MIDWAY: Fortune-tellers galore

There’s hardly any facility that you wouldn’t find in Kathmandu. You can find both roadside shops and big departmental stores here. But what’s interesting is that as you stroll along its footpaths, you can also avail the services of fortune-tellers. I want to especially dwell on those fortune-tellers who sell their services around Ratnapark. These men and women are always ready to predict your future. You’ll find them equipped with some books on astrology, numerology, pictures of various Gods and Goddesses and other essentials for performing rituals like flowers, vermilion, rice etc. You can also find horoscopes and a variety of charts drawn in front of them.

Some fortune-tellers even have a parrot in a cage with many cards in which fortunes are concealed. However, you’ll have to pay a certain amount to know your future. The parrot is then asked to select a card in which your future events are predicted. Even in the 21st century, isn’t it strange that people let a bird predict their future? How hopeless can we get? Why can’t the people who predict other people’s fortune read their own destiny and act accordingly?

A couple of years ago, one of my friends got a palmist to predict his future. I was told that some famous personalities were among his clients. The palmist predicted that my friend would have two wives and three children. At present, he has two children and does not wish to have another one. The prediction created doubts in his wife’s mind. My friend tried to convince her about his innocence but in vain. She was dead sure, after all, how could the palmist’s predictions go wrong?

Conflict destroyed their marital life gradually. They started quarrelling even on minor issues. The wife always suspected my friend’s integrity. The situation got so worse that it eventually let to their break up. After the divorce, my friend married for the second time. The prediction came to be true. My friend had two wives!

However, a question has been plaguing my mind for long. I have not yet been able to discern whether my friend had two wives because of the fortune-teller’s prediction or it was the

forecast that led him to have two wives?