What’s a weekend without some adventure?
Sunday’s chosen adventure was this:-
I am quite certain you haven’t figured out what that picture is. Let me explain.
I have this aunt whose entire life rests on astrology. Don’t ever say that to her because she will vehemently deny it, but ask anyone in the family and they will give you several stories of her extreme dependence on the science. Astro aunt does everything as per the directions of her astrologer. I am sorry astrologers. She has a whole panel of them and she refers to them repeatedly to get answers to various aspects of her life and that of her immediate family. Fortunately I am not counted as immediate family. I believe each of the panelists have a specific area of expertise- one for children, one for business, one for health and well being, one for family happiness and harmony and so on. I secretly believe astro aunt made her children study subjects as per the astrologer’s guidance. It’s a different matter that her “scholarly” daughter has no inclination towards the sciences but perused a degree in electronic engineering and her son’s only passion in life is girls but finds himself sitting through boring law classes. I also have evidence to believe astro aunt sets the menu based on the indications of the astrologer. There is no other way to justify the copious amounts of ghee used to prepare the meals.
Astro aunt and I are obviously poles apart. When I visit her place, I find myself sitting in a corner trying to befriend her overly moody dog. It’s been 5 years now, the dog and I are still trying to get acquainted. But thats only when he is on a break from barking incessantly at all and sundry. I think he is by far the moodiest dog I have met. Still, I prefer the company of the moody dog to the never-ending discourses on how to correct what’s (not) wrong with my life courtesy astro aunt. During social gatherings at astro aunt’s place that make it imperative for me to speak up, I restrict myself to the weather. Any discussions beyond that topic and I find myself smack in the middle of a full fledged argument. After the tens of visits I have made to her house, I have mastered the art of discussing the weather for hours on end. Its an acquired talent worth mentioning in my CV.
During one such social visits to astro aunt’s place, she made a reference to this new astrologer she had found. Hearing the word “astrologer” I tuned her out but a few minutes into her sermon and I was listening with rapt attention. She was saying something about nadi astrology– something I hadnt heard of before. According to astro aunt, this particular type of astrology is an ancient knowledge developed by Agastya Muni that has voluminous records of practically everyone’s future written on old palm leaf manuscripts. There are thousands of such manuscripts written by the Muni in old Tamil and classified according to thumbprints. Those who want to have their future read give their thumb impression and once it is matched with one out of thousands of manuscripts, the astrologer simply reads out what is written in the manuscript. Whatever is written there is essentially the future predictions of the person. I had heard of people who read birth charts-they are pretty common. I had also heard of face readers and palm readers. But this is something new altogether. Very fascinating. How could someone write the future of crores of people even before they were born? This had to be checked out.
The extended Christmas break gave me the opportunity to do exactly that. I begged and pleaded a reluctant mother to come along with me. I tend to be wary of astrologers. Ever since our maid, yes the very same one who went around proclaiming what “a good child I was“, chucked her job and left us in a lurch we have done little other than household chores. We are, in fact, so competent that we now believe we don’t need the assistance of a part timer. That’s basically to placate ourselves since we haven’t found another maid. Trust me, its not for the lack of trying. I don’t blame my poor mother for not being interested in driving around town trying to locate one solitary astrologer after hours of dedicated house cleaning. Astro aunt had lost the phone number and substituted the number with some very vague directions. Constant whining through major part of the morning did the trick. She finally agreed to come along albeit half-heartedly.
The astrologer was located without too much difficulty. I say that because I wasn’t driving. I excitedly gave the impression of my left thumb at the reception and then waited with bated breath. This was fun. He was going to look up a manuscript that had the exact same impression as my thumb and then he would read out from it. Some 15 minutes later he came out and spoke in heavily accented Hindi “Palm leaf nahi hai“
“Aap ka palm leaf nahi hai.”
“Haan, par kyun?” The Muni write everyone’s future but forgot mine?
“Sab ka hota hai to mera bhi hona chahiye na?”
“Hai, hai, par gaon main hai.”
As it turned out they don’t keep all the manuscripts with them. Some of them are kept in their village in Tamil Nadu. Every time they go to the village they take back the current set and bring along a new set in exchange. My manuscript was sitting safely in the village.
So after all the effort and the enthusiasm my future continued to be shrouded in mystery and will be in that exact state till such time that they retrieve my manuscript or I take a crash course in Tamil and make a trip to their village.
The astrologer couldn’t reveal my future but his housing society revealed this cute guy.A stray adopted by one of the neighbours. I normally don’t put up pictures of myself but this is was waaaaay too cute to not put up.