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Magical rings on sale in city

Mohamed Imranullah S.
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The people who gathered around the hawker selling “magical rings” near the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai on Wednesday.— Photo: S. James
The people who gathered around the hawker selling “magical rings” near the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai on Wednesday.— Photo: S. James

Magical rings,’ supposedly made of eight different metals and purified with sunlight for gaining supernatural ability to heal physical and mental pains, might sound ridiculous to many. And that they were on offer for just Rs.21 to Rs.161 a piece might confirm the absurdity. But, ironically, the rings were selling like hot cakes in the heart of the city on Wednesday.

The sale was on at a vacant space outside a toilet complex in the corner of two pathways leading to the eastern and northern entrances of the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, and the hawker was a middle-aged man who identified himself as Swapan Biswas from West Bengal.

What attracted the customers to him was an audio recording in Tamil calling him a master magic healer.

“Don’t get cheated by crooks. I don’t promise you wealth and money if you wear my rings. I only promise you a solution to your bodily problems. You can be freed from all kinds of pain. And mine is a true claim,” is what the recording announced time and again. It worked wonders for the hawker as he managed to sell “special rings” costing Rs.101 to five customers in 20 minutes.

He also had his own way of making his customers feel contented by asking them for their sun signs and suggesting them to wear rings containing stones of specific colours. After each customer selected a ring, the hawker dropped the ring into a metal bowl, placed it on top of the right hand of the purchaser and rotated a thick wooden stick (always kept near photographs of a few goddesses) around the bowl.

The rings used to clatter and he claimed that they had been charged with supernatural powers. After all these gimmicks, he took Rs.100 from each buyer and asked him to drop one rupee near the photographs of the goddesses.

One of the buyers, P. Pillaichamy of Silaiman, said: “I am truly blessed. The Goddesses have blessed me.”

Supposedly made of

eight metals, they

were on offer for just Rs.21 to Rs.161 a piece

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