Usha
The past couple of days I have been part of a discussion that I never imagined I would ever get involved in and been hearing the types of arguments I thought happened only in fiction and films. But this involves very close family and shocked as I am, I cannot completely walk away.

I received a call from a very close relative who is the mother of two girls. The elder daughter is about to finish her engineering next month and already there was talk of a marriage proposal. Initially I assumed that she had found her partner and it was their decision. The mother quickly denied it and said it was a proposal initiated by common friends. I could not comprehend what the tearing hurry was if it was an arranged marriage as the girl wanted to do her management studies too. So the story unfolded. Apparently the girl's horoscope has a quirk whereby Venus sits in her 7th house (whatever that is supposed to mean) but the import is that this could affect her spouse. But...(as you know there is always a way out!) ya, but if they can find a boy who had a similar quirk in his planetary positions, then it would cancel out!
I heard a lot more on planetary positions and their effects and how we cannot afford to ignore them particulary when it would affect the spouse blah blah...which I sat through out of politeness but will spare you.
In my disbelief I checked the calendar. yes it is 2007 , there hasn't been a mistake and yes it was happening for REAL!
And hence the hurry to have her married as they have found a similar match!

In the course of this bizarre conversation I also heard that even a very famous Indian Beauty has a defect in her natal chart, only in her case the villain is Mars. Apparently she has had to do a lot of poojas and procedures to counter the effects and here comes the best: astrologers have advised her that one of the ways to overcome the problem is to get married to a banana tree. When the tree dies the planetary requirement is satisfied and the person is free to marry anyone of her choice! Imagine marrying a banana tree and getting a family name of Musaceae..or even better Mrs banana,heheheh!

Please, if you believe in the power of planets, at least don't make them sound like a 2 year old who can be cheated by such tricks like marrying a banana tree. And the good news is that the Planets don't care for our stupid lives.Guess what, it is true, but we ARE NOT important to them, not a tiny little bit, NO! Not even if you are one of the world's most beautiful women and not even when your fiancé's father is a legend in India! If any planet's position or changes are to have an effect on human lives it is the Earth and not Mars or Venus or Saturn. 2300 years ago some curious Babylonians observed the sky and tried to draw some links between our lives and their position. And today we still want to surrender our lives to these unverifiable hypothesis and speculations of some guys who make a living by peddling these fears and superstitions.

The following which I quote from an interesting article here: should be adequate to point out how willingly humans walk into the astrology traps:

"The famous French Astrologer, Michael Gauquelin, offered free horoscopes to any reader of Ici Paris, if they would give feedback on the accuracy of his supposedly "individual" analysis. He wanted to scientifically test his profession of astrology. He sent out thousands of copies of the same horoscope - and 94% of the readers replied that his reading was very accurate and insightful. What they didn't know was that the horoscope was that of a local mass murderer, Dr. Petiot, who had admitted during his trial that he had killed 63 people."

"So while it's handy to blame our misfortune on the stars, Julius Caesar was probably closer to the truth when Shakespeare had him say, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves..."
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26 Responses
  1. Altoid Says:

    Imagine that! And this Indian Beauty is a world famous icon for everything Indian. With her marrying a tree, imagine the kind of message she is sending to women across the globe.

    No wonder foreigners still ask if elephants roam around the streets in India.


  2. Usha Says:

    Altoid: Hahha, I know!
    and I just HAD TO share what I found in the december archives of Indiauncut.blogspot.com on her marrying a peepul tree:
    Many possible scenarios exist as to what could happen, none more ridiculous than the news itself.

    1. The Peepal tree puts a branch around Aishwarya as soon as the marriage is done, and refuses to let her go.

    "She's my lawfully wedded wife now," the tree says, "and I'll have my way with her."

    2. The tree and Aishwarya act in a film together. The tree acts better.

    3. In 2014, Aishwarya find her second child eating a sapling. "Stop, Munna," she screams, "that's your elder brother you're eating."

