The most logical people behave illogically when they panic. And panic is the most effective ally of fake astrologers who know how to cheat people haunted by personal tragedies.
Dileep was almost on the verge of being cheated by such an astrologer. The youngster from Alappuzha was torn between an imposing father and a suffering mother. The father’s flirtatious behavior had caused much heartburn to the mother but her feeble voice was duly ignored by the patriarch.
Dileep found his mother being isolated by the father and his older brother. He stood by her but he did not dare to antagonize the father. The woman’s ordeal lasted until she collapsed one day.
The doctors at the medical college hospital diagnosed her with heart disease and prescribed urgent angioplasty. Dileep scrambled to raise the Rs 75,000 needed to save his mother as his father and brother turned the other way. They even stonewalled attempts by Dileep’s classmates to raise the money. He lost his mother.
Though the family did not bother to ensure medical care to the mother, her funeral was a grand affair attended by all the relatives. A priest who happened to be attending the funeral rites created a dramatic scene when he announced that the untimely death could mean worse things for the family.
He said that the family better performed a puja to rectify the problem. He even said that he could arrange someone who could do the puja for just Rs 9,000 instead of the usual Rs 1.5 lakh. The offer of discount left everyone elated, everyone except Dileep.
The young man could not stand the absurdity anymore. He yelled at the priest and said that he would not allow anyone inside the house to exorcise his mother. He was mad at his father and brother who could not part with Rs 75,000 to treat his mother but were willing to spend Rs 90,000 for her wandering soul.
The outburst came out of the blue for the father and brother. They had nothing to say to Dileep.
Dileep recounted the incident to an astrologer in Alappuzha, who he wanted to consult ahead of his marriage two years later.
(A part of a series on the fraud passed on as astrology. Watch this space for more reports.)