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The 'cupid' tree

delhi Updated: May 29, 2009 15:17 IST
Srishti Jha
Srishti Jha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Single, tried hard and failed? The girl you have been chasing desperately doesn’t even pass on a glance? Never mind…just bow and pray to thee…a tree nestling amidst a few others in the Hindu college campus. And see the magic unfold. Legend has it that a lovesick hinduite prayed hard once upon a long time back and was blessed with the loveful attention by the person he was longing for.



Ever since then the tree has become a folklore amongst the hostlers. When the frantic

fuchchas

start on their college life, they for sure implore before the tree to get a girl companion which is a ‘must’ for the dudes in their college life. For boys out there it’s not a fable, but the ultimate truth of their life. “This is what we are told by our seniors, and we also completely believe in it. If you wish sincerely with a pure feelings, you will be definitely blessed with one,” admits Chetan, a third year student.



Every Valentine's Day, a unique tradition is observed at Hindu College. A group of male students, mostly senior hostel residents, offers prayers to

Dam Dami Mai

and celebrates a female icon who it feels has hogged headlines for all the wrong reasons. A Hollywood or a Bollywood actress is offered as a sacrifice to the tree and an official christening is conducted where the actress is named

Dam Dami Mai

.



As college japes go, the February 14 "ritual" is just a little more wacky than some others. “ A senior hosteller is chosen to perform the ceremony and dressed as a pundit heads the college crowd towards the virgin tree. Amidst the reverberating sounds of drums and

dhols

and slogans of

Dam Dami Mai ki jai ho

, the

aarti

progresses, followed by a

prasad

. Of course, the

prasad

contains doses of

bhang

for the special touch.



Words of the

aarti

are changed every year by the students and they are definitely not for the bashful. According to college students, the tradition of

Damdami Mai ki puja

is self-invented. She is supposedly the goddess of girls and the

puja

is performed by male students to please her on this special day. Given the fact that the female "star" has to be someone who has gained some notoriety, the choice is made carefully.



Even Cristiana Augilera has been one of the stars at this

puja

. Also, there is

lal mirchi teeka

which causes a burning sensation on the forehead if applied. If freshers are warned by a senior, they can escape. If not, even

Dam Dami Mai

cannot save them.