    4. Eventually Aishwarya enters politics. "I'm a Peepal person," she announces in her first interview.

    5. Salman Khan, after valiant efforts to get the Peepal tree's mobile number, finally gives up.


  3. Bit Hawk Says:

    Amazing writeup!
    I completely agree with what you say. Stars may seriously be influencing our lives, but to think that we can fool them by some "workarounds" is truly mind blowing!

    Is it just a coincidence that I am reading this on fools day? :)


  4. Usha Says:

    Bit hawk: Thanks. For people willing to be fooled at all times, April 1 is NOT a special occasion!


  5. Deepa Says:

    I would generally agree with all of what you say...up to a point, though; because I have seen some fairly amazingly accurate predictions from my father-in-law (he predicted that two of his sons would have very similar career paths, which they did; and that one would have an easy time getting his wedding fixed and the other would not; that came true, too.) But then again, he predicted that I would have a son (indeed, every astrologer predicted that, to the extent that I was very surprised when my gynaec said I had a daughter!)...but one thing he said impressed me: "The system is fairly accurate, in my experience; but remember that some horoscopes may be cast wrongly, and also that there are many so-called astrologers who do not do their predictions properly...all these result in a lot of inaccuracies."

    So I don't have a completely closed mind towards astrology..but yes, I do find the "do-this-and-Jupiter-will-be-appeased" approach very funny..and very mercenary!


  6. Usha Says:

    I am yet to come across someone who has been able to state anything specific - it has always been vague general things all of which have a 50% probability of being true in any case.
    If it is predestined what is the use of knowing about it? Might as well face it as best as one can when one arrives there.
    And 99% of the time it is all about this dosha and that and the pariharams which is definitely a money making exercise.
    I wonder what kind of an army Saturn or rahu employ to note down the names of people who light lamps at a particular time on a aprticular day! may be a super computer?


  7. Kishore Says:

    Given that I'm more-or-less the same age as Sid, and going through similar stuff that people of this age go through, I've given "strict" instructions to all my dear relatives that they shut up when it comes to my marriage and I shall decide myself what I want to do with my life.. :)

    Well, of course, my mom understands. :D


  8. Usha Says:

    Kishore:
    The best part is that this very lady told me that marriages are such a gamble because some of the marriages she had attended recently ended badly within a year - and this after perfect matching of horoscopes etc... Her explanation for this? Perhaps the horoscopes were spurious!
    I wonder if girls face this kind of pressure more and are less inclined to oppose the system.
    I can hear Sid say the same words if anyone tried to interfere with his life.:)


  9. so true usha... luckily i belong to a community where no horror-scopes are matched, no lucky dates, times nothing.
    I have no one to blame - when hubby and I have a HUGE argument!!! no planetary positions, no unlucky stars. nothing!
    bahhh!!!
    :)


  10. Monika Says:

    ha ha ha, i had a good laugh reading this specially ur reply comment... i cant understand why people so educated believe and give in to all those things, i can understand if someone from a village with not much knowledge has this kind of faith but people like aish and the relative u have... unbelievable


  11. Usha Says:

    STS:I guess that is true of about half the population of the world. Horoscopes and predictions still survive as a result of people who prefer to conform rather than question. And only sometimes it becomes so ridiculous in the cases cited.

    Monika:Yes, I have known people engaged in scientific research believe in horoscopes.


  12. Hip Grandma Says:

    let me share my own experience.My uncle who was dealing with my marriage negotiations got fed up when most horoscopes were rejected by the astrologer.he randomly wrote to a few parents that the horoscpoes matched my FIL being one of them.my FIL faced a similar situation and replied that the horoscopes matched without bothering to check with the astrologer.both of them thought that the other person would've done the needful.Some 10 or 12 years after we got married there comes a friend of my husband with some knowledge abt astrology.He compares our horoscope and announces that our horoscope matching was less than 20% and we made it a success story only because our children's horoscope favoured our union.i found his explanation utterly ridiculous but what I wish to point out is that these astrologers have a way of explaining everything that goes wrong and the vulnerable ones believe them.


