken on a procession, the pumpkin and coconut are taken by a person in a rotary motion, thrice in both clockwise and anticlockwise direction and breaks it on the ground. The lemon fruits are kept in front of the wheels and run over when the procession starts.
All these are performed with the belief that such practices will help ward off the evil eye.