A Day in the Life of a Malayali Astrologer – Gopalakrishna Panicker, Age 45, Paloor, Pulamthole
He says ‘healthy body is the temple of goodness’. Exercise is an integral part of Gopalakrishna Panicker’s day that he loathe to miss-walking, followed by cycling and yoga. By 6.30 he enters to his daily poojas at home. When the clock ticks 7.15 his wife calls him for the breakfast. She will be waiting for him at the dining table, where his breakfast awaits him – soft fluffy idlis with coconut chutney. A pure Vegetarian, Gopalakrishna Panicker proclaims it to be the “secret of his energy”. Come 8.30, he heads on to Subhramanya Temple, his family temple, where his brother and he finishes the daily rituals. By this time a long queue will be waiting for him.’ A well-known astrologer and sorcerer, he is not a stranger to the stars. With his cowrie shells and bundles of Palmyra writing he claims he can forecast future, cure diseases and remove all hurdles that stand in the way of one’s success. He reads almanacs and predicts the future in accordance with the position of stars. He says that he has a unique power to communicate with the stars and has brought respite to thousands of grief-stricken men and women.
Gopalakrishna Panicker offers solution to the problems that torment his visitor be it money, job, marriage or anything. He makes it clear that people approach when there is no other option to tackle their problem. Many cases
come to him where even medical science has failed to succeed. The day I met Panicker, Raghu a commoner from Chalakkudy who ran from pillar to post for his foreign visa had approached him to know about his future. Panicker laughs when he says-‘everyone wants to know whether they have ‘kandakashani which is a bad time for everyone’. Fathima, a Muslim lady is waiting for her turn to find solution for the irresponsible behaviour of her drunkard husband. The list goes on and on an average about 15 customers approach him a day. He records about everyone who comes to meet him.
By 6.30, he wraps up his work and gives a support for this that Vedas do not allow prophesying after the sun fades into horizon. He told that he refers YajurVeda for doing various ‘karmas’. After this he has an Arab family waiting for a ‘homam ’ for their business welfare. He says- “there is no difference here for a Hindu or Muslim or Christian. Everyone comes to me”
After the prayer at the temple, he rushes back to his home, where he metamorphoses into a caring husband and a responsible father of his son and daughter. Quoting Panicker-“my son is an engineer but now I have send him to Chennai to learn astrology and ‘manthras’ from my own guru there”. He watches TV news for one hour and has dinner with the family where he discusses about his daughter’s marriage which is in the coming month. Before he sleeps at 11.30 he gets calls from outside India especially from the Gulf countries to find solution through this middle man between God and Man.
Reported by: Varun Mohan