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Hang Your Horoscope!

Hang Your Horoscope!

K. V. Dominic

Praveen is a smart electronic engineer at Wipro. He is very handsome, affable and conquers minds through his ever-smiling face. He wins respect from his superiors as well as subordinates through commitment to his profession. But one problem is bothering him, his parents and kith and kin. Though thirty five he remains still a bachelor. It’s none his fault that he remains single. He has been seeking a life partner for the past eight years. His parents are more worried than him. His only sibling, younger sister was married off ten years before and has two children studying in school. Praveen’s villain is his horoscope. He is a Brahmin and his parents are highly orthodox. They have blind belief in horoscope. Praveen’s horoscope predicts that he is unlucky to have a long married life. His wife will die within one year of his marriage. Innumerable proposals came from different quarters, from good looking, well employed girls. They all withdrew when they read his horoscope. Which girl will take the risk of death by marrying him? Which parent will send his/her daughter to the gallows? In fact Praveen has no belief in horoscope. He believes that stars and planets are just creations of God as human beings and other beings are. So they can’t be any determinant factor to other creations’ destiny. It’s ultimately the Creator who decides what one should be. Being highly obedient and loving his parents so much that he could not fall in love with any girl who was rational like him.

One evening Praveen told his dad, “Dad, let me advertise in the matrimonial page of The Hindu?”

“What use? The girl’s parents will ask for your horoscope,” dad replied.

“We shall include the horoscopic prediction in the advertisement,” I suggested.

“Right. If any girl or parents are willing let them reply,” ma replied.

“Ok, you may give then. I don’t think anybody will turn up,” dad said. Praveen drafted the advertisement. It read so:

BRIDE NEEDED

PRAVEEN, BRAHMIN YOUTH AGED 35, HANDSOME, 6 FEET, WORKING IN WIPRO, BANGALORE AS ELECTRONICS ENGINEER NEEDS GOODLOOKING, EMPLOYED BRIDE. HOROSCOPE PREDICTS WIFE’S DEATH WITHIN A YEAR. INTERESTED GIRLS AND PARENTS MAY CONTACT: praveenwipro@gmail.com

The matrimonial was handed over to the newspaper office along with the advertisement charge.

Sunday morning. Praveen looked into The Hindu to see his matrimonial. It was there without any spelling mistake or typo errors. Having read it he couldn’t suppress his laugh. “Which fool will come forward?” his inner voice asked him. He just went through the other matrimonials. Nothing strange or funny in them! Suddenly his eyes locked at an advertisement:

BRIDEGROOM NEEDED

PARVATI, BRAHMIN LADY AGED 30, GOODLOOKING, POSTGRADUATE IN ENGLISH, 5 FEET 8 INCHES, WORKING AS GUEST LECTURER, NEEDS WELL EMPLOYED BRIDEGROOM. NO BARRIER ON CASTE. HOROSCOPIC ALERT: HUSBAND MAY DIE WITHIN SIX MONTHS. THOSE INTERESTED MAY CONTACT: krishnarj007@gmail.com

“Hurrah! Parvati may be my life partner,” Praveen jumped up and exclaimed.

“Praveen, what’s wrong with you?” ma asked.

“Ma kindly look at this matrimonial. This is our matrimonial and this one a similar one from one Parvati,” Praveen pointed them out.

“My God, we don’t want her. If the prediction comes true . . . Even if you remain single we need you always with us,” ma cried.

Hearing our talk dad came from his office room.

“Has our matrimonial come in the paper?” he enquired.”

I showed him both the matrimonials.

“Very strange and coincidental! Are you interested in her proposal,” dad asked.

“Yes dad. I am going to write to her,” I replied.

“What? If anything happens to you?” dad asked.

“Dear dad and ma, the Creator has decided what we ought to be. Just surrender to His will and pleasure. I have waited all these years for a match. My damned horoscope dissuaded all proposers. I have told you several times that I have no belief in it. It’s all because of your obstinacy that I couldn’t search for a rational girl. This lady belongs to our same caste. It seems that she has no belief in horoscope and may accept my proposal. So if she is willing I will marry her. You may kindly allow me to propose to her,” Praveen implored.

“Ok son, if you insist so we won’t object to it. Let things happen as God wills,” dad replied.

Praveen sent an email to Parvati detailing his status, horoscopic prediction and willingness to marry her. He asked her to reply detailing her whereabouts. Parvati was only happy to have him as her husband, for she, like him believes that horoscope is a means of the religious mafia to exploit the laity. She wrote a long mail to Praveen expressing her willingness as well as detailing her bio data. Parvati is the only daughter of her parents who are doctors practising in their own hospital. Though a postgraduate in English she couldn’t get a regular appointment as lecturer since the State government has banned appointments for several years.

The marriage date was fixed. 10 November at the nearby temple. Praveen wedded Parvaty in the presence of a small gathering of close relatives and friends. The entire gathering, well aware of the couples’ horoscopic prediction, prayed intensely to the gods to avert their future catastrophe. Needless to say, both Praveen and Parvaty had no tension at all during the marriage ceremony, first night or the honeymoon days that followed.

To the amazement of all, the gift coupon which Parvaty got from the jewelry shop when she bought the wedding ornaments, won the first prize of one kilogram gold on the draw date of first December. Four months after their marriage another fortune descended on them. Parvaty got permanent appointment in a government college as lecturer in English. Their happy days went one after another. Five months . . . six months . . .  Nothing happened to Praveen. He got promotion as executive engineer. One year passed . . . nothing happened to Parvaty except that she carried. They celebrated their first wedding anniversary burning their horoscope papers like a campfire to the mirth of their parents gathered on the front yard. The parents now understood the folly of horoscopes and how innocent people are cheated by astrologers supported by priests.

Parvaty gave birth to a cute son. Five years passed . . .  Parvaty delivered a lovely girl. . . . The wheel of time passed year after year . . .  ten year . . . twenty year . . . twenty five year.

Praveen and Parvaty are celebrating their wedding silver jubilee today. Their son Prasanth and daughter Pallavi have arranged a feast in their house to felicitate the best parents in the world. Relatives, friends and neighbours were invited for the function. Parents of both Praveen and Parvaty had already bidden adieu to the world content of their children’s happy married life. When felicitations were over Praveen got up to express their gratitude to all. In his brief speech he narrated their bitter days of fight with horoscope before the marriage. He wound up his speech thus: “I exhort to you my good friends, neighbours, relatives and younger generation: you should hang your horoscope. Then success is yours.”