Chinappa Calls.

Chinappa walks royal with a silver betel box.
It is a year since he came.

The family greets him. He is their trusted astrologer

The next morning he is up.
Nice to see him with a dhoti around his waist.
His bare chest is smeared with ash.
He keeps munching the betel leaf,
spitting the juice in the spittoon.

Chinappa is at his job.
As goes the tradition horoscopes are cast after the child’s first birthday.
He sits erect before the low desk ornated with brass.
A [i]panchanga [/i]lies open.

He calculates mentally.
First, adds the years, then multiplies the [i]vinadis[/i]
divides the[i] nalis.[/i] Marks the Dasa, the transits of the [i]girahas[/i].

Sips hot coffee in between. Energy renewed,
he works on the [i][i]kattams[/i][/i]. Places the planets in each one of the twelve boxes.
The ascendant or the Lagna is the starting point of the horoscope.

He studies the aspects, details them in a hardbound notebook.
He works on the horoscope for three days.
The life predictions were documented.

He smears turmeric on the edges of the notebook.
reads the salient features that include the[i] pariharams [/i]
The family listens to him keenly.
He is an expert. He takes no reward.
Quoting him,
Accepting money from you is akin to selling my skill.
If I do that my foretelling skill would desert me”.
He laughs.

Hope he would make it next year too.