The Ominous Star

The Ominous Star

The burden of the secret choked Raghavan’s chest.

‘I can unravel it when the time comes,’ he consoled himself. He knew that would happen only after a year.

‘If Suguna hadn’t been adamant 

about taking the horoscopes to seek Saibaba’s blessings, such a  situation might not have arisen.’ Raghavan was sweating inside the air-conditioned hall, where his son Ravi was getting married to Rama, a soulmate of his choice.

“We are what we are today because of Saibaba. I wish to place their horoscopes at His feet.” Raghavan’s wife, Suguna had averred when he had argued that the two had already decided to tie the knot, why talk about horoscopes then?

Raghavan was shaken to see Rama’s birth star when he collected the horoscope at the behest of Suguna.

It was believed that a girl born in this particular star would bring peril upon the mother-in-law, within a year of marriage. If that period passes amicably, the peril too passes.

Generally, girls born in this star were married off in families where the mother-in-law is no more.

There were very few instances of families having magnanimously accepted girls born in that star as daughters-in-law when the groom’s mother is alive.

Unfortunately, an incident in Raghavan’s house itself fortified this blind belief.

Raghavan’s mother when diagnosed with intestinal cancer, expressed her wish to see Raghavan’s brother married soon. He had already surpassed the marriageable age due to some ill-omen in his horoscope.

His wedding was fixed in a jiffy with Savitri the daughter of a family friend.  Born in the ‘cursed’ star, she too was waiting to find a suitable match.

The marriage between the two was solemnized knowing the fact about the ‘loopholes’ in their respective horoscopes.

Six months after the wedding Raghavan’s mother died.

Though everyone was aware that she was battling cancer, at the funeral accusations were directed towards Savitri. 

Though Suguna hadn’t admitted it, Raghavan felt that she also believed  her mother-in-law’s death was due to the cursed star of her co-sister.

At the spur of the moment upon seeing Rama’s star, Raghavan had manipulated it in the horoscope. Though he wasn’t credulous enough to accept such unproven beliefs, he acted thus worried that Suguna may be emotionally affected. 

In a scenario like this wherein the marriage cannot be called off, she may live in constant fear.

He knew what he did was wrong but that was the only way he could save the situation.

“Birth stars of the couple, please,” the priest demanded. 

The earth shattered beneath his feet as Raghavan saw Rama’s mother approach the priest. 

He shut his eyes as if that would avert the catastrophe.

Just then he heard his wife telling the priest about both Ravi and Rama’s birth star. And she had pronounced it as per the original horoscope of Rama.

Opening his eyes he stared at her in awe when she smiled and nudged him.

‘Haven’t I told you that you blabber a lot in your sleep?”
All things mentioned in the story related to the birthday star of people has been written on hearsay basis. The story does not intend to malign any custom or tradition. All characters and events mentioned in the story are fictitious. Any resemblance to people dead or alive is purely coincidental and not intended 
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Sudha Vishwanathan
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