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Friday, 4 March 2016

The Future Teller (Short Story)

A Short story about a profession which is risky but is an age old practice and is commonly seen in most parts of India. The professional has got consultants who never demand to be paid for their work and in turn are captivated and remain with their employer life long !

Kamakshi is a housewife who is devout and never misses a day to visit the temples.She has got every reason to visit a temple everyday as there are so many gods waiting for her prayers.She allocates every day specially for a God and temple to be visited on that particular day and this is being observed by her for the last several years.


She never bothers about the comments made on her by her neighbourhood and relatives as she feels that its ignorance which is making them comment on her and her unparalleled devotion is going to bring a change some day.  


It was Sunday and the temple was crowded. She had to wait for a long time for the darshan or the view of the idol.In the mean time she thought it better to go round the premises as this was also one of the disciplines practiced by her for performing her prayers.              


                    While she was going round the temple she sat for some time under a Peepal or Fig tree which is almost seen in every temple as its considered to be holy.Suddenly she noticed a person who was sitting next to her with a rose-ringed parakeet in a cage.She recollected the person as she had seen him earlier some years back somewhere else.She was trying hard to recollect but was unable to....when unexpectedly the person himself wished her and asked her to allow him to tell her future. 

He was a tribe with colourful feathers over his head and many designs all over his face and hands with red and white colours.He had a stick which he was using to point the lines in the palms of the customers who were eager to know their future.
Oh my! he had got a consultant for assisting his tough job. It was a parrot which was caged and would come out only when he ordered it to.And how would the parrot assist him? It simply took a card out of a pack which he already had and take back its position in the cage and wouldn't come out until its master demanded.

"What a mutual understanding which is never seen between human beings "! She thought.


So, it was the pack of cards which decided the future of the customer and the parrot was responsible for the job.What a trick,the person is never blamed for the predictions made even if they turned out to be incorrect.


And what about his earnings and taxes? There was a high competition in the job and so the tribe had to shift his location every month and the earnings were quite fine as there is no lack of people who wouldn't  have the zeal to know about their future.And the income was tax free.As they were always considered poor and economically backward.So there was no question of  taxing.


             Kamakshi somehow thought it better to know about the       predictions later as it was time for her to get inside and view the idol.After coming out,she distributed the prasad or small part of the dish offered to God to all the beggars and vendors sitting outside ,some even to monkeys observing her, stored some of it to take back home and ate some of it.Then again she noticed the tribe and then went to know her future.

He was ready with his predictions within a few minutes, kept on praising her and told she would have a long life ,be happy for ever with no worries and responsibilities.He insisted her to answer some of his questions ,whether she had sons or daughters, whether she was working etc for which she answered neutrally.She in turn asked him to predict these and said "why your cards don't predict these ,why are you questioning me?" She added "tell me what is going to happen if its a son or daughter and if I am working".


The future teller somehow managed to satisfy her and continued with his predictions...but Kamakshi stopped him saying it was enough and gave him some amount ,though it was not up to his expectations.


After coming back home she recollected the face of the future teller whom she had visited several years back when she was not even married.She recollected what all he predicted then...."you'll be having the status of home minister,you will be very busy with your routine ,it demands traveling to different locations and will be determined , even if no one is there to support or encourage you,you are very patient and persistent ,your husband equals lord Rama in character and marital life will be almost a story of  and lord krishna and satyabhama".This was what he had told her.Now she was co-relating whether his predictions came out to be true.


"Yes, I am the boss of my home and this is true for every home maker.So, I am and have been in the status of a home minister.I am busy with my daily routine, I keep going to temples daily and I need to travel for that. And yes, I am determined about it, as everyone keeps commenting me but I never get troubled.


Every Indian woman aspires to get a person with excellent character like lord Rama as  husband. So, this was almost true in my case and what about the marital life?Yes, every couple has got some arguments,differences and ultimately resulting in love for each other.So, even this happened to be true in my case".

She couldn't hold her laughter when she thought about the future teller.How clever he has been in dealing with customers and the way he was focusing on the demand of the customers.

Today again she was trapped in his trick,though she was trying hard not to reveal anything about her, he kept on managing with neutral predictions. And this he had been doing for several long years !

