Prophecies and predictions play an important part in our lives right from the time we come into this world. This is true across the world regardless of the race, caste or religion, though some give little credence to it but others take it more seriously. Certain days are considered auspicious for birth of progeny so the timing of birth of children is planned accordingly. Even labors are induced if necessary, to ensure that the birth happens on the specific day. When children start growing an auspicious time is selected for shaving off the head in Hindus and baptization for Christians, Bar Mitzvah for Jews, and such other events in other religions and communities as well. In the cycle of life every event , the first time a child takes solid food, goes to school, gets married , till the death are decided by auspicious times for the event.
At every stage in life the important events are planned as per predictions of planetary movements, relying on horoscopes, reading tarot cards , according to individual’s belief. I remember when I was a very young kid, one of the distant relative who was visiting us asked me what I would like to become in future? I replied in all innocence that I would like to become a painter or a story teller. He laughed and said, that would not help in earning bread so what else I wished to do. I remembered one of my uncles who was in the Army and replied more confidently, I would like to join the Army. He asked me to show my palm and after examining for a few minutes declared that I would never be able to join the Army! I was hurt, but kept quiet and decided that one day, I will disprove him and sure enough, I joined the Navy.
It was always fascinating to hear about relatives who went for holidays where as children, we hardly traveled beyond Agra from Delhi , so somewhere inside there was a desire to travel and see the world! It would not be easy as one needs money and time to indulge in this. Some people who knew us well predicted that we would follow the steps of our parents and the ‘flights of fancy’ would remain a dream! At an impressionable age, every time someone tried to put down, I made the greater resolve to live a life as per own dictum.
Things have not changed much with times. Even now, predictors of doom and gloom continue to play with the psyche of the people. Unfortunately, the lesser privileged and lesser educated start believing in this! Even the mass entertainment channels on the TV portray negativity and regressive thoughts much more than positive and well being. Just flick the channels and you will realize that if there are no ‘saas bahu, stories of lost children, adultery, it is prediction of future by stargazers, prediction of share prices and prediction of growth rates in the movement of economy by business channels. It is a full time engagement of all news channels these days, as to who will win the elections and form a government. The story is not very different when it comes to print media either where the newspapers are falling head over heels to predict who will win the majority in the ensuing elections, and how the economy will fare. The insurance companies and banks paint a rosy future by alluring prospective clients by predicting better returns in future. The real estate business promises best houses at affordable prices in premium locations by predicting the rising value with time. So no matter which way we see, very few people consider the present important and are more worried about a bright future! Nostradamus had predicted the end of world in year 1994 and Mayan’s had predicted doomsday on 21 Dec 2012 but we have still survived!!
PS: Images kind courtesy Google