My Kuala Lumpur trip - A prelude
The ageing astrologer took a look at the two little girls in front of him. His nephew’s daughters whose horoscopes he had drawn up.
He remembered something.
“You,” he looked at the younger girl. “You will go abroad.”
“And you,” he turned towards the elder one. “You won’t.”
Later, the girls’ mother had to pacify her eldest child – a six year old.
“Of course you will go abroad,” she said. “You are better at studies and you will earn enough money to visit other countries on your own.”
The girl seemed unconvinced.
Years later, the mother was visiting an astrologer with an urgent query. The question that every mother wanted to know – when will her daughters get married.
As the consultation was coming to an end, she suddenly remembered something.
“Sir, can you tell me if my elder daughter will travel abroad?” she asked hesitantly.
“Aaaah well….,” the astrologer tried to concentrate. “Hoom.”
“Hoom?” the sound seemed to be ominous to the mother.
“She will,” the astrologer finally spoke out. “But usore pajore (near about), you know. Like these South-East Asian countries, maybe.”
He did not sound very confident and the mother left with a heavy heart.
In June 2015, the girl, now a mother herself, cracked it. After years of missing out on travel opportunities abroad for reasons as stupid as not having a passport, to not able to get leaves from office, she finally made the journey overseas. The second astrologer’s prediction, however flimsy it may have been, had come true.
And so I travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In 2014, I had won a blogger contest along with 9 others, held by Tourism Malaysia in association with BlogAdda. While there were many opportunities during the past year for all-expenses paid FAM trips, I just could not find out time. Every time I declined a trip, the words of the first astrologer used to ring in my ears. Perhaps I was not destined to travel abroad. What a ridiculous idea, my relatives would pooh-pooh, to think of such things at this age when it is so easy to visit foreign countries. Just pack your bags and go, they said.
Finally, one balmy morning in Kolkata where I had gone on an official visit, I took a deep breath and said yes when a call came to ask if I would be interested to go to Kuala Lumpur to attend the IIFA awards. The visa came just a few hours before I boarded the plane.
And so I was in Kuala Lumpur the last few days – amidst a whirl of dizzy-tizzy media, shimmering stars, delightful cuisine, maddening traffic, tall skyscrapers, swaying palm trees, fluttering butterflies, chirping birds, shopping frenzy and the omnipresent twin towers that never left your vision. A veritable cornucopia of senses, the city offered.
I shall try to relate some of my experiences here so that I can tell myself that it was not a dream. Maybe you can check them out?
PS: My sister is settled abroad. The old astrologer was right, too.