What’s in the colourful bottles?


Several residents in Goa keep bottles filled with blue, purple, pink and red liquid outside their houses. But what is the significance of this? NT BUZZ discovers the strange truth


Have you ever noticed how bottles filled with blue, purple, pink, and red liquid are kept outside several houses in Goa? These bottles are either placed just outside the entrance or in the compound or the garden area. While some people have placed just one or two bottles, others have surrounded their compound with these. Sounds strange? Well, the reason is even stranger!

With stray dogs and monkeys often causing a nuisance by invading private property, it turns out these bottles are a way of keeping them away. “One of my friends told me about using coloured liquids, especially blue colour. You have to add indigo to the water, fill it up in a bottle and keep this outside your house especially in those areas which dogs frequent. When they see the blue bottle, dogs keep away. My friend also told me that they don’t defecate around the place if bottles are kept outside,” says a resident from Nuvem.

She adds that the red colour liquid is meant for monkeys as they get scared of blood and looking at the red bottle they will not enter the property. Anika Dessai, Cuncolim believes that this technique was used by the locals to drive away monkeys. “The monkeys would break titled roofs and damage the property, so people started keeping colourful liquid bottles all around. Whenever monkeys would see it they would think that it is someone or something and would not go close to the place. It really does not work according to me but still people blindly believe it,” she says.

Like her, many agree that the technique does not really work. And vets and experts too, dispel such superstitious beliefs. “I have seen such activities taking place but I find it really strange. When I take my dog for a walk, he knocks down the bottles and plays with them. If this technique worked, my dog would have not gone close to it,” says veterinarian, Myron Dacosta.

President of Goa Science Forum, Somu Rao says that superstitious beliefs like these spread like wildfire. “I heard about these bottles from my wife but I stopped her from doing it as it did not have any effect. I saw my neighbours try it and it failed. There was an instance where the monkey unable to open the bottle, ran away with the bottle itself,” says Rao.

Rao adds that it is possible that the whole practice could have begun when someone tried it out and a monkey went away. “They must have associated that with the bottle and the news must have spread fast. I think by following it people tend to encourage and believe such superstitious. Monkeys are technically coming because we have invaded their place and there is no other reason behind that but to get rid of such beliefs is hard,” he says. Until then the bottles continue to stand guard outside homes.