As we prepare for the arrival of a new year, one must ponder the wisdom of our great leaders. I am personally inspired by the honourable man who said in Parliament that “Science is a pygmy compared to astrology.” This is an astonishing statement. The problem, dear friends, is that for years, we have been brainwashed by Evil Scientists who, under the guise of curing cancer and improving life-expectancy, have actually been trying to rob us of our tradition of blind faith.
It turns out my itty-bitty insignificant life is, in fact, a grand (if slightly bizarre) epic, charted in the sky by a handful of stars and planets. Imagine, each of our 7 billion lives can be predicted accurately and exactly by mapping the state of the sky at the time of our birth. What more do we want from life?
But this is nothing new. We Indians rely on astrologers to tell us when we should get married, stand for election, or buy new undies. On auspicious “muhurtham” days, there is even a rush at hospitals for surgery. (Indian Astrology! Saving countless lives—but only on auspicious days!). We also support the various offshoots of astrology: numerology, where you can increase your wealth and confound foreigners at the same time by adding a random alphabet to your name; gemology, where buying certain (expensive) jewels can increase the wealth of your jeweller and bring you peace of mind; and last, but not the least, Vaasthu, the tradition of building a house by imagining a man squatting awkwardly on your site and making sure you build the pooja room near the entrance to his brain.
I once studied in a little school that was trying to do education the right way. My teachers realised belatedly that the first model exams for 10th standard had been scheduled at an inauspicious hour ruled by Rahu. Now, Rahu is a shadow-planet that Western astronomers have been unable to find in space. This is probably because it is also an immortal demon’s head. Without getting too scientific here, the whole demon is immortal, but its head and body are separated and floating in space (hence proving that Indians invented space-travel and violent beheadings). The only time that Rahu appears in the sky is when it tries to eat the moon or the sun. This makes sense. If you were a disembodied head floating in space for centuries, wouldn’t you get hungry too at some point? And wouldn’t the moon then look like a chunk of fried paneer and the sun like a gulab-jamun? Western astronomers call this little binge-eating episode an eclipse. Anyway, to return to my story, it looked like Rahu was going to hang around while we wrote our exams. In panic, the teachers consulted an astrologer who, after some complex calculations, suggested payment in cash and outwitting the demon by starting before dawn. We kids landed up at 5am at school, and all of us passed the exam with flying colours. Such is the power of astrology.
I remembered this yesterday as I awakened from my science-induced stupor. Naturally, I thought I should go get an astrological prediction for the new year. I wasn’t able to go to an actual astrologer in time for this column, but I was able to find many sites on the Internet. A search for “my Indian horoscope” yielded about 16 lakh results on Google. (Surely this proves that Indians invented the internet in the treta yuga?) I was finally able to find a reliable horoscope for 2015:
“In the first half of 2015, Jupiter will transit in the 11th house bringing you prosperity, financial gain, and a better interest rate on your loan. From 11th house, Jupiter aspects 7th house of relationship which means you will be surrounded by loving family members. Certain black-magic rituals may, however, be needed if you want them to stop dropping hints about children. Take care of your health in June because Saturn will be in your 9th house and Arnab Goswami will still be on TV. It may be wise to lock him (Saturn, not Arnab) in the guest bathroom. An ascendant Ketu over Ulsoor lake is cause for some concern. However, there are remedies. Firstly, donate ghee and potatoes to the local temple. Secondly, apply saffron tilak on six coconuts with husk every four months in running water. Thirdly, click here for an amazing one-time offer of divine blessings for Rs.5000! (We accept VISA, Mastercard and Paypal).”