The palm reader – The Varanasi astronomy centre

The palm reader was a middle age doctor type who came recommended from the Varanasi Astrology centre, looking very tidy in his business shirt and pressed pants. We were told that anyone who is really good is usually booked out for months before-hand, and to be honest, both Sam and I were seeing the palm reader purely for entertainment value.

He read Sam first, the only information needed was her date of birth, time of birth and her palm.

Palmist – ‘You are creative at work’
Sam is a graphic designer
Palmist – ‘You will have children later in life. 2 boys.’
Sam’s been told this before by another spiritual reader
Palmist – ‘You will be very lucky in marriage, job, and in general for the next ten years, but in this year’ points to a year within the next ten years of Sams life ‘you must take care in your marriage.’

He said Sam attracts people and has influence over those around her, and that later in life she will meet a foreigner out of her social class who will help her.

All this was pretty believable if you meet Sam, she’s a good spirit who should be lucky for the next 10 years! But I was still skeptical, thinking ‘what’s he going to say about me? that I’m going to be unlucky for the next ten years?’

The palmist quickly drew out my timelines, took my date and time of birth and scrutinised my palm.

T’s palmist reading – Note, throughout this I never gave any indication whether he was right or wrong, I only listened.

‘The dragon will be in your space in 2013-2014’, meaning something bad will happen. ‘Not to you, but to someone around you. During this time you will feel like prison (thinks) no, trapped.’

‘The dragon has been in your space before’ (backdates the timeline and points to 2004-2005) ‘Something happened here’ (My mother passed away in May 2004 after a 4 year battle with cancer)

‘Mercury is very strong with you, you will always be good with money, your wallet will never be empty’ (smiles at his own joke. And my best friend Dale would definitely agree with this.)

– But the palmist also said that ‘the government will always be good to you’ this was weird, does he mean that I’m going to be on welfare for the rest of my life? ‘No, you will have a prestigious job that will take you overseas. You will also travel when you are 37’ (hmmm.)

– Then he freaks me out again, he closes his eyes like he’s thinking and asks me ‘You are the youngest?’ (Yes)‘your mother has health problems, and what she has, you will also have’ then opens his eyes and looks at me, ‘but don’t worry, you will live a long life’ (he could have easily asked if I was the eldest and said something about my father, but he didn’t, he was spot on.)

‘Mercury is especially strong in 2010 -2013 and again after 2014, in 2014 you will buy a house. And these are also the years when you will have an opportunity to have children’ (pauses and goes back to 2007-2008) ‘you had the opportunity in this year but that has past’ (could be true) ‘You will have two male children’ (sound familiar?) Still, I was disappointed, I’ve only ever wanted girls. I asked him if he was sure, and he was.

Men – He tells me that Leo’s are good for me (a partner who has always been kind to me is Leo), and Capricorn’s are bad.

He asks if I am interested in astronomy, I say not particularly, he says that I will be later on in life and that I have a natural gift for reading people. Then he looks at me seriously and says

‘Do not criticise people too much, this is not good for you’

I laugh, now he was reading my mind – I’ve always been a critic.

All in all, I was impressed. I’ve had my fair share of palm readers, and each time I’ve thought it was all bullshit. But this guy made a believer out of me, that perhaps not everything, but some things could be told from the numbers, the stars, the planets and your palm.

Holy shit! – The Ganges

Varanasi is a very spiritual place – Some would say fanatically spiritual, especially at the crack of dawn.

I was following the crowd of pilgrims, and many tourist, as they made their way to the holy Ganges river for the evening arati which is a blessing ceremony performed in front of thousands gathered at the water.

Walking and talking to Jason and Sam, I suddenly went sliding pass them and glided through the surprised crowd for at least three seconds as if in slow motion. In this flow, my flip-flop (slipper) curled under my right foot and my heel slid through something mushy as I started to lose my balance.

Now, I’m the type of person who breaks their fall by grabbing anything and anyone around them. Unfortunately, the person I slid next to was an indian lady with a beautiful red sari that matched the beautiful long scarf over her head.
In an act of desperation, I grab her head scarf, pulling her down slightly, but slowing my descent enough to throw my right arm under me to not fall arse first into the rather large skid of cow dung.

T, standing up and looking in disbelief at the mess up her arm, on her scarf, her feet and up her trousers – ‘Cow shit? I slipped in COW SHIT!?!’

A crowd gathered around me, giving me the reassuring ‘you’ve been blessed’ speech, but being careful not to touch the dung covered blessed girl.

Being a good sport and not wanting to make a fuss, I continue the holy walk to the holy Ganges river covered in holy stinking cow shit.

At the Ganges, in one of the temples with an amazing view over the performed arati, I wipe myself off with many wet wipes (there is no running water) and sit next to Jason to enjoy the ritual. I was awed at the spiritual vibe that was flowing through the atmosphere and getting into the spirit of things when I notice some dried poo on my forearm that I had missed cleaning.

Jason, watching me – ‘More shit?’

T – ‘Yup.’ starts wiping it off with yet another wet wipe.

Though fully appreciative of the amazing scenes before me as thousands of pilgrims chanted and priests performed rituals with props of fire, water, and feathers, I couldn’t help but wonder if that occasional bad smell that the wind carried was coming from me, or the Ganges?

Lesson- Always watch where you’re walking