Religion comes naturally to my parents. For me it’s like an invisible sibling with whom I have a love-hate relationship. It’s amazing how the rituals and processes to appease Gods which you were very sure your parents were never aware of suddenly resurface during ceremonies. And then there is our family astrologer. I was so amused by his predictions that I sometimes prodded mom to take his advice just to see what he would come up with. He had surprised me time and again and mom had deep faith in him. There are two incidences which instantly surface in my mind. Till date I am not sure whether it was plain luck or the astrologer actually waved his magic wand.

Offering coal to rivers and feeling foolish

I had finished my Masters and had dropped for a year to study for IIT’s GATE exam. I failed that exam and was in a completely suicidal mode. There was darkness all around and no candle of hope was visible. My career was finished.

(Exaggeration alert)

It was then when my mom went to the astrologer with tears in her eyes, banging his door and asking for help.

He patiently saw my birth chart and did some quick calculations and conveniently conveyed to my mother that I was going through a very rough seven and a half years phase of my life called “Sade Sati”. My mom gasped, sucking in two tears by mistake which were racing down her cheeks.

“Don’t worry sister. The good news is that the seven and a half years are almost done. Only a few months left. But yes, there are ways to negate the remaining effects quickly,” the astrologer said.

Mom’s eyes sparkled with hope, her heart racing towards her mouth.

“Please! Please tell me how oh! great astrologer!” she said.

“Ask your son to go to a river for three Tuesdays and offer coal to the flowing water. Take around a kilo of coal every time. This bad phase will pass quickly.”


I laughed loudly when I heard of this. Mom threw ice spikes from her eyes which effectively closed my mouth. I could have said no and that would have been the end but then I wanted to do this mostly because it sounded fun. I didn’t really think of the implications.

So, there I was, standing at the banks of Hindon River dropping coal in it and feeling utterly foolish. It was bearable the first time. By the time I reached the count of three, I wanted to kill the astrologer.

I forgot about it as soon as it was done and went back to my life which was basically twirling my fingers everyday. Surprisingly, things started to iron out soon. I cleared my NET exam, cleared JNU Ph.D. written exam and interview (only ten students were selected from all over India) and was accepted for M.Tech in Kurukshetra University. Suddenly from nothing-to-look-forward-to, I had too much to handle.

Mom thought it was all due to the blessings of the astrologer. I had my doubts. Maybe things were meant to happen this way but how did that bloody astrologer used it to his advantage?

(6 years later)

Respect me!

Honoring Sun god with water mixed with chili seeds and feeling foolish again

I was in Chennai working for an IT firm. I was there from the last 2.5 years and desperately wanted to come back home to Delhi. My manager wanted me to go to USA for a project from Chennai. No matter how lucrative the offer looked, I was not very keen on it as it meant working in Chennai after I would have come back and I was longing to go back home (at least for a few months). I talked to mom and she had a brilliant idea.

(Exaggeration alert)

Mom was again back to the astrologer. She wanted her son back. She had determination in her eyes. She would find a way no matter what. Her will was steel.

“Sister, don’t worry! I have a very effective solution. Your son will be able to bend the will of Gods,” the astrologer chirruped.

“Is it true? Oh! Please do tell me greatest astrologer of all times!!”


“Ask him to buy a copper mug. Fill it with water and a few red chili seeds. Ask him to go to the balcony of his house for three days in the morning and raise the mug towards the sun with both hands and drop the water slowly on the ground. Ask him to ask the Sun god whatever he wishes to come true.”

The sheer amount of time I wasted to find a copper mug can fill an encyclopedia but I finally did the whole process out of curiosity. In my heart I wanted to prove him wrong but wanted my wishes to be granted as well. And so I made the following wish – “Dear Sun God! I don’t know why I am doing this but if you are listening, please send me home first and then onsite. I do not want it the other way round.”

Mysteriously, due to some reasons, my USA Visa developed a snag and I got a call from a project in Delhi. I got transferred here and eight months later I was off to Manchester.

Now whatever you may call it but the lucky bastard got lucky a second time. I still could not nail him. My mom’s faith trebled.

Looking back, everything I did was crazy but somehow it made mom happy and somehow it worked. I have realized that sometimes desperation makes you do funny stuff. Also, incidences like these spice up your past. You can look back and laugh, regale yourself, smile and scratch your head and be happy that thankfully your family is what it is – Weird.

p.s. And if you are wondering where my mom got the coal from, she asked the local Ironman (no, not from Avengers!! The one who uses a very very heavy iron filled with coal to press the clothes) to get it for her.

This entry is a part of the contest at in association with

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016. Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping. He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.


  1. Roopa April 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    LOL! me.

    Ur sure that its not the astrologer’s doing?

    I guess when ur studying – the phase when life seems uncertain – one can resort to anything. I made my parents go to an astrologer and suggest a gemstone for me! I wore it for quite some time.

    • Amit April 23, 2012 at 1:46 am - Reply

      No Roopa, I am not sure at all. And these are just two of the many incidences. 🙂
      Yes, studying phase was ok but then this chili thing happened when I was doing a job. I don’t know what it was but it worked. 🙂

  2. ddeepa April 22, 2012 at 2:32 am - Reply

    LOL! I can completely relate to all this. Desperation sure does us make do weird stuff! But I wonder about the astrologer’s luck too so many times. Don’t know how they turn out right so many times. At the end of the day, its all about faith/belief, just like anything else.

    • Amit April 23, 2012 at 1:48 am - Reply

      I am not sure if they just guess stuff and it turns out fine. I think this might be a science but very few people have in-depth knowledge. I guess this guy had. Anyways, as long as I am having fun and things happen in my favour, who cares. 🙂

  3. Ashwathy April 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Hahaha talk about height of desperation!!

    In my case, my childhood was dominated by my very no-nonsensical grandpa who would not hear any of such rituals. Thanks to him, I grew NOT believing in any such ritual to please God to grant me my wish 😛

    But yes my dad falls into this category more or less. So I’ve seen different versions of pujas, prasads etc. in an effort to appease God… 🙄

    • Amit April 23, 2012 at 1:50 am - Reply

      My grandparents were also not very religious. My mom is and dad too, to a certain extend. I too don’t go much by these pujas and prasads but this particular guy was fun. I have failed miserably n number of times to prove him wrong.

  4. Priya Sreeram (@priyasreeram) April 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    delightful read; but I think things were destined to happen that way and the astrologer got plain lucky (hee hee). Like u said in ur previous comment as long as it’s fun and in your favour why not !

    • Amit April 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks Priya. 🙂
      I would have called him plain lucky if these were the only two incidents. A few other also happened. Somehow he knew everytime that his remedy would work. It makes me think at times.
      Thanks for dropping by.

  5. debajyoti May 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    hahaha. that was a fun read. but may be he is good. i would love to have his contact details :D. i am ready to follow those above mentioned procedures.

    apologies for reading this so late. i am just too lazy 😀

    • Amit May 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks Debajyoti and welcome here. 🙂
      Well, we have lost contact mainly because we have moved to a new house and due to lack of tragedies from the past 3-4 years. Last I saw him was during a pooja in our new house. 🙂 Well, I must admit that he was fun. God knows where he got these weird ideas from and made them work too.
      Thanks for reading the post.

  6. Reema June 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Oh my dad simply hates astrologers..never had to encounter any thankfully 🙂

    • Amit June 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      They are just like a fun factor in my family. Except for Mom, no one believes in them and we have loads of fun at her expense. 🙂

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