15 March 2017
It was in the 9th grade that my fascination with English Literature started because that year, we were taught the unabridged text of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. I used to go home and read that play multiple times every day, so much so that I can still quote entire scenes from it. There hadn't been a single other text that I studied with as much enthusiasm at that age.
In the four years that followed, I oscillated between all kinds of career choices but I always look back at the fourteenth year of my life as the one that determined my future course of action. I'm quite convinced that the fire ignited by that little play is what made me want to pursue English Literature for five years of my life.
And since the fourteenth year of my life, I have quite consciously held on to one particular superstition:
Beware the Ides of March
I never start anything new on the 15th of March.
I try to avoid going on a mission or to a new place on this date.
And overall, I associate failure, accidents, and betrayal with the Ides of March.
In fact, last year, on the 15th of March, I didn't even write a blog post. I know, it's crazy. But something tells me that I'm not the only one who does this.
I'm the last person you'd think is superstitious and you're right in thinking that superstitions in general make no sense to me. None. Not even the ones I hold on to. But I do hold on to a few for a number of reasons.
At the age of 11, my best friend at the time (Madam Madan) and I were disappointed Potterheads who hadn't received their Hogwarts acceptance letters. We were disappointed in our school for not having live portraits, in our halls for not having moving staircases, in our teachers for not letting us call them 'Professor', and in parents for not enrolling us in boarding schools where we could live together. So we made up our own little imaginary worlds where the first and the last steps on all staircases were portals to Voldemort, where Chemistry was called 'Potions' and almost all the people around us were muggles who just didn't get us.
Till date, I skip the first and the last step on all staircases. I also continue to believe that most people around me are muggles who don't get me and I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter.
Replace the cat with a dog and totally count on me saying, "K thanks byeeee!" to Shane when the time comes.
But coming back to the staircase superstition, I hold on to it because I find it very endearing. It's something I've carried on from my childhood, from innocent times where my imagination was running wild. There's comfort in observing that little tradition as it reminds me of a cozier time. In fact, if my future kids ever become as obsessed with the wizarding world as I did, I'm surely going to carry forward this tradition with them. We can be a family of short legged people who struggle to skip the first and last steps on all staircases. Or they could take after their father and try to one-up me with their abnormally long legs and skip three steps at once. I'm going to sit back and let them play around with the idea.
As for the Ides of March superstition, I think that one's a little more intense, and a lot more frivolous. For pretty much 11 years of my life, I never did anything important, big, decisive or life changing on this date. I avoided most activity on this date. And this has to be the most unreasonable of all the beliefs I hold on to.
Nevertheless, I still find this superstition of mine endearing and hold it close to my heart. Because it marks the beginning of a special time of my life. And it also consistently reminds me of a play that I love and cherish for igniting that spark. That said, I think I should have you know that Julius Caesar is not my favourite Shakespearean play. My favourite one is Othello.
So this Ides of March, I want to ask you,
Are you superstitious on this date?
What all superstitions do you hold on to?
I truly hope your Ides of March goes better than Caesar's. And I'll see you tomorrow!