A Tryst with Astrology

During a newspaper reading session on a lazy Sunday afternoon, my father comes up to me and takes my hand in his. Taken aback, I certainly did not want this hand-in-hand father son bonding talk to ruin my holiday. But without saying a word, he started pressing the base of my fingers and various points on my palm, lost in deep concentration, murmuring to himself.
For a minute, he seemed hysterical. Then out of the blue, he utters, pointing to the contours of my palm. “See that,” he said. “That’s your Shani (Saturn). It’s really weak. It’s the planet that follows you everywhere and is responsible for accidents in your life. You must do something for it. Listen to “Astro Uncle” and it will do wonders for you”.

I was dumbstruck. Brought up in a world where planets were the discoveries of man and everything to be proven, had to have a science or logic behind it, and made me smirk. Just to see him blindly believe a man on a study that involves personal opinion without scientific backing was unthinkable. Why would he believe a so-called, prima facie vast field of science without any scientific accountability? How is it possible that their prediction can affect the millions of myriad people who have the same zodiac? Such questions always haunt me when we have this conversation. Moreover, the fact that intrigues me is his taking refugee in astrology only in the negative situations. If he is successful in something, it would be hard work; if not, it would be karma.

This blind faith is a little difficult to comprehend keeping in mind it governs majority or almost all of his actions in day-to-day life. From instances like removing slippers the other way round is a sign of indecisiveness to having claw-like fingers in a normal hand position signifies evil. If that is so, blame God and let my fingers be. It sure makes me meet my saturation point

Or is the difference in ideology the effect of our upbringing in a radical environment where freethinking was encouraged? We believe that if science cannot provide proof, nothing else can. Thus, if science cannot tell the future with certainty, astrology is a waste in our eyes. It is just like the interpretation of the Quran. At the end of every interpretation, the Imam gives a disclaimer that it his opinion and only Allah knows best. Ditto is the case with these astrologers. Where the slightest change in the position of the stars and heavenly bodies leads to a drastic change in prediction, how can it be relied upon with so much faith? A blind belief in religion leads to Jihad, blind faith in this could lead to anything.

On the lighter side, when have we seen these “scientists” (they research don’t they?) coming up with negative predictions? None predict a zodiac dying the very next day at 12:39pm do they? At the end of the day who would want to displease the audience and lose TRPs? This is what I call implementation of simple marketing techniques. What happened to sayings like “hard work pays in the long run” and “do your best and leave the rest”? Why do our elderly have to retrace their own words? Why do they tell us to believe in ourselves, when they trust old bearded fools to tell them in which direction their nose should face, while they are sleeping? Maybe that IS the difference between generations. The adage, “what has to happen will happen” has changed to “what has to happen will be made to happen”. Thy shall blame no one but their own. That more or less justifies all.

Deshan Tucker

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