Part 2- Nadi astrologers’ revelations
I have only given my experience here. I neither recommend nor dissuade you to go or not to go,its up to you. Please do not ask me personal questions on whether this is true, etc. I cannot guarantee for your visits…I have been flooded with unnecessary personal mails probing my personal and family details…sorry, I will not answer beyond this blog—Author)
Sri Agathiyar Nadi Jothida nilayam
( D balasubramaniam)
189, Periyar Nagar,
Tamil Nadu – 631501
mobile:94436 89363 ( S. kumar)
It was quite early in the day for the place, I guess, when I stepped into the small verandah of the Nadi centre and was greeted by a Dhoti-clad Receptionist wearing sandal paste and vibhuti ( Holy ash) on his forehead. He spoke in a mix of chaste Tamil and broken English which worked just fine for me, because I have fluent English but halting Tamil. A sort of equalizer, that one!
I was asked to wait for five minutes till they got the ink pad and paper ready to collect my thumb impression, which is about the only input they require from you to decipher your past, present and future from the readings of olai leaves written in cryptic and poetic Tamil by great sages of yore like Agashtya . ‘Nadi’ in Tamil means ‘to search’, I was told by a fellow customer who waited with me and not ‘pulse’ as a kannadiga like me would immediately conclude wrongly.
They brought an ink pad and took my right thumb impression and wrote my initials on it.
They did not ask me for any other details like age, place of birth or whatever. When I volunteered to inform them, the guy who collected my thumb print held up his hand and said, that is not required as they would ‘come to know’ all my ‘details’ shortly, smiled at me mysteriously and went away. I was sort of baffled as to how any person’s complete details could be available on some preserved ancient palm leaf leaves supposed to be centuries old. But that was what had brought me here and there are no easy answers.
The guy next to me says. ‘This place is ‘romba pramathama’ etc ( meaning its great, fantastic ! ), “why, even Americans and Japanese come and get their predictions done too” he tells me wonderingly. I nod my head with all amazement as I am expected to.
I was shortly escorted to the thatched roof terrace, which I noticed has small cubicles with doors for individual consultations. The palm leaf manuscripts are supposedly stored at a secluded corner away from prying eyes of the visitors.
The fair vibhuti donning astrologer who asked me to be seated on the visitor’s chair introduced himself as Jayakumar.
He had a roll of manuscripts with him bound with wooden covers and he proceeded to open them in front of me. He asked me where I had come from. I was all eyes and ears now.
He told me that there are two or more such rolls matching my thumb print and he would go through them asking me short personal questions and I should answer them only Yes or No and nothing more. He would get to the correct manuscript by elimination method.
I nodded enthusiastically urging him to get going.
He started off reading short cryptic Tamil poems on the first roll and lift his head and start firing questions at me in English. It went like this, answers in brackets mine:-
Your father’ name is Govinda ( No), Your mother’s name shankari( No)
You are a Brahmin (Yes), You are married (yes), This is your second marriage (Certainly Not!), you have two degrees in education ( Yes). You are a business man ( No) etc etc.
He closed this roll saying, ‘this one does not belong to you’ as most of the answers are ‘negative’. ‘Wait,’ he says, ‘I will get the next one’ and goes away. He was back in a few minutes carrying a similar one . The first question he asked me after reading the first poem or line or whatever in it was- your father’s name is Srinivasa Murthy ( Bingo, Yes), then he goes on more assuredly-Your mothers name is Leela and she is alive ( Yes again…heart thumping!!), your father is no more( Yep! I croak), you have one brother and a sister, both married ( Correct). Your name is Nagesh Kumar ( Yes..thats it!!)., wife’s name is Shyamala ( Whew!!)
I was stumped. He had done it!…
‘How you’..’this one’..’really’ I blubbered in a dazed state.
‘Happens all the time’, he says smiling at my predicament knowingly.
“I had told that my name was Nagesh Kumar in the reception, so you got it from there….” I was trying to rationalize weakly.
“Whether you tell us or not, we can always get the right palm leaf containing all your family details correctly”, he assures me good naturedly, “But ha!… Some investigations may take hours and some even a couple of days, But we don’t go wrong”, he exudes confidence and asks me whether I have brought my horoscope with me.
