Esoterica: I Second-Sight II Scientific Hand Reading

Dear Reader: Let me start from the beginning, a very proper place to begin by most counts – especially when dealing with esoterica!

I Second-Sight
From the early age of 13, I was enamored by the supernatural along with my love of music – and fortunetelling! In a way they all intermingled in my lively mind and imagination. A strong impetus was provided by my maternal grandmother, who was gifted with ‘second-sight’ or the uncanny ability of ‘knowing’ an event – sometimes earth-shattering – was taking place as it was actually happening although being miles away geographically.

She once recounted to my mother that, while living abroad, it was one evening when her husband was due to be returning home from an all-day meeting outside town. Unfortunately, the weather outside had taken a turn for the worse. Suddenly, the area was hit by an unusually violent storm – thunder crashing, flashes of lightning and torrential rain – amidst which she cried out to her house guest, her sister who was visiting from England:
Zia’s met with a serious accident!

She could picture the whole scene – even the exact place! The car had skidded on a steep hill and half-turned over into a large gully full of rushing rainwater. He was unable to open the door to get out and was completely locked in. The doctor who treated him after the accident – prompted by my grandmother’s frantic call to the local police and subsequent  heroic efforts on the part of the rescue team – said that had Zia been left in that condition much longer it would have cost him his life.

In short, if it had not been for naniji’s uncanny gift of second-sight, my grandfather, nanaji, would not have lived to the grand old age of 90 back in his home country of India!
II Scientific Hand Reading
Not so esoteric perhaps, but equally fascinating, is the ability to foretell the future.

There are many ways of so doing, but mine, off and on, over the years has been scientific hand reading – not palmistry, which has rather an unsavory history, but something more akin to provable laws and mores. Abroad, Cheiro’s methods have proved very profitable to him and his peers, and I must admit I was a staunch advocate of his writings for quite some time in my younger days. They do have a lot of worthwhile material to digest, but later on I devoted more and more time to Benham’s “The Laws of Scientific Hand Reading” where I found myself increasingly in tune with his methods and practices.


My 1951 edition of Benham’s book has my transcription: Calcutta, 14th June ’54

In spite of those well-known precepts of the arcane art promulgated by the above published authors of repute, may I say that there is another element in the mix that I have not found in their writings. And that is the ‘tactile’ – the hand-to-hand component, when one takes the hand of the apprehensive visitor or client in ones own: for me there’s an immediate indescribable ‘osmotic’ transmission that adds a certain something to the actual ‘visual’ input of what the lines on his or her palm are telling you.

It is still, after all these years, difficult for me to put into words something that makes no sense to the uninitiated. Perhaps, what I can do to make things more clear is to devote the next few lines of this blog to a chance meeting I had with the daughter of an ambassador at a diplomatic cocktail party.

She had learnt of my unusual ‘propensity’ from one of the guests at  the party, and steered herself toward me. She told me that within a couple of days she was due to fly back home after her invigorating Spring break to resume her studies and went on to ask me lightheartedly if I’d tell her fortune.

I demurred for a moment. Then, against my better judgment, I said that if she were serious, I’d be happy to take her aside for a private session into an adjoining room that was less noisy and more appropriate for the task at hand. A few minutes later, away from the madding crowd of revelers, I took her right hand in mine, scanned it – then her left! My heart beat faster then sank, and I withdrew with a palpably false smile to say that her future looked bright as she returned to pursue her college career.

A fortnight later at a special event, I happened to bump into her diplomat father, who was wearing a black band on the left arm of his white sharkskin jacket. He told me that the light of his life, his daughter, had just died soon after returning to college. In a sense, I felt ashamed that I hadn’t divulged that when I took her hands in mine that fateful day I had felt a shiver up and down my spine, and I knew instinctively that her days were numbered due to a heart condition. Should I have  told her the brutal truth, as I felt at the time? Was I justified in remaining silent – even to her father?

For many years thereafter I gave up practicing “my gift” and, indeed, it was only when I happened to be in Hungary for an international music competition that I let myself go and at his insistent pleading read the palms of the late Russian pianist, Lazar Berman. I told him he would be famous throughout the world: indeed, he did succeed in achieving that distinction, despite being only the Third Prize Winner behind another Russian and a Hungarian competitor, both of whom have long since been forgotten in the dog-eat-dog concert world of sought-after soloists!

For the record, that was the last time I’ve told anyone’s “fortune.”

PS: I’ve written about the encounter with Lazar Berman in an earlier blog at

Copyright © 2015 Azim Lewis Mayadas

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