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Wanna appease Shani? Feed black pets

Black is the colour people are turning to, while feeding animals or keeping pets, to ward off the evil effects of planets.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 13:28 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Black is in. It is the colour that people are turning to while feeding animals or keeping pets in an attempt to ward off unwelcome planetary effects.

Many animal lovers in Rajasthan now prefer to buy animals, specially dogs or cows, with a black hide. This sudden preference for black is driven more by a superstitious wish to ward off the evil effects of Saturn, known as Shani in Indian astrology, by feeding a black-coloured pet.

Most Indian astrologers, keeping the current planetary position of Saturn in mind, are asking people to feed a black dog, a buffalo or a black cow to overcome the "evil" impact of the planet. This has, in turn, spawned an increase in a demand for black dogs, buffaloes and also black cows in the state.

"Saturn is recognised more as a destroyer. According to Astrology, those under a two-and-a-half year or seven-and-a-half-year impact of Saturn could get relief by feeding a black dog, a buffalo or a black cow," said Mohan Lal Sharma, a city astrologer.

Sharma said one must first consult an astrologer as the intensity of Saturn's effect also depends on its position in one's horoscope and also by the effect of other planets on an individual.

"But, I don't see any harm in feeding animals as such," he added.

Driven by these astrological "prescriptions" many people, told by astrologers that they were under the influence of Saturn, can be spotted throwing food to black-coloured animals.

However, many prefer to do the feeding at home and have bought black-coloured pets.

Black dogs have become wanted pets - due more to their small size and the relatively less food required.

"I have been told to feed a black dog to escape the ills of Saturn. So, instead of chasing black-coloured stray dogs I purchased a black Labrador pup. It cost me around Rs6,000 but it has a dual benefit - it would protect me both from visible troubles as a guard dog and invisible ones as well," Ashutosh Sharma, a bank employee, said.

Says pet shop owner Viren Sharma, "In the past three months we sold over 150 black dogs of different breeds. People are ready to pay any price for a black Labrador, a Cocker Spaniel or a German Shepherd."

The boom in the demand for black has pushed up the price of such dogs by 10-15 percent in the last six months.

The fixation for black does not stop only at animals. The demand for the horseshoes of black horses has also increased with some astrologers suggesting it be hung on the main entrance of homes.

Owners of tongas, horse-pulled carriages which have become a rarity in the city, have many people seeking to buy the used horseshoes of black horses.

Even polo players are not spared. They are plagued by requests for the used horseshoes of black stallions.

Such horseshoes are being sold between Rs.50 to 250. "It's better to own a black horse and make it wear a horseshoe and then sell it. It is good business now thanks to the astrologers," said Abdul Matin, a tongawallah.

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 13:28 IST