I first heard about the Naadi Shastra Pandits from my mother. She said that they are  Tamilian astrologers who have migrated to different parts of India. They read your life story from palm leaves that are nearly 2000 years old! That was a bit too much for me to believe. How could someone have written about me that long ago? I decided to pay them a visit the next time I went to my home town, Dehra Dun.

This summer the day finally arrived. I spent the first two weeks of April at my Grandparent’s home in Dehra Dun. After recovering from the hectic journey I took an appointment with the Naadi Shastra astrolgers.

The centre was having an intense spiritual look. Astrologers there were in shirts and lungis (white, cotton cloth wrapped around the waist). They had the 3 line naama on their foreheads. One of them took 4 impressions of my left thumb and got busy searching ‘my leaf’. After a few minutes the pandit said that there were a few bundles matching my thumb impression. I was taken to a room filled with huge pictures of Gods and Goddesses generously decorated with flowers. I felt a bit intimidated by the set-up.

The session began. He picked the first leaf, sang a verse in tamil and asked me a question. Questions typically were like “Your father’s name is after a God?” or “You have a twin sister?” He would look at me for a yes or no answer. As soon as he got a negative response he would drop the current leaf and move to the next.

One bundle of leaves through and we had no luck. I was beginning to imagine that my leaf did not survive the test of time. It probably got buried, burnt or lost in some calamity. As these thoughts were lingering through my head the pandit was back with another bundle and more hope. We resumed our Q&A session. Some leaves came really close to being mine but finally got dropped due to some negative answer somewhere. Now, this made me feel that many people with a thumb impression similar to mine have very similar lives.

Finally that moment came that I had been waiting for all along. They found my leaf! Ohh! What a moment it was. His series of questions were like this (all of them true to the last detail):

Your name is Roma. You are a Hindu, Brahmin. Your father’s name means “The Sun”. Your mother’s name means “The lotus”. You were born on 3rd January, 1978. You have one older sister, no brothers. You were born on a Tuesday. You are Chaitra nakshatra, Tula Raashi. Your father’s name is Arun Prakash. Your mother’s name is Pankaja. Your father had knowledge in astrology, you dont. Your father is not there anymore. You are married to Mayank. He is a Hindu but not from your community. You have two daughters. One is running 7 and the other is running 3. You are technically qualified. You are a graduate. You used to work earlier but currently are at home. While in service you went on a work-related trip abroad, once.

By this point I was paralysed with fear. I at once stopped him and said “Please do not reveal anything about the future. Thanks so much.”

A person who has got every tiny detail right this far could possibly tell me something about the future that could leave me stressed. For moments after that I was speechless and continued to look at the pandit in disbelief. How could he tell me so much just from my thumb impression? He said that he had told me everything about my life he knew till date. For future, I would need to take another appointment.

I went home completely confused. Questions started erupting in my mind that I simply couldn’t answer :

He stopped accurately and said he will give me future details later. How did he know exactly upto what point in the story is my past and where my current life situation begins?

How could he read out of the leaf, the exact age of my children? What if I had come five years earlier or five years later? What would be written on the leaf then?

Is there no influence of Karma on what is happening with me? Am I here in this world just to execute what is written on that leaf?

Here is what my friends have to say on this subject :

“In olden days Rishi Munis would time travel. They saw through your life and wrote about it.”

“The Rishis knew when you would come to read the leaf. So they knew the age of your kids.”

“Karma does have an influence on what is happening with you. Whatever is written on the leaf will happen but the intensity will be reduced based on your Karma.”

“There are many leaves written for you. Based on the decisions you take today a different leaf will be fished out for you later.”

I now know that there are some things that even science can’t explain. I left Dehra Dun completely in awe of these pandits and their age-old palm leaves.