Vyas, his cousin Adi, and I had a super time in the school Carnival – a good package of games, music, and food. The two boys got in and out of queues for every game and were on their own and I sat wondering when they grew up! I treated myself for a simple mehendi on my palms at one of the stalls by a student of std.11 while the two were busy trying their luck at various stalls:)
Adi came up to me after a little while saying he wanted to visit the ‘Kili josiyam’ stall. Yes, there was this counter with kili (parrot), eli (rat), and kai-regai (palmistry) josiyam. Piqued by the presence of such stalls in a school Carnival, I accompanied the two to that counter, and was surprised to see the venue flocked. I asked Vyas if he wanted to try too.. “No maa! They’ll simply lie. A hoax!” Aah, same blood! Yes baby, you are right. “Adi, are you sure you want to try it?”. He said, “Yes maami, just like that please.” I waited to see what the fore-seers were telling the other kids- a random assortment of lives of a million people packed, compartmentalized in about 2 dozen cards and a parrot/rat to pick!
The standard message seemed to be- Study well. That is the only thing which is going to take you places. Ok, no damage, though only the obvious was stated. While we were waiting, I saw another girl, around 15 yrs old, whose palm was being read and she was crying buckets. I couldn’t hear what was being said, but the girl was engaged in an animated conversation with a woman wielding a small wand like object! I wanted to pull back Adi but the parrot had already pulled out his card:) I turned to see if I should go and tell the girl to scoot, and fortunately she had left!
Two more girls, almost the same age as the other girl, had queued up to that counter and were trying to decide on which josiyam to go with. I told the girls that they’d be wasting their time and that I just saw a girl leaving the counter sobbing profusely. “Ayyo, we wanted to have some fun aunty. We don’t want to pay twenty rupees for someone to make us cry.” They saw the Mehendi on my palms and decided that either a Mehendi or the Saravana Bhavan stall would be a better option and scooted off. As I was busy sharing some gyan with the girls, I missed the prophecy for Adi. When I looked him askance, he said, “Nothing much. Chumma. Nanna padikanummnu sonna” (He said I must study well). “Padikalenna, avan onnum kadayadhunnu sonna” (he will be nothing if he does not study), concluded Vambu-Vyas, who had been witnessing the josiyam:)
Adi won in 3 games while Vyas got none:) So he said, “amma, let me win something nice for my tummy at least!” His priorities!