Soft Coroner

Published on December 6th, 2012

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Astro-i-logical predictions

There are astrologers who can tell us how planets affect our pets. What’s next? Auspicious marriage dates for our pooches?
by Prashant Shankarnarayan | prashant@themetrognome.in

The situation – A newspaper article on astrology for pets!

The observation: Disclaimer – please skip this paragraph if you’re turned off by gross imagery. At the outset, let me say that I humbly believe astrology is something that gushes out of a bull’s posterior. Even that would be unfair on the bovine, as dung is recycled, but astrology is non-degradable. But when I read an article on astrology for pets in a newspaper (that could also double up as toilet paper), I realised why the Mayans predicted that the world would end this very December – because human thought has reached its lowest ebb.

The article goes on to mention that pet owners in Mumbai are seeking astrologers to understand the personality of their pet cats and dogs. This profound observation is authenticated by the quotes of a few astrologers who vouch that our planets and their capricious quirks affect animals as much as they affect humans.

What a load of bollocks! If an advanced alien species were to read this PR plug masquerading as an article, it would just delete its plan of meeting humans from its bucket list. Even I don’t want to be associated with such a dumb species any more.

The worst is we are not only dumb, but arrogantly so! How dare we presume that we are so significant to the universe that it has no other job but to influence our life and that of our pets? Know this once and for all – we are insignificant. The universe has been around for the past 13.7 billion years, and our planet is around 4.5 billion years old. Life decided to show up hardly 3.7 billion years ago, and anatomically modern humans evolved around 2,00,000 years back. Astrology is just a few thousand years old. This simply indicates that the universe has existed almost its entire lifetime without humans, and will continue to exist even if we possibly go extinct.

So forget about fixing suhag raat mahurats for horny Chihuahuas, because the universe doesn’t care if we exist or not. Of course the sun, moon and gravity influence our surroundings and cause tides and seasons, thereby influencing the physical existence of living beings. This might even affect our personal lives, like a wedding witnessing a lower turnout because of rains, but it is utter haughtiness and foolishness to assume that it also determines whether one will opt for a love marriage or an arranged marriage.

Even worse is to consult an astrologer on whether one should pet a Labrador or a dung beetle. Even gibberish comes with its defenders, and I’ve met many who ask why we blame astrology when even modern science sometimes fails to predict natural disasters. But name a single mass disaster that an astrologer has ever averted so far? Zilch. A few people might say that science doesn’t explain everything, but these people don’t believe in astrological observations and methods hailing from other cultures. You will rarely see a Japanese family matching kundalis, or a Hindu family observing the year of the dragon. If one compares this with science, the law of gravity works uniformly for Hindus, Chinese, animals and even inanimate objects.

A few days ago, my colleague was blankly walking around in office. An astrologer had told him, “You will be dead by 2013, and even if you survive; you will be gone by 2015.” Ignorant and escapist people like us who allow ourselves to be fooled by such clairvoyants. We want solutions to our problems, and that is where a soothsayer steps in, claiming to give us solutions. With due credit to astrology, it was probably the first attempt at astronomy by the human mind, but it’s an obsolete one.

It is a shame that even in this day and age, we pit astrology against science. That a person armed with a load of trash in the name of the occult is even compared to a hardworking person of science who has worked diligently over the years to come up with genuine answers, is a blot on human society.

Sheer desperation makes helpless farmers marry off frogs, hoping to invoke the rain gods, whereas sheer indulgence is what makes flashy socialites take their pets to astrologers. This shows that common sense eludes the rich as much as it eludes the poor. We have evolved as a species because we can work our way out of problems. If our ape-like ancestors had placed a Laughing Buddha idol in their caves, or offered a burning wick in front of Shani Bhagvan to combat the hungry tiger waiting outside, then you are free to reason if we have evolved or not.

Prashant Shankarnarayan is a mediaperson who is constantly on the lookout for content and auto rickshaws in Mumbai. ‘Soft Coroner’ tries to dissect situations that look innocuous at the surface, but reveal uncomfortable complexities after a thorough post mortem. (Featured image courtesy blog.jokeroo.com)

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