The Curse of Saligao – Fact or Fiction?


The Story of Agostin

According to some old folk , there lived a frightening character in the village of Saligao. The mention of his name could send shivers down the spine of even the sternest folk in the little Goan village of Saligao. His name was Sonzil Agostin. His rise to popularity was the belief everyone had of the unfailing evil eye or ‘dixtt’ he had which would wreak havoc across the village.

Sonzil Agostin was a very well-known established young man, but people dreaded the day he would lay his eyes on them. They were scared to the extent that they spoke about him only in whispers because of the evil eye which he possessed. When he came along a single stare of his could transform a happy and healthy person into a bundle of depression. The many misfortunes that people went through because of this man got even the learned and practical people to wonder whether there was really something to his evil eye after all.

There are a number of stories narrated about Agostin’s capability. A branch of a mango tree loaded with the fruit, came crashing down when Agostin took just one look at it. A newly erected building wall collapsed merely because it caught the eye of this menace. A rose tree blooming with roses withered away as soon as Agostin walked by and ‘admired’ the owner.

The best method to rid of any potential damage from Agostin’s evil eye was simply to draw his attention before he had the chance to cast his dixtt on you.

The Trade of Dixttikarns

With the passing away of Agostin, the era of the evil eye also seemed to have largely passed. The number of dixttikarns (people who remove evil eye) have also reduced considerably. There are still a negligible amount of dixttikarns still plying their trade whenever someone is need of getting rid of an evil eye which has been bothering them. The dixttikarns might have changed over the years but the art of removing the dixtt has not changed over the years. The same method is being used since the inception of this art. The reciting of the Christian Creed while running the hands, which hold some chilies and salt over the body of the victim before doing the magical circle of protection over the head of the victim.

At the end of the ceremony the chillies and salt were thrown into the fire place for them to get burned down along with the evil eye. If the chillies burned with a crackling sound then the ceremony would be deemed a success! This would call for a cheer from the people watching. If the chillies didn’t crackle then the process was considered a failure and all the people would look to each other in disappointment.

Till this day there are a lot of people who believe in the evil eye. It is one’s own choice whether they choose to believe in this act or not. This may be considered foolish by some but there are people’s lives run by this tradition and superstitions.