Mohan squarely put all the blame on the stars and planets for Dileep’s failures in business. “Because Saturn is in line with Scorpio...” he mentioned a number of planets and constellations whose relative positions in the outer space allegedly caused the downfall in Dileep’s business.
Mohan, Dileep and I were classmates in the village primary school. After the primary school we parted ways. I went on to study in the city and eventually became a teacher. Mohan dropped out of college and became an insurance agent. He picked up some astrology from somewhere and used that knowledge to determine the ideal positions of buildings. Vastu, people call it. Mohan also claimed he could predict people’s future using astrology. Dileep didn’t study much beyond the primary school and eventually took over his father’s shop in the village.
It was during one of my rare holidays in the village that Mohan and I visited Dileep in his shop. There were many indications that Dileep wasn’t doing well: the building looked dilapidated, there weren’t very many items on the racks, and everything looked too shabby to attract customers.
Mohan’s Saturn and Scorpio seemed to boost up Dileep’s spirit and so I kept quiet. It’s only when we came out of the shop and were walking along the almost deserted village road I asked Mohan, “Do you really think the stars and planets have anything to do with it all?”
“Well,” that’s all what he said.
“There are some 400 billion stars in our Milky Way alone,” I said. “There are at least 170 billion galaxies each of which may have a similar number of stars. They may all have planets and satellites just like our solar system. That’s billions and billions of heavenly bodies. Infinity. That’s what the universe is. It has its own rules and regulations. Gravity and things like that. But to assume that they afflict our poor Dileep’s tiny shop with their pulls and pushes is taking our infinitesimal ego a little too far into infinity.”
“Is your lecture over?” asked Mohan.
I stared at him. “How many people in our village will understand anything of what you said? How many can think beyond thousands, forget your billions and billions, let alone infinity. Did you notice how Dileep’s face lit up when I put the entire blame on some stars and planets? I gave him hope. Now I’ll give him an action plan. Some rituals and prayers. Actually, these rituals and prayers are nothing. They can’t affect any star or planet. Nothing changes out there. But many changes occur in Dileep’s mind. He will think that the evil influences are leaving him. He will begin to work with new enthusiasm. Some changes in the shop. New painting, new shelves, new articles... a new spirit.”
A few months later when I visited the village Dileep was doing much better. The stars can make a difference!