  13. Mahadevan Says:

    Some of us believe that there is a Divinity that shapes our end or brush it aside like Caezar 'we are underlings'.

    If the Divinity shapes our end, our 'pariharas' cannot be the palliative. If the fault lies not in our Stars, Mars in the neighbourhood should not deter us nor exalted Jupiter would tantalize us.


  14. Usha Says:

    Hipgran: While it is dubious that horoscopes actually affect the individual's life , it is just too far fetched to say that it has an impact on the life of another such as the spouse or a mother in law or a father in law.
    And just watch the farce of the pariharam of marrying a tree, it makes a mockery of the idea of marriage itself. Marriage is a voluntary and conscious acceptance of another as a partner which is not the case when you marry a tree. So they seem to say that the ritual of a marriage is more important than the will of the parties involved. What a sham!

    Mahadevan:Exactly, either way it makes no sense except for those who make a living out of it!


  15. Chitra Says:

    Nice post. I had commented on a couple of your earlier posts, but don't see them now! You do post a lot and I literally find myself running to catch up! :) Just wanted to say that all your recent posts were very good and very varied.

    I am not sure I know enough to comment about the ancient science and how things were when people followed everything strictly and without greed. However, these days it is all SUCH a joke! The kind of things you listen to, is sad, really. People, I think heed to the advices, out of desperation. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem like such a good foundation for planning your future. I know of a case where the girl and the boy after a "perfect" arranged marriage, couldn't stand each other even for a day!


  16. Sunita Says:

    I think this is so Indian ... even the ones who claim not to believe in it, do follow one aspect or the other. Christians generally(99%) don't do this horoscope thing for marriages, but most kerala christians I know, check 'Rahu kalam', before leaving their house for any auspicious events. So some of this star-moon aligning above does make a few people do cha-cha on earth :)


  17. Orchid Says:

    I am going to have to disagree Usha...not on the fact that "stars don't influence" our lives but on the fact that people should stop believing in such things....I think what you have expressed is a personal opinion and for others some things are hard to let go off...and I say so long as it is not harmful in anyway...beliefs such as these are o.k EVEN IN 2007..atleast we are not committing crimes in the name of religion and tradition.. I am sure Ms. Rai is just being an obedient daughter/DIl and didn't really have much say in the matter even if it is true. I know I oblige my parents each time I am in India. and even in the west superstitious beliefs are aplenty ....I think the rest of the world would find the fact that MS Rai, a 33 yr old successful Indian women still lives with her parents more amusing than the fact she got married to a peepul tree.


  18. Usha Says:

    Chitra:
    I have a friend who lost her husband 4 years after her marriage.I have 2 firnds who filed for divorced within a year of the marriage and countless abusive marriages among family and friends - all with perfectly matched horoscopes. And I have venus in the same position as this girl in question and my marriage is 28 years old.
    The age okld science has been commercialised down the ages. That is the problem.

    Sunita:Oh yes, I have known many like that too. believ when it is convenient and give up when it isnt.

    Orchid: Of course it is only my personal opinion and of course you can contradict.
    Where I have a problem is exactly what you have said "so long as it is not harmful in anyway...beliefs such as these are o.k"
    Now this girl's choice is limited to guys with a similar so called dosham and she is being forced to marry at 21 even though she is a bright girl and wants to do her management studies.And I have known some girls who could not get married because they were pronounced to have a Dosham and never got married.
    Is this not harmful to the girl? She might have easily fallen in love with someone and got married without all this fear psychosis!

    As for Aishwarya rai my problem is about making a mockery of the concept of wedding. Where is the consent here? where is the will here? Just because you say the mantras and have the rituals does it become a marriage?
    What kind of a farce is this?


  19. You continue to surprise me with every post. you are my mother's generation (she just turned 50) and I dont know too many women other than her who would agree with you.... may your tribe increase and i know ur DILs will love you :) I would.

