A few weeks ago, while we were couch-potatoing as usual, L suggested we go to an astrologer. I don’t know how this idea suddenly crossed her mind nor do I know how I agreed to go for it. You see, lack of thrills in life can make you do this kind of nonsense but trust me when I say this, it was an experience of a lifetime and also a lesson to never repeat the same.
Born in a Christian family, I was trained to disregard any such activity and this disregard doubled in size once education took over. I dislike humans who prophesy about their fellow species’ future. I remember joining the dots to complete a sentence in my 1st standard cursive writing book that said, “A man’s future is in his hands” and taking it too seriously. This sentence still rings in my head every time someone tells me what I cannot become or do.
I was so close to giving up the plan when I recalled myself challenging an astrologer during my 10th boards. He had come to my neighbours’ house to tell them whether their stars were either happy or angry and to give advice on how to make them happier and how not to make them angrier.
Out of sheer curiosity, and nothing else, I raised my left palm and showed it to him. He looked at me straight in my eye and said that I was going to fail my boards. Being the over-confident person that I am, I told him that it was untrue and that I can never fail. Looked like he was more over-confident than me when he repeated that I was going to fail and to contact him in his personal phone in case I passed.
I passed. No, I didn’t call him. Mobile balance was more important than who he was, and Ambani wasn’t that generous then.
Honestly speaking, his prophecy and my ego made me work a lot harder than what I would normally do for my exams. I agree that it scared me but I cannot deny that it worked better than any other encouraging words of a relative at that time. It boosted my self- confidence and strengthened my belief in the above-mentioned quote.
“It worked last time. Why not try it at this point of semester where sleep and boredom are my only inspirations?” I thought to myself.
Four days after the mention of the plan, we set out for our destination. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that far. It’s located in one of the corners of the street through which I commute everyday to get to the supermarket. The sign board displays a huge palm with special emphasis on each of its lines and on the top is written, “Palm reader and Astrologer”, in capitals. This board is not unfamiliar to me. I see it almost everyday yet I decided to ignore its existence, until that day.
The astrologer’s office is small enough to fit just three humans. One being himself and two chairs placed opposite to him for the desperate and the needy. In this case, it was L and I. The remaining space is filled with images of gods and goddesses and on the right is a small television on which two Kannada actors danced with all their glorious energy before he turned it off. The atmosphere was further made compact with the burning of incense and the absence of windows to let the smoke out.
After noting down all that I know about my birth, he drew what looked like a lucky draw sheet and started calculating. He then began telling me things that I like to hear about myself. Generosity, kindness, at times aggressive and etcetera etcetera. Just when I was about to take him seriously, a lady stood outside his office and hurled what sounded like abuses in Kannada. Turns out the astrologer hadn’t paid his rent in months and she was asking him to vacate his office. Seems like his phone wasn’t on his side either, it rang. And while it rang, I was more than amused to listen to his ringtone. Closer by The Chain-smokers. Anybody who’s aware of its lyrics will find it difficult to trust his saintly claims.
Holding my faith in humanity, I sat there still. One chance cannot hurt, I thought to myself and regretted it the second he opened his mouth. He spoke of some black magic, of some accident, some bone-breaking possibilities and some life turning event before the 15th of February but nothing startled me until he said that I was to be married by the age of 25. My dad would kill me if I decide to get married this young. I could see all my dreams, ambitions and aspirations getting agitated the moment he uttered this nonsense.
“This is it”, I thought. I wouldn’t be sitting there and receiving verbal blows on my already confused life. I paid him his fee. Such a waste of a 100-rupee note in this time of demonetization. I shouldn’t have listened to L.
Just when I was about to leave, I decided to put some balm on my burns by asking him about two things I worry about all the time. Career and Money. He took my left palm on his. Studied it or at least pretended to and said just one line, “If you try, you can.”
Yeah! Like I don’t know. Like everybody doesn’t know that. My handwriting book had told me that a decade ago and I’ve decided to trust in it rather than consulting another divine human ever again.
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