Friday, 1 February 2013

Guess What? We're Still Here!


Ramblings post-doomsday. Why? Because I can! 

Armageddon outa here!

When I booked my flight tickets in September for 2012 December Music Season, my mother wanted me to confirm if I would be in India or in on flight, during the much talked about “21st December 2012”. She was, like many innocent consumers of media prophecy (that foretells of an imminent Armageddon), a little worried.  If you watch some TV channels you will know what I mean  the -  the supposed scientific calculations by ancient beings,the prepper shows,the mapping of actual events to prophecies past. 

Somewhere in an abandoned corner of my mind, despite a supposed lack of faith in the media’s interpretation of Mayan Prophecy, I was contemplating a choice of activities for my last hours. Apparently, having been born into a family that consults astrologers for everything from buying a home to removing an ingrown nail, I had acquired a fear that accompanies seekers of truth via prophecy. 

A Winter Solstice Brings Bad Tidings

On December 21st, to the relief of my mother the world remained intact. But a beautiful Carnatic nightingale lost her husband to suicide and the word in town was that the singer cancelled all her concerts for the entire Season. I was in Chennai -  for the very purpose of enjoying the Music Season! A great name in music suffered a loss, and we her fans lost a Season of heartfelt renditions! No one predicted this incident, and yet, no fan in media asked ‘why’ in a traditional culture that is steeped in vedic astrology. They only watched TV reports which stated fact. No prophecies were quoted.

The shock of the incident reverberated throughout the musical community and I met many tearing fans as I queued for various artistes’ shows, or caught up with old friends over filter-kapi. Personally, I felt a little attached to the tragedy myself, as the family was known to me, during a brief but profoundly educational period I spent with a late doyenne of Carnatic music. The doyenne in question, the affectionately-called Amma, was the grandmother of the widowed singer. When Amma was alive, there was not a day in class when her prized achievement of a grand-daughter, was not mentioned with love. 

I felt a little sick in a way I cannot articulate, and am still wondering how no revered traditional astrologer was consulted prior to the recent widow’s marriage.Or, if I had presumed wrong and astrologers were indeed consulted, why had they not predicted, such a catastrophic eventuality for this talented diva! If predicted, could the incident have been averted?

The Future is Nigh

The Mayan Prophecy for one, seemed to fade into the background with most folk, including mom - and myself as January 2013 approached. The lack of faith I had in the Mayan Prophecy as interpreted by documentaries and news channels on television, was now validated.

In this world where every seer boasts prowess in prediction, I guess no one prophesized that Illayaraja would be commended for (1) experimental music by the revered Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2012, (2) shortly after the world it seemed, was supposed to end. Well, not in the news anyway. So, I itch to know if Illayaraja was given a heads-up in private by his personal astrologer. Perhaps he knew that he would win a prestigious award in 2012 and that the funny thing is that the astrologer would have had to predict this win for sometime just after the Mayans apparently drew the curtain on the world  - the latter being the widely announced prophecy by docu makers on say International Geographic* or Uncovery* channels!

In any event, it appears nothing bypasses the astrologer if you consult him (or her) in retrospect. Suddenly there is a reason for everything, an exception to  every rule of prediction and a justification for why something did not go as foretold. Basically, if the prediction is true, he says "I told you so!". If it isn't, he says, "Well, some things are God's will". And yet astrology thrives! It's just like how we still watch tweaked versions of prophecies on TV, well after Dec 2012.

Can't go around blaming the media's version of prophecy anymore. Or the astrologer. It's those of us who condone soothsaying, prophecy and prophetic tv programming that need a little questioning. What say you?

  * not real tv channel names - obviously!