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“You will have two big life changes; one of them will be marriage.”
“Thank god for that” I remember thinking - I would get my own happily ever after. Even though I have plenty of time for this, and am hardly ‘on the shelf’, I expect to start gathering dust like an ancient ornament. I must have read far too many fairytales when younger, and often feel imaginary pressure to slip on high heeled shoes and float down the aisle in a cream cloud.
I shuffled in my seat, relishing the relief of the shade in one of India’s palace courtyards. There was a gentle buzz of people’s conversations in the background, and nearby some musicians were playing traditional Rajasthani music, a little out of tune. The warm air had a thick consistency, like melted chocolate. The palm reader’s eyes looked down again at my palm, as if it were an open book.
“You will travel and live abroad for some time. The morning sun is good for your health. Being creative is important, and you require more self-confidence.”
At times he would gaze around at the onlookers who had gathered and would continue speaking. I sceptically thought how clever it was for him to carry on, as if my palm lines were printed onto his retinas. I momentarily became a flustered English rose. I suppose my blushing face, encouraged by the crowd, could have contributed to the self-confidence comment. He continued tracing the lines with his fingers, as if they were woven threads. I listened carefully with great interest, my ears tingling with anticipation.
The art of palm reading has always fascinated me. I am not sure whether I believe in it or not, but I feel drawn to it, and curiosity often gets the better of me. The idea is exciting – to ‘know’ your future in a few minutes and to have your burning questions answered.
Palmistry traces its roots back to India. There is said to be ancient scriptures on palm reading located there, born from the seed of Hindu astrology. With books written on the subject, and movement of people (including Roma gypsies), the art spread from country to country - China, Tibet, Egypt, Persia, and some of Europe. Over time its popularity has increased, and it has even been adopted as a holistic healing technique. Our love line, life line, children line, and destiny line each predict our future depending on the thickness of line, intersections, and size. The skin texture, hand shape, and fingerprints can also be studied for more information.
Ultimately it’s about the thrill of hearing what you want to hear...or not, in which case the natural tendency is to question the validity of the readings! Having said that, getting your palm read is entertaining and reveals your character and fate logically. Hearing my predicted destiny made me realise it’s a love-hate relationship between yourself and the lines engraved on your hand.
I scribbled some notes down into my dusty notebook, trying to catch and preserve his words on the paper, like catching butterflies before they flutter away. I was secretly enjoying myself. The onlookers came and went, some hovering longer than others like wasps around a nest. The sun’s rays started to perforate the shade, as if creating a delicate paper-cutting.
To finish with, the palm reader told me that it would be good luck to wear a pearl ring. He seemed rather enthusiastic at this part; excitement filling him as it does a child when they enter a sweet shop.
“How about these madam?” he asked, as he produced a tray of rings from underneath the table. His eyes sparkled, as if the jewellery was reflected in them.
“We can do a very good price, especially for you.”