Be Little Stitious

by Esmat

There is something about superstition that makes it very attractive for humans to fall in love with.

For those living in Kabul, the occurrence of an earthquake has become part of a daily life routine. It is like, you wake up, brush your teeth, have your breakfast, you wait for the earthquake – the earthquake happens, you go on with the rest of your day.

Since October when the big earthquake happened, Kabul has had a steady stream of jolts almost on a weekly basis. Recently, I realized that there has not been an earthquake in a while, so I kind of missed it. Then thought of the days when the earthquakes would happen.

I remember the first one – I was working on something on my computer, then I saw everything move like I was on a ship. Then it got to a point that everything was vibrating, still, my mind was absent, I was thinking about something else, then I realized that it was an earthquake, then I got up and went into the hallway, things were shaking pretty hard, I came to a mental and physical crossroad – the reason I had stopped in the hallway was because I had once read on one of those safety information posters about earthquakes – that one should not walk down the stairs during an earthquake because the stairs structurally are very likely to fall off, I made my best judgement about it and took the risks and went to the backyard and waited there until everything was calm again. Then went inside, and saw Parwana and as a joke said, ” Who was that?”

She said, “It’s because everyone is committing so many sins nowadays, God is angry”

I was trying very hard not to laugh. Because that sort of a saying has no logic in my head. It is a perfect example of how much superstitious we think about everything. Our brains tend to think in a way that we think it makes sense, and we lean towards that way of thinking. The thing is that we are not really conscious sometimes about how we think. And Parwana tends to do that often. Sometimes for the sake of her wonderful humor I agree with her. But I worry how much of this superstitious way of thinking will affect her life – affect our lives.

This was not the first time Parwana said something of this sort. I remember, a few years back that she said something similar after an earthquake.

Few weeks later, another earthquake jolted Kabul, this time I called a relative and he asked about the earthquake and joked, “Well, you know, it must be all those people that died in the Hindukush centuries ago, it must be them…” (the epicenter of the earthquake was in Hindukush.)

Again, how even when we try to think of jokes, our brains get to be superstitious. I remember Michael Scott of the Office saying, “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious”I hope Parwana and the rest of people thinking ‘big-stitious’ think ‘little-stitious’.