What the stars foretell and the sub-text…
I just glanced through the astrological forecast for the week of my star sign, that was published in an internet magazine. The 300 word weekly prediction written in a tech-savvy manner nudges me to stir out without losing further time and acquire a few high-duty electrical appliances like a state of the art cooking range for my kitchen, as this is best time for me to procure assets of this kind. It also hints at my front loading washing machine becoming non-functional any time this week and that by tying a green piece of cloth on my left wrist, I can turn my luck around to be positive.
Now, I am surprised beyond any reasonable limit as to how and why the stars and planet constellations that constitute the universe and are in perpetual motion, take all the trouble to make it favourable time for a tiny, insignificant speck of galactic sub-particle dust like me, to procure a cooking range with the most recent design features that include a 6 mm thick glass ceramic cooking surface on a couple of independently controlled induction zones with a power of 3.5 kw per zone, all coming with a sleek illuminated console control?
And why would the same stars come up with a sinister plot to make my turbo wash machine to stop unannounced its lovely hum and go on to add to the entropy in the isolated system, which my house always is.
Not only that, I am aghast to find the cyber oracle rounds up his or her forecast with a strict warning: ‘Don’t have any interactions of whatsoever kind with thy neighbours, this week’.
I am aghast at the last byte of astro-advice as my ground-floor and up-one-floor neighbours are in perfect bonhomie and harmony with us for the past thirty years or so. We, all the good folks we are, have met around 20 times in these 30 years on the elevator and have had exchanged smiles as elevator communication every time we went up or down. I don’t think they will be envious if I go for a new cooking range or they would be a part of the faceless gang who would render my washing machine unusable.
It is lamentable that all the technological advancement in the form of broadband internet dished out as 3G and 4G net connectivity has to end up at the binary doors of digital morons, like the folks behind the internet magazine I read.
I have come across another form of net astrology with no free counselling to un-friend my neighbour. It normally goes on with suggestions of the sapphire and emerald kind. The pith astro column would as a matter of fact observe that by wearing my blue diamond ring on my left index finger (note, index finger) my promotion in office will be a cake-walk and by wearing pure gold in the form of a necklace, my luck will be in ascendance especially if I indulge in horse racing, lottery or betting wherever it is allowed. Taking four-weeks predictions together, a quick reckoning will yield the observation that I may require at least 10 different rings with embedded precious stones, a gold necklace, a pair of ear rings and diamond studded nose rings, the last three compulsory pieces of jewellery not suitable for me, a forty plus greying at the temples, Indian male. And even if I am ready to wear these cranky ornaments, I may have to invest a million rupees an year to keep my ornamental inventory position up-to-date, in sync with what my stars foretell. I have a vague doubt that these predictions are published at the instance of a cartel of all jewellers, small or big breathing around now.
I remember going through an article at another astro-site with a tag labelling the column as ‘Chinese astrology’. The Chinese, I learnt by the time I read the article in full, do not go by star signs nor guided by the axiom, ‘diamonds are forever’. Rather, they base their sooth-saying and crystal glazing on the birth dates. And it is not a miserly weekly prediction but it covers the entire year we are talking about.
I with trepidation glided through the drop-down menus that obtain the information from me on my year, month and date of birth and the page opened up immediately with all and sundry predicting good for me in the forthcoming year. It is going to be a period in which financial income is going to rain in incessantly for me from all sources known and hitherto unknown to me. To make the cash-flow smooth and non-stop, all I have to do is to have a Mandarin goose in my bed room.
I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and read it again. Yes, I understood it correctly –I should have a Mandarin goose in my bed room. Now, I don’t think with a live goose quacking in the bed room and wobbling around, it would be possible to have a peaceful sleep. Still worse, the goose may climb up the bed and since not house-trained, it may soil my blanket or my face or both.
As at cue, I went through the Chinese predictions for all my family members, my in-laws and, after a series of invented elevator meetings with my neighbours, for them too. I was keen to find out which animal or bird each of them should have in the bed room. Of course, in our master bed room, we cannot afford to have the junior entering with a squirrel, the sub junior with a rabbit, mother-in-law with a Cheshire cat and father-in-law with a guinea pig. It is after all a bed room and not a mini zoological park. And horror of horrors, how can one anticipate one’s life partner entering the bed room with a monkey jumping and diving merrily?
Chinese are not that cruel, I found. Whatever be the date of birth, each of us had received a suggestion to go to bed with a Mandarin goose. It would certainly be not the night of the iguana but could be the night of geese for the whole residential apartment building tonight, tomorrow and thereafter.
Whatever grouse we harbour against astrology, it has to be agreed that, thirty years ago, astrological columns which were published in various newspapers, were much practical and in a sense ‘healthier’.
‘The planet Saturn is looking at your birth star and to ward off any difficulty you may face because of it, visit the village shrine every Sunday evening; light a lamp with sesame oil and go round the abode of Saturn in the shrine for a minimum 31 times; that is, clockwise laps. You will have all your days filled with happiness and will be successful’. Thus ran the predictions of those days.
Asking the reader to visit the temple where you worship and socialize; light a lamp within the precincts, making the pathways brighter and going round the abode of Saturn under the neem tree, 31 times, breathing fresh air and getting the much wanted exercise to your limbs, these predictions offered the best psychological and health counselling with the least financial outlay. The simple and plain astrologers of the past are to be venerated for their service to humanity, even if you do not believe in their trade.