Fortune telling is a big business in India. 

Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen in the future, when the right age to get married is, how many children they will have, and so on. 

I personally set no store by superstition, and believe that my future is in my hands, aided by God’s grace. 

However, there are many who believe that it’s possible to take a shortcut to the future by knowing what will happen beforehand. 

In Chennai

If you Google ‘fortune tellers in Chennai,’ you will probably get a list of astrologers who sit in a comfortable office and look over star charts to tell people when to take the important decisions in their lives. 

However, there are other small-scale fortune-tellers who can be spotted by the roadside and at public places like the beach, who conduct a roaring trade.


There are apparently 3 methods they use to read a person’s fortune:

  1. Palmistry
  2. Kili josyam, which involves using a parrot to tell the future 
  3. Asking questions to an ebonite rod

Scam or Truth? 

These fortune-tellers belong to a specific community that has been in this business for generations. 

According to them, they go to graveyards at night and invoke spirits, which they then trap in ebonite rods.

They carry these rods around with them, and pose questions to it. The spirit apparently answers with the fortune of the person on whose behalf questions are being asked. 

Now I’m going to list out two separate incidents with these fortune tellers that happened in my own family. 

While I prefer to think it’s a scam due to my personal experience, at times I still get doubts.

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Experience 1:

Back when my mother was in college, a close family friend of ours used to invite a fortune-teller home regularly to read the fortune of his entire family. 

According to him, she was always accurate or close to it in her predictions. 

He got her to pay a visit to my mother’s house as well to read their fortunes. 

However, as soon as she stepped into the house, she said she couldn’t see anything other than the impending death of my grandfather. 

Obviously, my grandmother got extremely angry and asked her to leave the house. 

However, soon after this incident, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, and he passed away some time later. 

This eerie incident still gives me the creeps when people I know talk about it.

Experience 2:

I had gone to the beach with my friend last year, and when we settled down on the sand, passing fortune tellers would ask to read our fortune. 

We would decline, following which most went away, but one persistent woman actually sat down on the sand beside us and said that if we don’t like what she says, we don’t have to pay her. 

That statement itself made us laugh, because we felt that she would deliberately say things we would find pleasing. 

She then proceeded to tell me very complimentary things about my future, and that of my friend, too. 

He is an ever bigger skeptic than me, and he asked her to tell him what his career is. Seeing that he is obviously a North Indian, she guessed that he was into business, which was incorrect. 

She also tried to extract sums of money from us in the name of ‘removing nazar,’ and tried to dodge giving us change saying that taking back money from her is bad luck. 

Of course, we were thoroughly irritated by now. We somehow escaped from her, and spent the rest of our evening in peace. 

So here are two diametrically opposite experiences with fortune-telling in my family. 

My personal experience has given me no faith in it. I believe it’s shrewd guessing based on the appearance, way of speech, and mannerisms of the person.

Do share your personal views in the comments- whether you think it is a money-making scam, or if you think there’s some truth in it. 

Image Credits: Google Images

Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_

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