You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
There are lots of things in this world that are out of human understanding. Shailja Gupta is in one such kind of profession which has no proper explanations in terms of science and technology. What she does is make people drink wine and she watch over the whole process to tell about the person. Not only that, she has this intuitive power to see things before it happens to people around her. So plan was made to meet her and get first hand of everything. She stays in old Delhi near Madarsa road at Kashmere Gate.
With all smiles Shailja led us into a perfectly set, dimly lighted room with candles, glasses, wine filled bottles, matching table cover and clothing on the walls and incense burning. Wearing off-white sari which she says gives calmness to the surrounding. Indeed there was something different in that room, some kind of peace. As we started our tête-à-tête, Shailja Gupta tells why there is a need of people like her in the society. “These days everybody is so busy and alone, there is no one to share things, whether it’s good or bad. There is too much pressure in one’s life because of which everything gets haywire and then one need to go to psychologist to solve the problem. But we don’t have this practice in India; we think that only mentally sick people go to them. And then people like me come into the scene.” That sounds perfectly fine but why one has to do it with wine, out of everything?
It all began when she was on a visit to her son in Buffalo in the States, “Those days I was upset with untimely demise of my husband. And my son was studying abroad, so just to divert my mind I used to visit him regularly. There I befriended an Afro-American lady who was also not happy with her life after three marriages. We used to talk a lot about spirituality and sometimes drink wine together. And she had this unique quality of reading people’s mind while they are drinking wine. Then I perceived the art from her and developed it and it also went fine with me,” says the mother of two. Today she is a well known name and has many admirers in the capital city.
Actually what Shailja Gupta does is, she keeps some empty glasses and two bottles of wine, red and white in front of her client, then one has to pour it and drink it. During the whole process she will watch over and do the prediction according to the ones movement and the details in the glass, like how one drinks it and the froths that are formed in the glass and all. “Basically it is the vibe which connects me to the person, I should feel good about him/her and wine is just catalyst not a magic potion. On that wine is good for health, one should drink it regularly. And it has a fashion statement attached to it, people feel good about it and that sets the mood,” Shailja talks about her job.
So wine-reading is more like reading the body language but what with that intuitive power she is talking about. “I knew that I have something unusual in me from the beginning but I realized it when I was in the ninth standard. One day out of no where I saw a vision of my neighbor walking pass me. I felt something terrible is going to happen to him and next day we got the news that he succumbed to injuries while trying to climb a bus. In one occasion my mother lost her gold jewelry and I told them that it was with the sixty year old lady who works at our place and indeed it was with her.” And then she shared many more occasions alike where she fore saw her father-in-law’s demise, her husband doing well in the business and many more. Though, she sees things before it happens but can’t do much about it. She is just an instrument to convey the message. “It just happens, and it can be anything, anywhere not necessarily it has to be related to death or tragedy. I don’t have any control over it. God is using me as a medium then who am I to stop Him. We can’t even choose our mother, a womb where you were formed, something is behind it.”
Shailja Gupta is also into psychic healing and tarot card reading and after coming in touch with so many people. She has learned that, “The more glorified is the profession, the more destructive it is. It is very difficult for them to maintain balance between the real world and the world that they have made for themselves. A lot of celebrities come to me for help.” Though she didn’t reveal any name of her clients but she says that most of them follow her in social networking like Tweeter. From the beginning of this discussion, this one point really made some sense, “God has given you heart and brain, so it will be your mistake if you start putting your heart where there should be brain.” Giving the example of racing car driver, “You have racing track in front of you, steering in your hand. One can do whatever he wants but there are some rules to follow in a racing competition. And after that if somebody bangs your car from behind during the race then it is out of ones control.” Then things come back to the square one, we don’t have control on anything that is happening to us but it’s all God’s plan. So with the exchange of smile topic was left there as it is.
Though she is not willing to give out the amount she charges for her service, according to the reliable source, World Wide Web its Rs. 5000 and onwards per session depending on the client. Exerting that she is on a good will mission, “see I don’t need any money and neither am I that bad looking. I could have just enjoyed my life but I have this thing in me. So why not if I can help people with this power of mine. I could have done it for free but I charge fee for my service because people then take your advice seriously.”
Born in Arya Samaj family from Dehradhun and got married in Delhi at the age of 20 years, now 47 years old Shailja tells about her self, “I am like all the normal women. I love to go party, biking and love listening music. I make sure that my day starts with a good music, at least one hour of bhajan. After that I don’t mind what music, I listen to all kinds. I have a beautiful daughter (25) who is into Accessories Designing and not that good looking but intelligent son (24) who has done Genetic Engineering. I am also into social work with Leper Mission in Dilshad garden in Delhi along with Seema Puri.” Finally a free advice to secret of happiness from the expert, “one need not go to Himalayas or dress up like Ramdev. I do everything but that doesn’t mean that I am not spiritual. If you can balance your life and spirituality then it’s a wonderful art of life.”
(Published in Society Aug ’12, Page No. 142)