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Mustard Oil

Mustard oil is a cooking oil which is very pungent and sulphuric and yellow in colour.  It is used extensively by Bengalis in their cooking and by north Indians too.  In addition to cooking, it is used for massage of the skin and hair.  My husband Yash has used mustard oil on his hair all his life and he has hardly a grey hair.  Of course that might be for genetic reasons.  At 83, his mother still has black hair.  Well, she uses mustard oil too!

For years after I came here, a Brahmin man (member of the Hindu priests community) used to come to our house every Saturday morning  carrying a jar  of mustard oil with a metallic deity (image of his god) inside.  My in-laws always gave him two rupees and a spoonful of mustard oil.  Apparently, because Saturday is the day of  the planet Saturn, giving this Brahmin the money and oil was to ward off evil.  My in-laws always claimed that they were giving this oil for the 'Shani devta'(Saturn god).

There are a lot of stories around about the wonderful healing power of mustard oil.  Yash heard a story once of how a mother, in the absence of medical help, re-attached the broken finger of her son which had been cut off in an accident with farming machinery, using a mixture of mustard oil and spider's web.  I'm not quite sure if I believe that story but it is fascinating.

Some people loathe it because of the sulphuric smell.  It makes you feel very warm and I prefer not to use it during the summer.  If I need an oil massage for my skin and hair during the summer season, I prefer to use coconut oil.  Otherwise, mustard oil is great for warming you up in the winter.

I've got my own miracle story about mustard oil, but it might not qualify as a miracle to some.  Three years ago, when I'd had my mobile for several months, it went missing from the house.  I am  inclined to put it down  here and there  and forget where I left it.  In a panic, I dialled the mobile number from the landline.  Sure enough, I heard the mobile ringtone - but it  was faint and seemed to be coming from a long way off.   I followed the faint sound into the kitchen and was horrified to realise it was emanating from a container of mustard oil on the kitchen counter - having fallen in from the shelf above where I had left it!  I declare, the container was vibrating - well I had the 'vibe and ring' tone on!

I hurriedly extracted it from the container, tried to dry off the oil, opened up the phone and dried the battery, the sim card, everything.  The next day I left the whole lot in the sun for a couple of hours. I had no idea where to go to get it repaired so I started making enquiries.  Meanwhile, I started trying to use the mobile again. 

To my surprise, it was working perfectly.  Without any trip to the service centre whatsoever.   Three years later, it's still working.  Well, if that's not a miracle, what is?


  1. I love that it works for electronics as well as people! :O)

  2. I think the phone fared better in the oil than it would in water!

  3. I'd say that was pretty miraculous!

  4. I bet that it is a Nokia. Those guys make them for precisely these kinds of problems!

  5. I've never even heard of mustard oil. Interesting.

  6. :D
    I like how this enhanced your faith.


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