Many years elapsed; I didn’t tell anybody about my secret studies of rare Sanskrit manuscripts. Besides I read many other books in Sanskrit-Hindi and Sanskrit-English translation. The knowledge kept piling up, but I saw no use of it. I could not apply my knowledge as nobody knew what I have been up to.
Then, towards the end of my five year study of astrology, in December 1992, two of my relatives visited my house. A friend, who dabbled in palmistry, also happened to be there. An informal palm reading session was in progress. I was a mute spectator as I saw my friend read the outstretched palms of my relatives and draw appreciative comments. They sometimes looked towards me inquisitively, indicating whether I had something to add to what my friend had already told them. I moved my head in negative, because I only had a rudimentary knowledge of palmistry.
As they were leaving, their eyes fell on my bookrack where many books on astrology were lined up. I knew I could no longer hide my knowledge behind the bookrack; it was out in the open.
Next day, the one who was more curious was back with his horoscope in his hand, and a friend in tow.
I tried to read as accurately as I could but was able to mouth only platitudes. My hands shook and voice trembled. It was a no-show. I wanted to hang my boots even before the battle had begun. It was then suddenly he asked point blank: “Shall I ever go to a foreign country?” “Yes,” I said, emphatically. “You will receive some news on the 6 March 1993.” I said dismissively as I wanted his probing questions to end. He got the message and folded his horoscope and left shortly afterwards. I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew. I was a little rude, too.
Months passed, I had forgotten everything. Then suddenly on the morning of the 7th March, I heard a scooter stop followed by a stomping of feet scaling the stairs, draw near.
“It is sensational,” he cried, trying to catch his breath. All through the 6th March he waited the whole day with bated breath, for a letter or a telephone call to arrive from anywhere. Till nightfall, however, nothing happened.
He gave up hope and went for a stroll. He came back at ten and found his wife at the gate with an e-mail print of invitation to deliver a lecture at a Canadian university in hand!
Dhirendra Prasad Kaintholla