My Horoscope & Palm Reading 1945

I made an unexpected discovery while rummaging through personal files dating back to the late 1950s. Yes, as a good Babu bureaucrat, I started to preserve my papers from the age of 12, beginning with my mother’s letters to me. Several oddities and accounts of events in my life, such as this one, have emerged.

One oddity was, of course, my birth. Next was the commissioning of my horoscope by my parents. That was a universal Indian practice those days and still is – though perhaps somewhat diminished.

The 75-year-old horoscope is attached. It makes for intriguing reading, however sceptical one might be about this ‘science’. It comes in two parts: First, the horoscope proper based on planetary positions and influences. Second, the results of the palm reading. I am still alive, so am in a position to compare the predictions and my life’s journey.


“Long life is assured for the native”. Well, at 78, and still here, it can be classed as long life. So, true.

“The period was not so good for the father of the native when he was born”. True. The independence movement was gathering momentum across India. Uncertainty was in the air. My father was employed as a horticulturist by the Maharaja of Kashmir to maintain his residential gardens in Srinagar. The prospects were increasingly unsettling in the Province. My father inveigled a posting from the Srinagar hotbed to regional Anantnag to look after the Maharaja’s gardens there. Given the political rumblings in even that small town, my parents rented a room about 5 miles from Anantnag. I was born there.

[In early 1947, my father returned to Srinagar to work at the Shalimar Bagh. (It is the site where a pavilion is inscribed with that famous quote: “If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here”.) Soon after, in the lead-up to the partition, my parents and I began the long trek to Amritsar, joining millions of other refugees. That traumatic journey laid the groundwork for the dysfunctional and unhappy family that we were to become.]

“Mother’s health was not also satisfactory”. True. She had developed lumps in the left breast. I was breastfed only on the right. She was diagnosed with advanced cancer in 1952 by the Mayo clinic in Bombay. She died at 42.

The planetary positions at birth “indicates good financial to native”. True.

“He will get unexpected wealth too”. Not true. I have only earned ‘wealth’ from hard work.

“He will have good brothers and will enjoy happiness through them”. Not true. I have only one sister.

Comment: I find the horoscope unconvincing, the comments re parents’ particularly so. In those troubled times, few middle-class families would have been in promising financial and health paradigms. Specifics regarding siblings and wealth are wrong.

Palm Reading:

“Longevity approximately 70 years”. Apart from being accurate, this is extraordinary. At the time, the average age expectancy in India was around 38 – 42. To specify 70 is remarkable. It suggests confidence in one’s skill in the reading of hands.

“He will visit foreign countries many times and will have a world tour”. Indians in their 30s and 40s with some knowledge of the outside world aspired to visit the abode of the Raj Masters i.e. England. So this comment can be interpreted as something written to please the parents. However, given that England (and ‘Amreeka’) were the only known quantities at the time, the reference to “many countries” and a “world tour” implies a more considered judgement.

“One trip to foreign is indicated in his 13th year”. True. My father was posted to the Indian Deputy High Commission in Dacca, (then) East Pakistan, in 1956.

“He is likely to study Engineering”. Not true. At no stage did I have a smidgeon of interest in Physics or Mechanics.

“He will start his career approximately at his 28th year of age”. Uncannily true. My work experience started in 1961 as an articled clerk with David Fell & Co, Chartered Accountants in Canberra. It ended with my resigning from KPMG, where I had been promoted to Junior Partnership in 1967. I did so because I had achieved something I never wanted. My heart was always in International Relations. So I decided to leave CA to study at the Australian National University in Canberra. I was, at the time, the oldest undergrad in ANU’s history. Upon graduation, at 28, I joined the Department of Foreign Affairs (as one of the oldest ‘incomers’ it had ever had!). That was my career for the next 29 years. The palmist got it right.

Comment: I find the palmist reading fairly credible. However, I must add the disclaimer that I am somewhat biased.

I have long been interested in palmistry and practised it as an amateur 60s – 90s. I was hooked after I discovered Cheiro, a well-known palmist consultant to many high-profile figures in the late 19th – early 20th century, including Wilde, Prince of Wales, Gladstone, Twain, Chamberlain, Dame Melba etc. His Language of the Hand (the 1890s) became something of a bible for many budding palmists in the West. I also relied on his Guide to the Hand (the 1900s) and Napoleon’s Book of Fate (1870s). I read extensively on Palmistry and the Occult. I would have made some 100 casts of friends’ hands for reading. (In 1982, I sold the collection of casts to a Sydney palmist for $200!)

#Horoscope, #Palmistry