Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Eating humble halwa

Feb 11th:

I arrived in Rajahmundry Friday morning from Chennai. Ammamma (my grandmother) met me at the door, looking cheerful and healthy. Of course, some of that could be attributed to her seeing her favorite grandchild but it seems the rupee bandages from Yentaganahalli (read my blog on healers..) really did work! She was waiting for a good day(!) to start taking the medicines the Ayurveda doctor gave her, plus she has the instincts of a good experimenter, so she was able to observe the effects of the bandage. “Some madman we thought him,” she said, referring to Gangayya. “But maybe his touch is effective.” Readers, choose your interpretations! All explanations are correct (or wrong). Maybe it is only the non-discriminating mind, not the over-educated, that can 'understand' and appreciate this.

Lest you worry that I am wandering off into Vedanta or Zen, here's yet another diatribe on my astrologer uncle (well, maybe the first online!). This uncle of mine purportedly has the ability to predict the future, and no one will tell you more about that than he himself! All the time, it is how he saved someone from a dire future or how a client of is does not take a step without consulting him. One could easily be fooled into thinking he's bluffing! But it's true – I know of atleast one such astrologically crippled person who has total faith in him. In the time honored tradition of good astrologers, his personal life is not in the best of conditions – 'Astrologer, heal thyself' doesn't quite work.

Another area of specialty of my uncle is Vaastu Shastra – the ancient art/science of appropriate house construction. He has been known to suggest moving staircases, entrances, kitchens etc. Vaastu is keeping construction and remodelling companies happy! My uncle told my father-in-law that the staircase in their house in Bangalore is in the wrong place, but that it's OK if the homeowner's name starts with Ya, Ra, La or Va. Thank goodness my father-in-law's name is Ravindranath!

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