Earlier when she met him she was unmarried and now she was a grandmother and was going to leave her place forever to settle down with her son and daughter staying abroad along with her husband. 

Oh ! that is the reason he was saying that there would be a change in location in my occupation now.She recalled and giggled to herself!


As seen in the story  of Kamakshi, there are several people in this world who are very eager to know about their future and there won't be any short of such professions as the fortune  teller here,until there there are people who show interest in such activities.



Even I have observed  such future tellers but I could never guess  what  was  written in the pack of cards and why only the same breed of consultants  is employed by them.
Another surprising thing is that, the parrot always takes out the same card whenever the person visits them.How does the parrot know that the same person is approaching them is a mystery which I could never understand.


The Home made Cheese (Short Story)


    Most of us have pets with which we develop bonds. When the bond strengthens, even the pets start recognizing their owners and remain loyal to them, for the rest of their lives.This story tells about such a bond between a woman and her pet.


                "You'll have to wait till I get Savitri milked,only then you can have your glass of milk   Murugan ," said Kamakshi when she went to the cow shed to milk her cow "Savitri".
 
Savitri was Kamakshi's pet  cow which came along with her to her in-laws'  house  when she got married. Until then it was with her at her parents' house where there were 2 more cows which Kamakshi played with, in her childhood.

   When Kamakshi got married, Savitri had gone grazing which was a routine 
   during evenings and would come back all by itself, by the the next morning.It would calmly relax in the shed after coming back home.

But, when Kamakshi got wedded, Savitri didn't go back home in the morning, it went to Kamakshi's new house which was 2 streets away from her parents' house.Then onwards, Savitri stayed at Kamakshi's new house and so Murugan (Kamakshi's son)would have pure cow milk daily and play with Savitri.


                Kamakshi couldn't find Savitri today. It didn't even come back home after grazing. She went to her mother's home, to find Savitri there. But, she couldn't find her even there.Everyone were worried as Savitri was ready to deliver now.
   
        Everyone searched for it , all nearby places and open areas were searched
       Even the school and temple were visited to search for Savitri.
       Neighbours,relatives,friends every one helped in the search, but no one
       could find it. Kamakshi came back home worried and distressed.

      Later, in the evening, Keshavan, a teen aged boy, who was Kamakshi's junior at her school came running to her and inquired if her cow was missing.
     
 "Kamakshi, has your cow gone out for grazing ? " he asked. Kamakshi nodded and asked why he was asking so. Then Keshavan told that there was a cow near the playground where they play cricket daily.

Keshavan continued, "It was seen grazing last evening.Today morning, there was a calf with it.Some farmers living there, managed to take care of it.But its not allowing anyone to touch the new born calf which has to be cleaned."
  So, I thought it must be some one's pet cow and came running here as I remember you had cows at your parents' house and one of them followed you when you got wedded.


Kamakshi was delighted, but then she felt it better to send Murugan to recognize if it was Savitri.Murugan went  to the Play ground along with Keshavan on the bicycle. 

It was a brand old cycle which would give a creaking sound whenever the pedals were moved.Murugan kept laughing and enjoying the sound till they reached the play ground.
  
  Kamakshi later went to the play ground when Murugan came back saying that it was   Savitri.One of the farmers denied to leave Savitri saying it was his cow which  he  had been taking care of since a few years.
   
 "Its my "Deepa" ", this is how he was addressing Savitri. 
   Kamakshi didn't bother and just asked one of the farmers to help her to carry the calf  and  cleaned it. 

Then she gently called Savitri saying "Come on Savitri ", "lets go home" and walked her way towards her house.
    
  The farmer was alarmed, shouting "Deepa don't go my Deepa " when Savitri followed Kamakshi in full energy giving a kick in return to the farmer's call.
     
 Later, Kamakshi thanked all the farmers, who took care of her pet and  "Hannu" the little cute calf named by Murugan, and showed her gratitude by distributing each of  them  fresh home made cheese which was made by boiling the cow milk adding little sugar and pepper powder.
     
     Kamakshi made delicious cheese out of the milk and cut into pieces so as to serve it  to everyone.  Keshavan was specially thanked and had the privilege of enjoying the home made cheese for around a week, along with Murugan his new cricket companion, after coming back home   from playing in  the same playground where Hannu was born.

  Readers may enjoy another story of Kamakshi in the following link