Sushma Joshi is a writer from Nepal. Her book The End of the World was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. She has a BA from Brown University, and an MA in English Literature from Middlebury College. A novel is forthcoming.
"The Prediction" was told to writer Sushma Joshi by her father--it is considered a true story. Joshi's family were astrologers till her grandfather's generation, after which their branch of the family stopped practicing astrology. The word "Joshi" is a common surname derived from "Jyotish", which means Vedic astrologers, and is shared by both Brahmin and Newar astrologers in Nepal. Their original surname was "Regmi". The family fled the Mogul invasion 700 years ago, and came from the Kumaon area of the Indian Himalayas (more specifically, Naini Tal's Joshi Muth) to Bajhang, before migrating to Kathmandu to work at the royal court of Nepal. Kumai Brahmins are considered different from Purvay Brahmins, who originate from the east part of Nepal. The young astrologer in this story, however, is not from Joshi's family. He is thought to have come from outside Kathmandu. _____________
Many thanks to my father Poshan Raj Joshi, who told me the nugget of the astrologer story during an involved argument about astrology (he doesn't believe in astrology--I do.) With many thanks to Rabi Thapa for the editing, and to Deep Rana for the fact-checking. This story was first published online in LA. Lit literary journal from Kathmandu.
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HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies: Vol. 33
, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol33/iss1/12