You are trying to get perspective on how the world fits together on Tuesday. Toward the middle of the week, you’re in a crowd situation. Friday and Saturday, you find yourself relaxing into your work. On Sunday, listen.
Anyone who reads the Sunday supplements of newspapers would be able to say what we are talking about here. Horoscope. Spot on!
Now what was I doing on Tuesday? A perspective on how the world fits together? What on earth does that mean? Was I trying to get any such perspective? Nope, can’t recall.
And in a “crowd situation toward the middle of the week”? I go to the same office from Monday to Saturday, and work with more or less the same set of people, who always seem to cloud, okay crowd, my thoughts on any given day of the week. What was so specially crowded about them this midweek? Nope, can’t recall.
Today is Friday, and I have swapped my weekly off (it’s Sunday usually) with a colleague. So little chance of “relaxing into my work”.
And what would I “listen” to on Sunday? Whatever that means!
Now horoscope is something that has always given me a temperature. Allow me to exaggerate, and I would say I have never in my life scanned the horoscope section without a Crocin or Paracetamol in my other hand.
I remember Bejan Daruwala‘s column in the Sunday TOI magazine when I was young. I believe he still writes it, though I dare not touch that glossy these days — for fear of the articles, not poor Bejan’s piece, by the way. I never read them even in school.
Linda Goodman‘s book about sun signs was a huge hit when I joined college (back in the mid-90s, weeks after dinosaurs stopped sauntering around on Delhi’s Rajpath). Everyone talked about it. By grace of luck, and thanks to my elder sister who went to college before me and always thought herself to be more ‘hip’ than her poor brother, I knew I was Libran — and the ‘attributes’ I was supposed to possess. So I showed off without batting an eyelid each time the conversation turned to good old Linda.
Till the day I blabbered a little too much and promptly put my foot right in my mouth. My friends were discussing someone’s birthday, and trying to figure out that the sign. I said if he was born in September, he should be a Libra. I almost visualised taking a bow, but for my stomach which was protruding even then, and could sense the awe in the others. Instead, they broke into a hysteric giggle. You see, I was under the impression that the sun signs went according to the calendar months and had no clue that they changed sometime between 20th and 23rd of each month.
I didn’t like poor old Linda any more. But I was not willing to give up on her.
Late into first year, I borrowed a copy of Goodman and read up everything about the sun sign of this classmate I was head over heels in love with. It so happened that the conversation turned to sun signs again (they always did those days, the conversations; if I am allowed to exaggerate again, I believe I and the pack that went to college around the mid-90s must have been the most vague specimen of human species walking around on two feet, who talked about sun signs at the drop of a poop from a cow’s rear on Delhi roads. But that’s another story best kept for another day).
Anyway, I floored my friend with everything I had read up about her sun sign, and visualised a couple walking down the sun-kissed beaches of Goa, with the man looking oh so like the cool me. Oh boy, was I wrong. I had mixed up her sign and given her dose about Aries instead of Pisces!
As I hurried back from Goa and tried to deal with the hysteria of my friend — she almost choked on the bread pakora and Limca — all I could manage to say was her birthday was all wrong. I mean, how could you be born in the first half of March? Who would come to your birthday parties when the final exams were on? Allow me to sympathise, I almost pitied her.
My mind raced back to Goa; what else could it do? I hated Linda; she should have been named Badman.
Fast-forward three years, and I was on to my first job in a daily newspaper that had opened shop in Ahmedabad. Since online connections were as slow as rickshaws those days, we got the page that carried the horoscope column late from Delhi on the link (in fact, we got all pages from Delhi late, but why give undue space to the then colleagues in Delhi?) So what we did was to make the predictions on our own. You don’t like some Libran, barring me? Get the devil to spin a yarn, and all Librans in the city would choke on their breakfast ‘thepla’ and feel lousy the whole day.
We were on to horror-scope, as a colleague put it.
Years on, as I smile back at those jejune days of youth, I still have to grapple with horoscope once in a while as my wife hunts for a match for her sister online. Many of those characters still want horoscope along with the would-be bride photos, details and everything else.
Besides the feeling of irritation, it’s my time for the hysteric giggle from my end: have they ever dreamed of how those horror-scopes are put on page? Would you buy that and tie the knot, mate?
The tale told, I feel relaxed — perhaps that’s what the horoscope predicted this week about Librans: “relaxing into your work”. Meanwhile you yell, I have the Sunday to “listen”, whatever that mean.