There hasn’t been any major influence of the outside world on the people of Spiti. People here still practice the old traditions, follow the ancient rituals and believe in many old superstitions.

The holy man walking around the village.

Holy man walking around the village to remove the mikha from people.

Mikha, the malicious effect of gossips on people is one of them. It can be compared to the concept of evil eye, where your happy life is cursed by the envy and gossip.

In Spiti, it is the job of a holy man to remove the curse of the evil eye. He is dressed in fur with face smeared with ink and holds a raw leg piece of a goat in his hand.

Villagers giving money to the holy man in return to his service of removing the curse that is caused by the malicious gossips.

Holy man removing the mikha of people. He gives his service of removing the curse that is caused by the malicious gossips.

The process usually takes place in the open, where people give him money in return for his services, which involves asking embarrassing questions that are generally enjoyed by the crowd who responds with laughter. He mocks them and tries to make fun of them. Some who hesitate are pushed to get their Mikha removed by their friends and family members.

Holy man removing the mikha of people. He gives his service of removing the curse that is caused by the malicious gossips.

Holy man removing the mikha of people. He gives his service of removing the curse that is caused by the malicious gossips.

The holy man is a performer with a great sense of humour. Though I could not understand anything, it was certain that the group around him was totally enjoying the ritual. He even game my friend a chocolate when he was recording him with a camera.

“Yes! Yes! Ok!”, he said to the camera and took out a chocolate from his bag and said, “This is for you my friend”. Having no clue above what was going on, he humbly accepted the chocolate while the villagers had a good laugh.

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