Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I am a very angry guy right now. Very angry.

I was all set to leave for Ahmedabad on the morning of the 20th (I have to report there on the morning of the 23rd), and was two minutes away from booking my ticket, when a couple of elderly people pointed out that I hadn't checked the Panchangam to check if it was an auspicious day.

For the uninitiated, a Panchangam is a Hindu Vedic calender, a series of sheets of paper with dates, numbers and arbit arcane markings. It tells us which days are good, and which would get you killed or eaten by a croc or something. And it's all based on the stars and the alignment of miscellaneous celestial bodies. And this document says that the 20th of June is a bad day for travel. As is the 19th. And the first half of the 21st and the 22nd.

No offense, but b*lls! I refuse to accept that a bunch of stars guide my life and decide what I should do when. We are told to dream big, to make our own destinies and all that, yet we are shackled by having to bow before the diktats of a Vedic calender. I mean, come on!

I don't believe in astrology. I think it's all mumjo-jumbo, whatever MM Joshi may claim. I don't claim to be a maajor man of science or something, and am willing to give in to 'tradition' and 'custom' at times, but I do draw the line at stuff like this. I'm sure there are plenty of bad days in the year, yet we hardly find catastrophes occuring on a regular basis. It seems to me a singularly idiotic way of making travel plans.

I'm sure that atleast half the days I've gone to college, I've left home at a forbidden time like Yamagantam, yet nothing particularly bad has happened. My cousin was the only person in her class who took her exam hall ticket during Rahukalam, yet she topped her school with 95%! Given the way the bad times keep coming around so frequently and at different times each day, following a policy of checking for auspiciousness is bound to lead to a LOT of wasted time and seriously low productivity.

And another thing I find infuriating at times is the blind belief that some people place in these things. Ask them why they follow it, and all they'll say is that this is what their elders told them. Oh, please, why did you never think of questioning anything at all? (I've noticed this tendency most among those who were my age not in the rebellious 70s but in the not-so-rebellious-and-absurdly-acquiescent-40s, 50s and 60s.)

Free, getting too hot under the collar... just can't stand all this astrology crap.

Am very angry. Now I have to either travel by train on the 18th and end up there 3 days in advance, or take a flight that cost three and a half times as much. #$%@.

<-- update -->
After a bit of an argument with the family priest (in spite of the scandalized protests of the aforementioned elderly people), I got him to admit that the inauspicious times strike only in the last minute of the 20th, and it is therefore Vedically and celestially alright for me to travel on the 20th.

I still don't hold with astrology, though.
<-- end of update -->


Sneha said...

I truly sympathize...and empathize..Well,atleast you had the diplomacy to try and convince people to see it your way..(right?)

And out of curiosity, what 'logical' arguments did u place before the astrologer to get him to concede the last minute thingy???..lol

AC said...

Sorry I didn't reply earlier, exams and all that!

Thanks mercury :), but I don't think I was particularly diplomatic! I usually don't mince words, especially when it's something like this I don't believe in at all... don't know if I managed to convince anyone!

I kept arguing with him, forcing him to explain exactly why, scientifically, the time was wrong and all that. He gave what I felt was a lot of fart about celestial alignments and cosmic rays and tides and planetary effects and stuff. Since it is all based on astronomy, I asked him precisely when the bad alignment or whatever would occur, and he did a little checking, then sheepishly admitted it was at 2359 hours! So that's how the day was won!

Random Access said...

You accept astronomy as a science? I believe astrology is as much a science as Astronomy. If Stephen Hawkins can accept he made a mistake on what he said 30 yrs ago and what was believed to be right, then I dont see why not an harrassed astrologer. He would rather put his science to good use on people who would heed it. Well, if he was a proper astrologer, in the first place. I felt you only put across ur biased view, so cant say much. If you really dont wanna hear abt it, no point trying to tell u things.

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