Now, I am all for co-operation and try to take it out of my bag. But he smiles away the necessity and says “I will cast your horoscope without the panchangam (Hindu calendars are called panchangams) now, you can verify with yours”
He reads the next paragraph from the leaves and says, ‘you were born on 13th march ‘61 and your age is 46’. Of Course, he is right!!
Then amazingly without having a 1961 year Hindu calendar, he quickly wrote out the position of the nine planets on the twelve houses of zodiac signs of my horoscope, out of the blue. I have been to astrologers for such tasks before and I know that such exercises consume time and involve essentially some mathematical computations as well.
Well, none of that here. It was over in as much time as it took to write.
He showed me his version of my horoscope and asked me to compare with my copy now.
I did and found only Saturn from his version in a house preceding that in mine . he says that is because “ Yours is computer generated and when the time falls in the grey area between the two planets , we ( manually) take the earlier whereas softwares are programmed to take the latter, he explains knowingly.
‘Ah, ha!’ I said brightening up to the idea! ‘Software glitches’, I surmise, not the first time anyway…
Wow, I look at him in admiration…. Personal details correctly predicted without my help and then horoscopes thus matched… Well, he has another satisfied customer in me there.
‘Now sir, your work is over here’…He says. “You can wait downstairs in the reception”
I had not done much work since coming there anyway except blurt ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in monosyllable answers like in an oral objective type test!!
‘I will write the details in Tamil and someone will take record the same in an audio cassette for you translating to English’, he says as I get up and go out.
‘Sure, perfectly OK’, I mutter and take a break.
I sip coffee from a petty shop near by and start making any sense out of what had happened or how. Like how a sage like Agasthya could have known about a certain Nagesh Kumar or his family ages ago..I had come to understand how this works but I was going to go away none the wiser…
But was it ‘paisa vasool’? Sure.
The ‘nadi’ predictions are contained in 12 chapters and each one costs Rs 300 or thereabouts for English ones. Tamil Predictions are cheaper by a hundred rupee.
I will skip the rest of the details as they are very personal and can be shared only with my family members privately. Suffice to say he told me all he could from the first chapter and would be taking up the reading of the other chapters of my choice later as I was supposed to pay a visit to a Murugan temple and perform archanai on a Tuesday and only then…’I could call him on his mobile from Chennai and let him know to start,’ you see. The rest of the reading will be couriered to me soon after…
With a cassette of the recording in my pocket, I left from the shop, a satisfied customer like many others.
As it was around 12 noon by then, I had my vegetarian lunch at Saravanas at the Hotel and availed the luxury of a moderate sista during the hot afternoon.
In the early evening I visited the ‘vamana murthy ‘ temple described as ulagalanda perumal wherein the deity stands tall with two legs akimbo, one encompassing the entire universe ostensibly and the other on the head of mythological King Bali.
Then there is a Kumarakottam temple dedicated to Lord Murugan nearby. Nothing great but a small old regular kind of place again hailing with some sage having written skanda puranam at the very premises ages ago.
With that, time had come to bid farewell to the ‘temple town’ of Kancheepuram this time around.
I checked out of the Hotel and made my way to the Bus stand nearby.
It had cost me less than a thousand rupees for one day’s accommodation and food and travel. That should give you some dope on how the expenses are. Excluding the ‘Olai’ leaves ‘Nadi’ reading charges, of course.
The short autorickshaw ride cost me just ten bucks to reach the Town Bus stand.
The Bus stand at Kancheepuram needs a lot of work done to be able to garner anyone’s respect, is all I can say, as I don’t like to queer the pitch or spoil the mood after having had a memorable trip.
The sun was setting on the horizon after another oppressively hot day but I was smiling my way home wondering about it all.
I have only given my experience here. I neither recommend nor dissuade you to go or not to go,its up to you. Please do not ask me personal questions on whether this is true, etc. I cannot guarantee for your visits…I have been flooded with unnecessary personal mails probing my personal and family details…sorry, I will not answer beyond this blog.—Author)