Being able to predict.

I have been watching festival movies the last eight days. The documentary 'Up the Yangtze' was memorable! It was about a family who were displaced as the river went up! The Chinese lyric 'I cannot change your fate but can predict your luck' stayed with me. Ironically there was no need for either a palmist or an astrologer to predict that they had to move.

I am not writing about the need to protect those affected, helpless as they were, but the ability to predict. I know I have this habit of looking at my palm. I had thought that it was not so obvious until Rohini commented when Rhea my eight month old grand daughter looked at her palm one day. Rohini said 'she has taken after you!'

I think it is something I began doing when I was about 12 years old. My father had this huge coffee-table book by Cheiro. Could have been worth something if my mother had not given it away! The book was fascinating. I remember it had prints of palms of famous and infamous people. Hand prints of convicted murderers and those who had committed suicide. Of sick people and even beggars. I remember my father cautioning me to be careful as it was not really an exact science and I had better things to do. I took the hint and stopped reading the book. In any case it had too many details and my lines were not too exciting! Did not match palms of any of the famous actors shown in the book.

Then I had this unexpected and unpleasant exposure to a palmist. He was actually a doctor and a friend of my brother-in-law. In one of his visits to Bangalore, my BIL went across to meet him and I had tagged along as usual. The doctor had nice things to say about my BIL's future and as you can expect I thrust my palm for a read. I might have been abrupt, but I was eager and was just sixteen. The doctor did not really read my palm, just had a casual look and shocked me with 'I am surprised that you are alive, you should not be living according to your palm!'

As we returned, embarrassed, my BIL said 'I don't know why he acted this way, but he is known to be moody!' and advised me not to take it too seriously. A good example for the advice 'Kai thorasi avalakshana yaake kela beku?' (Why show your palm and be given a bad prediction!). It put me off palmistry though!

Another close encounter was when I had just started working. A colleague used to give me a ride home on his motorbike. The rides were exciting as he was fast and was very good. I was advised by my friends not to go with him as he was rash. I knew he was not and I felt safe. One of them even predicted that he is sure to have an accident. I had also noticed that his lines did not resemble a normal palm. But I did not look it up in my father's book. In any case there was no way I would stop going with him. Not when you are twenty two.

Then the prediction sadly came true, he had an accident and died on the spot. He had no helmet on and he was on the pinion and was thrown off the scooter head long and hit a electric pole when the driver braked suddenly. It was doubly sad that while he was a good driver he was not in control. Yes, when I looked up the book later, it said his lines spelt an accident and an injury to the head. I wished desperately that I could have somehow averted this unnecessary tragedy. I also know that it is no easy matter to predict. It is more likely that you are wrong in your readings and hence predictions! Then how do you fix the time and place, it is all very complex. Not many have this ability.

Anyway, coming back to the festival movies, I saw a documentary about India, not very distinctive, but one of the them interviewed said this: 'Everyday, I am not sure if my daughter will be back after school or my wife who goes shopping will return'.

Surely, it is beyond the time for predictions to avoid tragedy. It is time for a divine intervention and we must turn to HIM for help. Probably that is the problem! There are so many different views and claims about him.


Gayathri said…
I wonder if you have seen what happens on the numerous Indian TV channels - there are all sorts of astrologers who make all sorts of predictions based on phone calls from viewers. I watched this comedy show on which on one of the stand-up comedians did this perfect spoof on such TV astrologers - and he had a great point to make - that in a country like India where everyone and his uncle seems to know what your future is, and is offering free advice on what you should do on practically anything at all, why would any Indian need an astrologer!!!
Arun Sethi said…
(I watched all the fest. movies with Arun Sethi. His wife Geeta joined us for two of them. They are new comers to our Bangkok circle. He has produced documentaries independently thru his company 'Video Communications' and his wife Geeta works for the UN. Arun studied at the Film Institute in Pune. They are neighbours of Priya and Srikanth! I must thank him for his choice of 'good movies to see' and his company. Made it more interesting. It is my intention to blog about his documentaries which we are planning to see soon!)

Dear Nidhi,
It was a delight to open this morning to your blog- but I also realised I don't really know how to interact with one! So I am sending you my own rambling reaction to your thoughts on the festival, at your hotmail address!
Fond regards,

"It was wonderful watching some good movies with you at the festival! As for the good fortune of seeing good movies in good company, I doubt any of my lines could have predicted that!

However, like your motor-bike friend's "future", I too have heard of many predictions, advising caution- none counseling a passionate rush into any act; and since no one has cared to gather the "success rate" data on the outcome of this "caution", my fear of "forecasting" is that fortunes told will only restrain and seldom provoke action i.e. one's "fate" might have been decided by Him, but the average of good "luck" might directly depend on the initiatives one takes to enhance one's own "future", using all the capabilities one has, and has honed.

And this was so clear in Up the Yangtze, where the father had lost a lot of time, as he had to relocate anyway and find himself a new life because he had thought he could "continue to continue" farming the little bit of land around his house by the rising river- while his daughter stepped out and took on unknowns to "provoke" her "good luck" into action (and perhaps "grab" her Fate, rather than let it overcome her…)!
Happy rambling!"
Rohini said…
I'm going to see an Italian movie at the Vancouver International Film festival (VIFF). My friend predicts it will be good but I really hope it will is not very often that i get to see a movie these days :-).

Will let you know how it is.

When I was in 9th grade one of my friends who was into reading palms said i would do great things but for my laziness!

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