Karachi Colours: The newest addition to fascinations of Clifton
By Moomal Shunaid
The Clifton area has always been a source of entertainment for young and old alike. Before, Funland, Playland and a walk near the beach attracted families and youngsters because of the rides which the children as well as adults found exciting, whereas couples usually headed for the beach for a stroll. Then Park Towers was built and the lure towards Clifton increased.
The newest addition to Clifton’s charms is that of a palmist.
Palmistry is the practice of telling fortunes from the lines, marks and patterns on the hands. Although Siraj, as he is called, is not so new as one sees palmists of all ages lining the footpath leading to Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s mazar, some claiming to read your fortune with the help of parrots and some simply through palmistry. Many claim that Mr Siraj, the palmist, is different from your usual run of the mill palmists whose claims to predicting the future may not always be correct. He is precise and is rarely wrong in the reading of the hand, I heard, and sits at the area facing Jehangir Kothari Parade and Playland.
After hearing about him from some family members whose hands he had read and considering what he had told about them, among them being my mother-in law and her brother who are famous people in their fields, yours truly had also wanted to visit him for many weeks. Anyway, one night on our way back from a dinner we stopped by to check the palmist out. Mr Siraj’s assistant told us that after five cars our turn would come. We could see at a short distance a light glowing, which emanated from a magnifying glass and a bearded man in his early forties bending over somebody’s hand. In the darkness surrounding us, that faint glow was the only glimmer of light. People sat on tables or in cars waiting their turn. The assistant mentioned that on that day there was hardly any rush because of the tension in the city. Otherwise Mr Siraj sits till 2:00 am reading people’s palms.
On that particular day, there were more groups than individuals. Ladies seemed to be in a majority. Tired of sitting in the car, we ventured to sit outside on one of the many tables kept for this purpose but the mosquitoes quickly drove us back in our car again.
“Mr Siraj doesn’t read hands for the purpose of monetary gain,” said the assistant. “He is happy with whatever you give him.”
When our turn came after a wait of 45 minutes, Mr Siraj sat in our car and proceeded to read our palms. “People come to me with many problems,” he said. “Marriage, children, future concerns are the main worries.” According to Mr Siraj, if you are right-handed your left hand indicates inherited personality traits and your right hand indicates your individuality and fulfilment of potential. The palmist claims to be able to read the various lines on the hand. These lines are given names like the life line, the head line, the heart line and the Saturn line. The lifeline supposedly indicated physical vitality, the headline intellectual capacity, the heart line emotional nature.
“I am basically self-taught,” said Mr Siraj. “There was a time when I used to sit for hours on end waiting for people to come to me with not much success and now by the grace of God, I have to go home leaving people to come the next day after four or five hours of continuous palm reading.”
Mr Siraj also does some numerology and will tell you whether your number is lucky or not. He also recites some quranic verses or names of Allah which will help you in settling your problems.
Many people have different opinions about him. Some swear by his predictions, others say he is a fraud. I suppose, in the end, the human nature is such that one will believe what one wants to believe. But no one can deny that it is interesting to find out about oneself through someone who has never met you and can tell hidden facts about your life.