24 November 2009
What's your Raashee?
Watched Ashutosh's Gowarikar's movie by this name recently. It is based on a Gujarati novel - Kimball Ravenswood by Shri Madhu Rye. It is about the much-debated topic of astrology that has suddenly gained popularity among the masses. Ashutosh probably wanted to cash in on this trend and ventured into hitherto unexplored territory(for him) of the rom-com. The protagonist - Yogesh Patel has to get married in 10 days in the arranged way and wants to meet one girl from each raashee to give him a chance to fall in love(as if!). This is the plot in which Priyanka Chopra gets to play 12 different characters - you guessed it- a girl from each raashee. Am still not sure if the movie was meant to be a primer on 12 astrological signs, OR a satire on how complicated women are, OR just a sad attempt at a suspense-ful romantic movie.
The less said about the movie, the better. About the raashees - well, I am a keen student of astrology myself and know some of the traits. I mean, just yesterday, I was in a conference room with some colleagues at office. Someone spilled some coffee from their mug onto the table. While most others ignored the small stain on the table, one of the colleagues quietly fetched some paper towels from the pantry and wiped the stain. I promptly asked him - "Are you a Virgo?" and he nodded in chagrin :) So you see, I do know my raashees.
Many of the cliched traits attached to various signs have been used in the movie e.g. Scorpio women love to dress to kill and can be fire and ice at the same time. Libra women are too level-headed almost to the point of being ..ummm... anal. Leo women love to be in the limelight and have pre-conceived notions. Pisces women live under illusions. Cancer women are the naive, honest ones who get taken advantage of, Virgo women are hypochondriacs - they see and fear disease all around them and Capricorn women suffer hardship from a very tender young age.
Though I have studied all the signs and guessing people's sun-signs is my favorite pastime; I sincerely feel that the world's population cannot be so summarily categorized into 12 zodiac signs. Having said that, I do believe that astrology is a powerful science and not something to be dismissed as nonsense. After all, if our wise forefathers spent so much time analyzing it then there must be some truth in the subject although no demonstrable evidence has been unearthed or documented yet. It is definitely not a simple matter of knowing one's sunsign/moonsign and reading up the traits for that. Its a complex subject where positions of all planets at the time of birth need to be studied and their positions relative to each other taken into account. When this is done, every horoscope chart is unique, no two are alike. Hence, every individual is unique and cannot be generalized under a category so easily.
Then there is the debate regarding what is construed as the birth time? Is it the time when the baby was conceived, or when the baby gives its first cry after being born, or when the umbilical cord is cut and baby is completely on its own for the first time? Do the doctors or nurses note this time accurately? Hard to tell. So whatever time we know as our birth time, may not even be accurate. It is a vast and deep topic, more of a statistical study than a science. Hence, it cannot be deciphered in a 2-hour movie or a 2 month course. How can some so-called astrologers make a profession out of it then? Probably, that's why there is the notion of Western Astrology where they have signs by birth month instead of birth time. But, there is room for confusion even in that if we go by the various different calendars that are followed all over the world. The Chinese got it right (as usual!) by dividing the signs as per birth year. There is not much margin for error here. But the categorization is even more bizarre - imagine being put in the same league as your pesky classmate with the horrible teeth-clips !
One of my relatives has this annoying habit of calling me up and asking me - "Nilu, tell me more about my sunsign. Will I be happy? Will I get the home I always dreamed of?" Or when one of my friends is getting married, I get asked "The girl's raashee is so-and-so. Will we get along fine?" Its too late to warn by then anyway as all the plans are made and one doesn't want to be seen as a spoil-sport. I feel like a doctor, who no matter where she goes, is always accosted by people for their symptoms of something or the other. No rest for the doctor or the astrologer in this day and age!
Any guesses for which of the raashee's girl the hero hitches up with? Watch the movie.
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