The fortune teller in india

I don’t have a particular belief in the ability of others to foresee the future however this was, on one specific occasion in my life, put into question. It happened on one of my absolute favourite holidays of all time and one I shared with my mother and brother.

It was a holiday idea on a whim. In late 2007 I received a call from my mother and she simply said:

“Laura, we are going to India this December, I’m booking!”

I’d never before heard her mention India, not once. I was a student and to be honest I didn’t give it much thought but that is how we ended up in India for three weeks that December for the most fantastic holiday. It was filled with so many funny stories, oddities and laughter that a trilogy book wouldn’t cover it all.

It was also,

as it turned out,

the calm before the storm.

Halfway through our three week trip we arrived in Jaipur, a city known for its jewellery with streets lined with endless shops selling anything you can imagine. It’s a wonderful place and the people are incredibly kind and friendly although I was at times not convinced I enjoyed the attention my then very blond hair received but that is another story for another blog. On that day, we strolled into one of these jewellers and spent a while looking at a few beautiful pieces.

Apart from the eager salesman there was an old man behind the counter who made me feel rather nervous from the point of entering the store as he had his eyes glued on us. At some point he stood up and walked to the counter and looked at my mother and said:

“I need to talk to you.”

My mom laughed it off in her unique way, the laughter she used when strange things happened around her but he was adamant that he wanted to speak to her and directed her to the room next door.

I’m not sure why she agreed to follow him and I’m not exactly sure what he said to her but I do know this. They stayed in that room for some time and when my mother came out she wasn’t the same. She never would tell me everything that was said in that room except one thing. This old man who we had never met before, who knew nothing about our history, her life, her job or her fears, this man told her that she would not live much longer.

At this point my mother was very healthy and had been cancer free, cured, normal for at least eight years. That is a long time. The cancer had faded away in time as a select one time bad occurrence – a semi freak accident of sorts. Yet this man, who we didn’t know, made such a bold claim.

When we arrived back in South Africa my mother went for tests (many tests) and it seems that this old man had the ability to see a future that we had all missed. He had a grip on a future reality that we were yet to live.

How did he know?

Like I said, I’m not convinced that I believe some people have super natural abilities but I have many times thought about this experience. The only rational explanation that I can come up with is that some of us are more in tuned with the rhythms of life. Some of us don’t miss the little subtleties of emotion and that if you looked deep enough and picked up on all these little things that we would all be able to predict how life might change.

This fits in well with the modern movement of mindfulness.

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn ,

“mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.”

Maybe this is the key to being prepared for anything on your path but mostly I think it will make you appreciate life for all the small moments.

Coincidently (or maybe not), the old man in the jewellery shop also told me that within a year and a half I would find myself living across the oceans(his words). That happened to be true. On another whim I moved to England, leaving the mountains and culture of Cape Town behind.

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