“Listen. I don’t believe in horoscopes. My wife forced me to come here. Let’s get this over soon. Say whatever you want to. But, say it to her. Make her happy,” said Ritwik to the astrologer.

“I don’t tell your horoscope. I am an astrologer. I will tell you about your past, present, and future. I’ll offer solutions to your problems. I discuss your life with you. I do not give you a paper with all the predictions. It is all about the stars in your horoscope, I know. But, to prepare your horoscope, I need a lot of time. With the few minutes you are here, you can only expect some predictions and some more advice, ” said the astrologer.

“I knew it. When you say time, you actually mean money. If I am ready to pay you more money, you will prepare my horoscope. You people are here just for the money. And, you don’t even know what you are doing. I doubt if you know your own future.” asked Ritwik.

“Well, I know my future. But, I prefer not to share with strangers. But, I can share your future with you, if you want,” said the astrologer.

“There you are. Let’s get this done with. Tell me something about myself that is not so obvious or information that can easily collected about me from various sources. I know you maintain a database of information about people – customers, prospects, and non-believers, too,” said Ritwik.

The astrologer did not want to argue with this man. He said, “Alright. Let us talk about your innate weakness. Here, I’m talking about a weakness that your wife also does not know. While she is out on her phone call, let us talk about your weakness. You are badly addicted to drugs. You had a tough time getting out of your addiction in college. But, of late, your addiction is kicking in again and troubling. Your wife thinks you spend your money on gambling, because you say so to her. But, the fact remains that you spend so much money getting those drugs and then trying to cover up your mess. You are scared you will get caught by your family or by the cops.”

Ritwik was astounded and speechless. He could not believe what he heard. For a moment, he started believing the fact that this astrologer might have actual powers. But, then, he thought to himself that a little amount of background check would easily reveal information about Ritwik’s drug addiction. He did not say it aloud.

The astrologer said, “No. It is very difficult to do such background check. And, in your case, we might not even get it because your have someone from the cops helping you conceal the information.”

Ritwik continued to be surprised.

The astrologer too continued, “Even though you are thinking about the cops name, I’m not going to speak it out here. And, don’t worry, though you are already thinking about your other dark secret, I’m not going to talk about it. I know it might be troublesome to let your wife know about the fling you have with the nurse at her hospital. I know it is a complicated situation. I’d only suggest you to be more honest to your wife. And, sooner or later, stop all these infidelities and be truthful to your wife.”

Ritwik fell at the astrologer’s feet and apologized for his mistake and for insulting him earlier.

Ritwik said, “Thank you for your predictions. Please help me become a better man. I want to be truthful to my wife. I want to stay away from drugs. But, I lose control. Please tell me how I can regain control.”

The astrologer smiled and said, “Please two do tasks to me. One of them is for yourself. Every morning as soon as you wake up and every night before you go to bed, send an email to yourselves. Let the subject of the email be – I love my life. In the email, list out five reasons why you love your life. It’d be better to give references to the things she did that day. Second, think of this other girl as a friend who needs help. Do not look at her as an object of your desire. Find out where she needs help. Try to help her. Talk to her. Understand her. Do everything other than having fun with her. Try to look at the world from her eyes. If you can really help her out of her current problems, that will be great.”

Ritwik has heard about astrologers seeking money to perform rituals to get away from their problems. But, this one seemed to be unique for the solutions. He felt glad his wife got him here.

Ritwik’s wife came into the room after some time.

The astrologer told to her, “I had a nice conversation with your husband. Both of you can meet after three weeks and let me know how you feel then. Until then, I want you to trust him even when you really have to doubt him. Give him all the benefit of doubt for the next three weeks. We are all working to get better.”

Three weeks later, Ritwik and his wife came to meet the astrologer.

Ritwik was healthier and happier. He said, “Thank you for your advice. It worked out too well. I started appreciating my wife for what she is. But, your advice kind of freaked me out. I tried to be that girl’s good friend. But, it turned out that she wanted only my money and not me. So, with some difficulty, I got rid of her. With her gone, my addiction to drugs has also come down.”

The astrologer congratulated both of them for the progress.

After the session, Ritwik waited outside while the astrologer had some conversation with his wife.

While he was waiting outside, Ritwik overheard a man talking on his phone. The man on the phone said, “Listen. We have a new case to investigate. Master says that he has a new prospect – the friend of his existing customer. We need to perform a background check of her and her family. Let us live up to our reputation and gather all the information, accurately and in time. Our agency will flourish if we continued to have this healthy relationship with the master.”

For a moment, it all dawned upon Ritwik. He realized that the master astrologer hired detectives to find out about his customers and their friends. The agents gather all the information and pass it on to the master. Ritwik was furious that he was cheated.

Ritwik asked his wife to wait outside. He was ready to offer more money to the astrologer and said that he had more questions.

Ritwik said, ” You are a cheat. I guessed it right in the first place. I just heard one of your agents talk about stalking someone and getting all the information about them.”

Ritwik continued shouting at the astrologer.

The astrologer remained calm. After listening to Ritwik’s banter for a while, he said, “Alright. Let us play a game. I’m not trying to prove myself here. I don’t want you to get back to your old ways. You have just gotten better in your life. I don’t want a misconception to ruin your life all over again. So, the game is this. Think and focus on a word in your mind. Don’t speak it out. I’ll say it out for you.”

Ritwik thought about this and agreed. When he decided to focus on a word or name, he thought about a celebrity.

The astrologer laughed and said, “Jennifer Aniston”

Ritwik focused and thought again.

The astrologer said, “Mailchimp”

Ritwik focused and decided to think about something that would not make sense to the astrologer.

The astrologer said, “All your fetishes are coming out. Susan Sarandon.”

Ritwik could not believe that this was working. He continued the game for a while.

The astrologer continued, “New York. Shangai. Donald Trump. ISKCON, Reese Witherspoon. Alec Balwwin….”

Ritwik finally gave it up. He did not utter any word.

In his mind, he apologized to the master. The astrologer said, “It’s alright. It always happens. And, for the detective you heard outside, it is an authentication exercise. I always get my predictions right. But, there are some people who do not own up for their sins. I need proofs to convince them. So, first, I predict. Then, they challenge my abilities. I hire detectives and put the facts in front of them. Often, it is difficult to prove to the spouses. These facts help iron out all those problems. And, you don’t need to apologize in your mind. Go and lead a happy life.”

Ritwik left the place.