Monday, August 11, 2014
It's All in the Stars
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?