    I wrote about this some time back. do read it if you get the time. http://themadmomma.blogspot.com/2007/02/face-of-indian-womanhood-marries-tree.html


  20. Pradeep Says:

    As many have commented, while I have nothing against horoscopes or astrology, I always wonder, why so called perfect matches end in disaster. In a journalistic parlance, I believe there is a huge scam behind this horoscope business, where alliances are manipulated, and a viscious game is played with people's lives and emotions.


  21. Karthik Says:

    Hee hee.... Good one!!!! i think this would kick any astrologer's butt!!!! I wanted to see something like this... which gives out proper facts to tackle these astrologers.. They are sometimes so ridiculous!! Good job.. :)


  22. passerby55 Says:

    A good, educative post, Usha.

    I am glad there are a few things man cannot buy. Fear of death brings everything to earth.

    Usha, i think their feet are not embedded on/in the "earth" hence they fear the other planets.


  23. Ha Ha Didn't know abt the Indian beauty marrying a banana tree. When was this? Even if the astrologers said that (they have to say something)am amazed that she actually did that. Is the banana tree dead?;-)And which banana tree has ever outlived a human? Truly bananas, some people are..

    Husband and I fell in love, and got married after overcoming parental opposition. One of the reasons was the non-compatibility of horoscopes- apparently we'd have no peace in our marriage, we'd be quarreling all the time.
    Well, to be fair to the astorologer, we DO quarrel all the time, But then I try counting the no of couples I know who do NOT quarrel. None. For all I know, the atrologer himself might be being shouted at by his wife at the moment I'm writing this.
    Cheers!


  24. Usha Says:

    The madmomma: Thank you and my next post is in response to this comment.

    Pradeep:You said it, it is a SCAM and a HUGE SCAM. They make all their money on the pariharams purportedly for the nullification of the supposed defects.

    Karthik: Thank you. I am glad you liked it.

    Passerby: the rootcause is fear and lack of confidence in oneself.

    JLT: Rumour has it that she married a peepul tree in Benares and a banana tree in bangalore and the third would be the bachchan plant!
    Come on the only couple who dont have arguments must be the one Khoshish variety. Hang on, I remember them having an argument with gestures which wa so endearing! And whoever says compatibility has anythingb to do with arguments and fights.
    Exactly I'd like to find out how many astrologers are happily married!


  25. Anonymous Says:

    Hello, well after a heavy lunch i was given this link by one of ur friends. thanks to her and ur writing now my sleepiness is off. it was a hilarious read. i am also observing the effects or illeffects of these 'sciences' which go by names of horrorscope, astrology, vaastu etc etc.

    i have a friend who gives one line forecasts for each 'sun sign' in 2 page daily paper in a small town. how he does it ? he has around 50 forecast which read like 'sukha payana', 'dhana labha', 'mitraninda patra' etc ... these he cycles and recycles among various sun signs each day. and to think ppl are religiously reading and hoping/fearing the said things wud happen to them that day !!!

    in another case a fellow was going thru tough times at job, astrolger said 'vishnu is angry with u'. to appease him a certain pooja, which when ended, astrolger comes up saying now 'ganesh is angry with u' ... after about 7 poojas like that the man gave up his belief and said 'why are they taking turns to be angry with me, why cant they get angry together' ??

    we can go on writing numerous stories, or how these sciences are using celeb names to penetrate more into psyches of indians,..but the need of the hour is for the man to awaken and realise he is much great a creation to be haunted by planets.

    recently i saw a 'numerlogy' guy on cable TV ( why didnt he become a maths teacher) explaining aishwarya shud change her name? reason her name has the words 'war' whicn means she will have marital discord ..to another celeb he recommended a name change bcos it has the letters 'ash' ..which means buring off, and resulting ash !! ... i wanted to ask him why is he writing their names in english ..write their names in kannada, hindi, or whatever and show me 'war' 'ash' .. !!!

    to me the root cause of it all is fear, which the astrolgers etc are converting into money .. hmm good for the economy :)

    keep writing
    Santhosh


  26. Usha Says:

    Santosh: Thanks for dropping by and sharing your views. I agree completely.