Yesterday on the occasion of VijayadasaMI, India formally received its first Rafale fighter jet from France. “Received:” is a deceptive term here because the plane will arrive in India in March next year. But yes on paper it is ours And what a way of receiving it! Lemons were placed under its wheels. We need Rafale to protect us and lemons to protect Rafale. Coconuts were broken and a puja performed to ward off evil, in front of , I am sure, amused French spectators in Paris. Hope they did not forget to paint a horned figure and write “Buri nazar wale tera mooh kala” (Evil eyed one may your face be blackened ) on it.That is believed to give the guy with evil eye a black eye. Were pumpkins smashed ? Did they do a gomata pooja? Of course it is difficult to find a gomata in France. You only have vaches (cows for the French challenged ) mesdames there. Hope they coaxed a gomata foraging in a garbage dump to go o a trip to gay Paree. All these measures I am sure will make the fighter aircraft immune to Pakistani attack. The warding off the evil eye thing—I have been a victim of it since early childhood. At least once in a month my mom used to perform what she called “Drishti kazhikkarthu” (Warding off the evil eye in front of me with some red chillies and what not. Now loo)king back I jst don’t see the need for it .After all her big fat blob of a son himself looked like one of those dolls used to ward off evil eye, known as Drishti Bommai in Tamil. As I grew up and settled down in life, I thought that this evil eye nonsense was over and done with. My mom made me think again. When I bought my first car, she insisted that it be taken to the nearby Ganesh temple where they performed something called “vahana puja”. As I believe that it is a wise policy to humor crazy people, I got the puja performed making the priest richer by a couple of thousand bucks. And to my horror he put a huge vermilion Swastika on the car’s bonnet. When I took it home I wanted to wipe it off but mommy dearest put her foot down. And that caused me endless trouble. Neighbors and friends who knew I was working for a German news organization then, started greeting me with “Heil Hitler”! There were gasps of horror when I took the car to office. Question marks were raised over my political affiliations. . A poor guy with left-of- centre liberal views suddenly found himself being suspected of being a right wing extremist. “In zee Germany you will be verhaftet –How do you say that in zee English? Arrested “ said a German colleague who was somewhat English challenged. Mercifully, heavy rains for a couple of days wiped off the Swastika and except for a couple of guys who mjoked about rains being ani-Nazi, everyone forgot about Nazi greetings. That was my last tryst with the evil eye business. I sincerely hope Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who took possession of the plane didn’t draw a Swatika on it. It would have raised a storm across Europe. Dear ILites, if you like this thread, just click on “like”. Don’t cast an evil eye on it.. You see I hate investing money on pumpkins and red chilies that can’t be eaten, not to speak of the time and energy wasted in drawing a Swastika in my thread.