Aastha Manocha has a post-graduate diploma in journalism. She worked for The Indian Express portal for close to two years as a sub-editor. She is young and idealistic in her journalistic pursuit. We don't know what she's doing here either.
Can You Predict A Person’s Future?
The joke goes – “Do you know that you can tell a person’s future from their backsides? It’s called ass-trology.” Given the usual fare served on Hindi news channels it is perhaps not surprising that they have regular shows on astrology. But watching them one can’t help but despair the levels to which TV news programming has sunk.
If you were looking for some early morning Hindi news when you wake up at the yoga posing hour, you’re just kidding yourself. What you’ll get is a nice dosage of what’s good for you, and what isn’t; what piece of clothing you should be wearing, what you shouldn’t. AND the most important – a tipni on emerging victorious from war! War?? Yes war. For more details I’m afraid you’re going to have to continue reading. You seriously can’t expect me to tell you right now. A few of the world’s superpowers have offered me millions already.
My day started off with Bhavishyavani which runs at 7:27 am on India TV so you get your daily dose of superstition early in the day. On Monday’s show, the host Acharya Indu Prakash started with informing us that after 4:11 pm soorya dev vrish (Taurus) raashi mein chale jaayenge and hence will follow 30 days of upheaval for the Central government. Ooooooooo! Big news. Impossible to predict otherwise.
At least the host gave some rationale – however flimsy – for this forecast. Later he just kept giving random bits of advice without any explanation what his conclusions were based on. Sample this: those whose birthday fell on that day should keep an elaichi (cardamom) with them so that happiness and good luck follows them around all year. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a lazy bum, just carry a sliver of the world’s third most expensive spice by weight for success. Dammit! If only Sachin had known this. Wouldn’t have taken him so long to make his hundredth hundred.
Other gems of wisdom included telling Geminis that they would be benefitted by giving their younger sister a gift. So don’t give her a gift because you want to do something nice for her, do it for your own profit. Hurray for family values!
However, the point where the ridiculous became the absurd was when he started discussing the effects of a lizard falling on particular areas of your body. Yes, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for!
According to Sakuna sastra, under certain planetary positions, a lizard falling in the centre of your back will bring strife, while the same reptile falling on the right hand side of the back will bring money and happiness. The height of it was when the Acharya said that a lizard fall on your right shoulder would ensure victory in a yudh (war). For the segment of our readers going to war – you owe me. Big time. My suggestion is to try and make it fall the right hand side of your back and then let it ricochet off your right shoulder. That way you can get money, happiness, AND you can win the war!
The even more bizarre and borderline dangerous show was the cutely named Astro Uncle with astrology expert Pavan Sinha and a female host on Aaj Tak’s Tez channel at 2 pm. Dangerous because its target audience, for Monday’s episode at least, seemed to be mostly students. The show gave eight upays or remedies for not getting fruits in accordance with your efforts. Beautiful bait to hook in anyone who feels even a little let down by their exam results or job interviews.
Coming to the upays, Sinha says the first one is praying to the Sun. He gave a mantra, if you can’t remember that then there is a short four word version, if you can’t even do that there is the gayatri mantra, and if you can’t remember that…well I can give you a four letter word version.
Remedy number 7 is particularly worth mentioning. When the host came to this one, Sinha said this is for married people and is a little strange. For those of you expecting some weird kinky kama sutra position – sorry. This was a covering-up procedure. Your spouse is not to walk barefoot in the house, even when taking a bath!
For the first time even the anchor couldn’t take it anymore and asked him the logic behind it. To which Astro Uncle replied that if the boy or the girl has a weak shukra (Venus) then there will be problems, and this remedy is for the planetary affliction. (???) That still doesn’t explain how your spouse walking with covered feet is going to affect the planet. Or your life.
But by this time rational thinking had departed at the speed of light.
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