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Desi touch to tarot

And now, it's tarot cards with Indian themes


"I HAVE been interested in naturopathy astrology, meditation, yoga and palmistry since the age of five or six," says Lalitha Murali, when you meet her at her home in Besant Nagar.

She used to run a yoga school called Yogalaya, was deeply involved in astrology and palmistry, worked for a short while with sitagita.com and taught at the Army and Navy Public schools in Delhi. Her latest passion is Akaaraa, the recently opened astro centre, where she practises the spiritual sciences. Her speciality these days is tarot card reading, believed to have been originally practised by Egyptians.

But what is unusual about her tarot cards is that they have Indian themes, unlike their Western counterparts. So how did she arrive at the themes? "I must thank my guru Tejananda for this. He was the one who provided me the basis for the ideas. The themes have been drawn from Siddha literature," she explains and adds, "Most people associate Siddhars with medicine. But not many know that the 23 Siddhars were also great spiritualists and diviners."


Lalitha, a teacher by profession, met her cave-dwelling guru during a trip to Haridwar. "I did courses in yoga, meditation and card reading, for which I underwent seven years of rigorous training."

The 64 tarot cards which Lalitha uses are hand-painted and can be broadly divided into positive, negative and neutral cards. Besides images such as a snake eating the moon, a boy sitting inside a lotus, an old man on his deathbed, a turbulent sea and an angel, 18 Siddhars, including Agastyar, figure prominently.

For Lalitha, whose grandfather was a close aide of Gandhiji and father, a Siddha scholar and water-diviner, these alternative sciences are a way of life. "I am at peace with myself and meditation helps me a lot."

SAVITHA GAUTAM

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