I can never laugh about predictions - GulfToday

I can never laugh about predictions

Shaadaab S. Bakht


Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.


Picture used for illustrative purpose.

When I tell people that I seriously believe that some animals can see trouble coming and some human beings can predict the future they laugh. But I can’t. Let me draw on my experiences.

It was 3 in the morning many years ago. Suddenly a wail broke out, it wasn’t loud, but certainly eerie. It was Bhondu, our neighbour’s dog. The neighbour, a company executive, was in his fifties.

He wrote his prediction on a piece of paper and sealed it in an envelope and requested that it not be opened till the date he had had mentioned on the cover

Bhondu’s wail almost froze me because I had heard many stories and had also read many articles saying that a dog’s wail meant that someone was going to leave us forever. My grandfather’s death was preceded by his dog, Browny’s wails, my grandmother told me that at least 10 times.

Well, Bhondu’s wails continued for at least a week. The neighbour fell ill, remained in hospital for three days, and then was shouldered to his final  destination.

Coming to my friend. He was a bank accountant, who we thought had in-born psychic powers. One day he was coaxed to foretell his lawyer friend’s future. He wrote his prediction on a piece of paper and sealed it in an envelope and requested that it not be opened till the date he had had mentioned on the cover.

After some years the lawyer died in a car crash. Weeks later the deceased’s brother chanced upon the letter in a cupboard. The letter said the lawyer would die in an accident.

Another friend Paresh Nath, a businessman, was introduced to a seer in New Delhi. The seer keeps a very low profile and is not a professional fortune-teller. Only his dear friends know that he has exceptional powers.  

Paresh kept pestering the seer to say something about his future. The latter kept refusing till one day he very reluctantly agreed to talk to Paresh’s wife. The prediction went like this: the businessman would fall seriously ill in a year or so and then almost all his wealth would go towards his treatment. He would ultimately recover but after a prolonged struggle.

At the beginning his wife gave Paresh a toned-down version of the meeting. But the psychological pressure kept mounting on her. She finally relented and gave him the details.

Predictably, Paresh slipped into a depression, started visiting shrines and seeking advice from all and sundry. This went on for weeks till Paresh fell seriously ill. The man was hospitalised, stayed there for weeks, and ran up bills which left him financially in tatters.

Others may laugh, but I can never, about extrasensory perceptions.

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