Many a worried parent has made a trip to the family astrologer (yes, there exists such a concept) carrying a horoscope on yellowing paper (25 years is a long time) and a heavy heart.
And the astrologer has, true to the last rudraksha on his body talked about the evils of shani, rahu and ketu and insisted that things will be better two years hence.
The parents return, and it is now the turn of the family priest to play the role of saviour. Milk, oil (if its shani we are talking about) all sorts of grain, lamps, black, white, red or whatever-the-colour-he-demands cloth and of course the usual flowers, camphor and incense are procured and offered to the offending celestial body.
Suddenly, the fates smile. The visa (if its a son the parents are worried about) or the bridegroom (in case it’s a daughter, plays same role as visa, though) appear and cause much celebration in the family. All is well and the holy men were right. We must do this the next time something goes wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for astrology. Anything that helps you make an honest living (or in the case of our family astrologer, who sits on the mountaintop dispensing advice for welfare of society, fruit) is fine by me.
But what bothers me is the hullabaloo they make over the poor planet with rings. Seven years of hardship, they say. Fine. But do you think you could have a brilliant life without hardship? Has it ever occured to you morons that possibly, just possibly, it’s the so called hardship that brings out the best in you? Humans are a species who celebrate pleasure. I’m no masochist myself, but somewhere, I believe that it takes all kinds to make a good life. A dash of shani, a whiff of rahu, some trouble with mangal (and a tree for a husband like Aishwarya Rai) Guru smiling beatifically from above… Everything. I’m sure when the Gods gift us our destiny they make sure that you get everything you could ever possibly want, but none of it for free.
Why all this fuss over a few bad days or years? You’re alive, healthy and strong. That’s what really matters. Right?