We made our way, first by Tuk-tuk, then on foot through the grimy backstreets of the Kwatwaria Sara district of New Delhi. We clearly did not fit in here and had to ask numerous times for directions. Where were we going, you might well ask? Well we were on our way to consult a Nadi Astrology leaf reader.
Apparently about 2000 years ago 18 Hindu sages had divine revelations, which they recorded on a series of palm leaves. That is, they wrote down the past, present and future of all humans on old palm leaves!
Eventually we found ourselves at a beauty salon, which seemed to be our address, and just next door we noticed an open door and a small waiting room. With gestures we were asked to remove our shoes and take a seat inside. The man, who seemed to be in charge, asked us some questions in Hindi, but we could make no sense of anything until a friendly man, sitting with his brother in the waiting room, kindly translated for us.

In the waiting room

In the waiting room

The procedure was that the assistant would take our thumb print and name, and with this information, would see if our leaves could be found. We were told that not everyone’s leaf is found, only those destined to know about their records and only when the time is right!

‘By your Thumb – impression (Gents Right & Ladies Left thumb), we predict by seeing ancient palm leaves …about you, your family & future Ups & Downs as accurate and in Detail.’

After our prints were taken in purple ink, we were given a small pamphlet to read. I was astounded to discover the full extent of what a reading would reveal. To list just a few:

* About Brothers and Sisters, Benefits and Problems from them.
* Dangers and Difficulties in life & about the consultants courage in detail.
* Diseases, Debts, Litigation, Enemies when will these problems arise and when will disappear as accurate & in detail
*The Life Longevity of the consultants Father, about getting father’s properties.
*The consultants Life Longevity, How long will be the life, at which period the danger and problem will arise, when death will occur in detail.

The assistant returned to announce Stefan’s leaf had been found, the brothers grinned excitedly at this news. But this was not good enough for Stefan. “Where is it?” he asked.
“He wants to know where it is, he wants to see it?” the brothers translated for us.
The assistant looked slightly annoyed and disappeared again. After 10 minutes he reappeared with what looked like a large closed fan.

Purple thumb prints

Purple thumb prints

Palm leaves with Stefan's destiny

Palm leaves with Stefan’s destiny

He unwound a long piece of rope holding together a bundle of about 50 palm leaves sandwiched between two pieces of wood, and opened it up at a leaf that seemed quite random to us. But this particular leaf, we were told, was Stefan’s. It was covered in a small, ancient Tamil script. As there was no English translator available, he was told to return the first week of December.
“But we won’t be here then. I asked for an English reading when I phoned.” Said Stefan annoyed. “How come they couldn’t predict that they would need an English translator here today.” He said to me disappointed.
“Today No English. You phone.” He was handed a business card with a number written on the back. “That number you say when phone.”
“And what about me?” I asked. I also wanted my leaf to be found. If for no other reason than to say they found it. Once again the assistant disappeared. It was a very tense 15 minute wait!
“He found your leaf too! You very lucky!” said the thrilled brothers when he returned. I too was given a business card with a number written on the back. And for a few seconds I did indeed feel very lucky. Whether we will ever discover the rest of our destiny, I don’t know. But having read through that pamphlet I am not too sure I want to!

LESSON LEARNT
It’s better to turn over a new leaf than an old leaf.

NEW DELHI, INDIA: 24-11-2013

2 Responses to leaf reader

  • Only now having time to catch up with all your adventures – and how! Love the tiger story Cath, Kathmandu seems like a serious culture shock after Europe, and the sheep in Scotland are hilarious! I remember them too although we were last in Scotland more than a decade ago….

    We’ve just “survived” the Madiba mourning period, so now it’s all back to normality again, but without the great man. Looking forward to seeing what, if anything, will change after days of adoration and high-faluting speeches by our ruling party about following in his footsteps …

    Keep them coming, I just love catching up with you guys in this way. Wishing you a lekker festive season, wherever you are and hope 2014 keeps on being as exciting.

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