A man carrying a small portable cage with a parrot inside, is a common sight at all temples, parks and such places where there is a daily gathering of thousands of people, in India. He is a fortuneteller of sorts and tells your future prompted by the parrot. “Parrot astrologer,” is his popular title.
Those who visit a temple for paying obeisance to their favourite god or goddess would not be satisfied with the worship alone. They would like to know what other fortunes their god has for them for that day and for the days till their next visit. Consulting a Palmist or a parrot astrologer is their normal preference.
A palmist doesn’t tell you what will happen to you on the following day; he would have already apprised you of your whole future such as, when you will get married or when your first child will be born, how long you would live on this Earth and so on. And you may not like to hear the same old story again and again. You want something different. After all, each day has its own destiny.
If you want to know your luck for that day or the whole week, the parrot astrologer is the right fellow to be approached. He would have a set of cards which carry some message and the parrot will pick one of the cards and the astrologer would read out the contents for your benefit.
Some customers may feel happy at the prediction especially the village folk or slum dwellers. Whereas, the city types won’t be impressed with the forecast at all. They know that what the parrot has brought out is nothing but a lucky dip. Many college students phoo, phoo the very idea. In fact, people in general have started losing faith in parrot astrology. They would rather go in for computer based horoscope though very expensive. The parrot astrologers have become somewhat jittery at this trend.
“What am I going to do?” wails one soothsayer in Chennai city. That has been his livelihood for some 20 years and he has been earning between Rs 100 and 120 per day. He knows no other profession.
“Why don’t you modernize the art?” I told him. He scratched his head at the word.
“Can’t you train your parrot to hop on the shoulder of your customer, give a kiss on his/her cheek, then come down and collect a card? Customers would love it, you know, especially young maidens?” The man thought over the suggestion. “It’s a good idea ,Sir. My parrot knows a few tricks. I’ll try it from tomorrow and hope that more customers will come to me….”
To another “Kili josier” I suggested, “Make your parrot do a kind of dance to some music before you direct it to choose a card. OK? People of the current generation want some thing novel and entertaining. If they do not believe in your prediction, at least let them enjoy the stunts performed by your parrot.”
The suggestions were made off the cuff. I hope the parrot astrologers treat my recommendation for what they are worth and enhance their chances of earning some money instead of giving up their age old profession.