According to certain orthodox elders in many parts of North India, the ensuing solar eclipse is a bad omen for would-be mothers.
For instance, the would-be-mothers in Lucknow are being advised to stay indoors and not touch sharp objects during the eclipse since it is viewed as a bad omen.
Pregnant women are being advised by the aged mothers, aunts and even priests to take precautions, and avoid certain things during the eclipse.
"We are told that we should take precautions. We should not cut anything; not go out, not sleep and keep walking," said Mamata, a pregnant woman.
The perturbed lot of conservative mothers and mother-in-laws are coming up with all sorts of remedies to ward off the evil caused by the eclipse. So much so, some are even asking doctors to postpone delivery dates by a day or two!
"We have to be careful. Pregnant women have to take precautions in eating. They should not cut anything. That's what the elders say, but the doctors do not agree, we also ask the would-be-mothers to read the Ramayana," said Sarojini Yadav, mother of a pregnant daughter. Meanwhile, the fraternity of medical doctors have dismissed all these notions as fairy tale myths. They further opined that scientifically none of such apprehensions are proven, and hence these are illogical.
"We have been hearing about it all along, that pregnant women should stay indoors during solar eclipse as it may affect the child, and lead to handicaps. But all this is not scientifically correct," said Dr. Madhu Gupta, a doctor.
India will witness a total solar eclipse on July 22, the last of the kind to be visible in the country for the next 105 years.
People for ages have been considering eclipses especially solar eclipses as bad omen.