I recently read a post which bothered me quite a bit. It was about how a young woman did not get married because her horoscope said that whoever she married would die a few months after the marriage. And so she remained a spinster till late, when she founds a soul mate, who overcame her apprehensions and married her. After a few months he died unexpectedly. The focus in the blog was not on this woman, but her story is what affected me most.
This was apparently a true story. I just could not get the thought of the lady, who had found happiness late but had it snatched away, out of my mind.
Can horoscopes predict the futures so unerringly? Is there wisdom in our forefathers charting horoscopes at birth and then at the age of marriage find persons with matching horoscopes to get married to?
I had a great-uncle who was a Major in the British army in the 1940s – very rare for a South Indian Iyer. His horoscope said that if he married before 35, his wife would die - 35 was considered over the hill then. So his family did not consider marriage for him while he was young. He did not wait for them to find a bride, and coolly married an English woman he met when he was about 30. His wife died - eventually at the ripe old age of 75. They had four children, and she outlived her husband by more than 10 years. So much so for that prediction. Could it have been that her horoscope, if charted, would have shown a long life?
I feel that horoscopes should be exchanged, yes, but as visiting cards are – to serve as an introduction, to tell you about the person, his or her background, family, education and even blood groups if one so desires. After all, in a society where arranged marriages are still widely prevalent, one needs a launching pad to set the wheels in motion. And best of all, it leaves a door open if one does not want to proceed further - just say that the horoscopes do not match!
I must tell you the story of a wedding that happened more than 80 years ago. The hero of our story was called, let us say, Krishna. He was only 19, and he went with his family to another town to condole the death of an uncle. The uncle’s sudden death had caused the cancellation of his granddaughter Swarnambal’s wedding to a lawyer. The lawyer’s family had felt that with the grandfather dying, certain commitments regarding dowry would not be honoured, as Swarna was fatherless. It was to have been a double wedding, the other wedding being that of Swarna’s aunt. That wedding was going to take place anyway at the scheduled muhurtham and Swarna’s family wanted to go ahead with her wedding as well. Looking for a suitable groom they decided on Krishna. And so he married Swarnambal on the auspicious day.
No horoscopes were exchanged or matched. No discussions of dowry or exchange of moneys proposed or demanded. And how does this story end?
The couple lived to see their 75 th wedding anniversary. They had two sons, and lived healthy lives. Neither of them suffered any major illness. Krishna, whose real name was Jayarama Iyer, was a school teacher who later became, and retired as, the headmaster of a renowned school in Madras. He enjoyed reading philosophy and could hold discussions on any subject. His wife was deeply interested in music, and even taught many to play the veena. One of the sons is a respected doctor, and the other son worked in an established firm and retired. The grandchildren are all married and settled happily. Jayarama Iyer and Swarnambal lived long enough to see their great grandchildren.
Jayarama Iyer died in 2001 when he was 94, and his wife in 2003. They were closely related to us.
So now, what do you think?