Monday, August 11, 2014

It's All in the Stars

Tarot Parrot

Do you watch Taiwanese and Korean dramas? At times, do you feel that the plots are far-fetched and all things that can go wrong will go wrong. And secrets always get out in the open with a bang? One doesn't need to be too creative really as these things happen in reality, with perhaps even more twists. One such example is my colleague of Ceylonese descent. Similar to India, society in Sri Lanka also favours arranged marriages. And with my colleague reaching marriagable age, his parents were already busy engaging marriage brokers and poring over catalogues of brides that are compatible with him from an astrology point of view. Wanting to be in better control of his future, he presented his own candidate to his parents. Lucky for him, they relented. Initial astrology checks did not raise any red flags so they continued on for more than a year. As the plans for marriage became more concrete, his future-in-laws consulted another astrologer. A celebrity astrologer mind you, someone who even appears on TV. And lo and behold, the stars were not in their favour. The reading was very bad. They even got a second opinion, and the results were not better. Just because of this issue, he had to fly back home several times. At wits end, he finally got his cousin to bribe an astrologer to give him a favourable reading. Unfortunately, the older generation weren't so easily convinced and consulted their own experts again. The whole issue blew up. Basically, he wasted two years and both families ended up not on good terms. Sadly, he wasn't ready to give up, but there wasn't much hope to get their parents' blessings. No cases of honour killings in Sri Lanka, but apparently suicide does happen from all this stress. Another local Indian colleague reported a similar case. Supposedly if he married his wife, he would end up a widower with no kids. But good for him that there was a way around it. During his marriage ceremony in the temple, the priest actually married him to a banana tree first, before chopping it down and burning it. So creative. I really don't get why people like to go for fortune tellers, palm readers and astrologers. If you hear something bad, you end up making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you hear something good, you go around trying to confirm it. What good comes of it?


Hdaran said...

The only reason Hindus are so hung up over astrology is because it has been integral in our culture over millenniums ago! And even with modernisation, Hindus have proved to be resilient and stoic in their adherence to religion, spirituality and all things sacred and holy. The basis of Hindu astrology is to allow ease of life, not inhibit it. It has also been used as a way to work around residual karma that may inhibit union with God i.e. mokhsha. As motives have changed over thousands of years, so has utilisation of the science for worldly gain and hence trade for monetary gain, over-analysis of the science, over-interpretation of signs and abundant miscalculations. Because proper astrology reading can be used to improve overall well-being, people have gone past just settling for a calm, happy life and have started looking for signs of material gain and unnecessary bad news that they are fated for due to karma. Some of these unnecessary signs can simply be avoided via medication or just a general wholesome, positive living. An example would be your colleague's frustrating situation; marriage counselling, understanding, healthy living and some extent of Vasthu Sasthra (Hindu version of what is known as Feng Shui) may very well improve it and ensure them a happy and content life. If a relationship is doomed to fail, it will ultimately fail, regardless of astrology.

If an alcoholic who has a pregnant wife goes to a fortune teller and the fortune teller bears news that begetting a daughter would result in his premature death, the reason of his death would ultimately NOT be the XX chromosome of his wife's pregnancy but rather his further alcohol abuse stemming from an erroneous state of mind that conceives a notion of his impending death... Makes sense???

William said...

In the case of my colleague, before he had been given a chance to work on his relationship, it had already been shot down. And he's a Buddhist actually, not a Hindu.

Hdaran said...

That's too unfortunate. Well I assumed Hindu because of the picture... My bad!

Twilight Man said...

What an interesting story from you. I would believe those thick Chinese books or I-Ching but certainly not a parrot that picks out cards!

William said...

Different standards