The other day, the main door of our house happened to be closed for an unusually long time in the evening. I happened to be the first one to open the door, and walked straight into a cobweb. I "Ewww!"ed and went hastily inside, wiping my face and neck. My Mother-in-law saw this and said "You know, walking into cobwebs is supposed to be very lucky". I felt a little better. (No, cobwebs are not common in our house :D)
But that got me thinking. I am not aware if this happens in other cultures also, but some very unpleasant things are regarded as lucky in India. Take, for example, the sighting of a cobra with its hood raised. That is supposed to be a very good thing to happen to somebody. Of course, I assume that this works only if the person keeps his/her head and walks away from it and not towards it, in reach of its fangs! There are loads of other such superstitions(?) about not-so-pleasant things, like squint-eyes and wisdom teeth growing at awkward angles.
I wonder what the reason is, behind this. I can think of one explanation. It is probably just a way to make a person feel better about an unpleasant experience. Imagine what it would do to the morale of the squint-eyed person if someone referred to him as, you know, the lucky one! Suppose somebody is shaken because of his encounter with a cobra, what is a better way to console him than to say "You know, you're really lucky!"?
That said, what is luck? We wish others luck before exams and before weddings. We carry lucky pens that hardly write and wear lucky dresses that are ragged. And at home, I am not allowed to watch any cricket match when India is playing, because that's supposed to be bad luck for the Indian team. I really wonder how much more presumptuous we can get, thinking that one person watching or not watching India play can influence their victory or defeat.
Is it a good idea to make Team India visit the Snake Park before their upcoming match against Australia? :))