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Tourmaline, emerald, astrlogy, life, rock.

Ghanashyam expired. He had a massive heart attack and did not give any scope to doctor for any treatment. In fact, he was brought dead in the nursing home. It happened only a month back.Asim was not in his hometown during the event. He got the message from Chandan to come to his hometown as early as possible. Thus he did not waste any time. Taking casual leave, he immediately left for his hometown in West Bengal by rail from his service center at Jaipur in Rajasthan. He was shocked to hear the news from Chandan. It was unexpected and was a bolt from the blue! How old he was! Hardly around forty-five years or so! In fact Asim did not know him earlier although he came to know from many people that Ghanashyam was a very good astrologer. His forecast about a number of people used to come mostly true. It seems, he was an expert to calculate accurately the effect and influence of different planets on each and every body’s life span. His predictions would reveal the effect as favorable for health and wealth for some and just the reverse for others. Ghanashyam was also a very good palmist. At least he could convince people about their unknown future whenever they used to come to him for his advice. He would also suggest to hold a piece of stone, they say, to overcome the bad phase in one’s life or to prosper defeating evil’s influence.

Asim used to laugh to hear such cock & bull stories but his friend Chandan used to argue in support of Ghanashyam’s profession and capabilities.

One day Chandan took Asim to Ghanashyam. Asim found him as a pious looking gentleman wearing white loose shirt over brownish red colored cloth locally called ‘dhoti’. His eyes were bright, piercing and sharp. He looked calm and composed and used to speak slowly. Chandan introduced Asim and he said “ Very happy to meet you. May I know why you have come to me?”

Asim was little embarrassed and answered with fumbles “ Not exactly for any purpose, I have come to meet you because I heard many stories abut you…. I mean, your forecast about others and their strong belief about your forecast!” Ghanashyam did not remark anything, he was unperturbed. Asim continued “… and when I heard that you also advocate to hold some natural stone for overcoming evil’s influence or to prosper in one’s life, I became very curious…”

Ghanashyam so long was silent but now he opened his mouth “Why curious? What is there to be curious? Is it a new thing to you? Our age old ancestors used to predict one’s future and used to advice to use natural stone. This belief and practice was common throughout the world… it was in Rome, was in Egypt, in Arabian countries, in Mesopotamia, in China and where and where not!”

Asim said “ No, I am not raising any doubt over the practice of using natural stones…. but as on today, in the present modern scientific world, do you not think that the belief of wearing such stones is prejudicial and has no reasons rather baseless!”

--- “ Baseless? What you mean? Why it should be baseless? After all, everything…everything around this universe was once a single gaseous unit… millions of years before, all these planets and stars were evolved through and moved around with specific speed with specific axis… but after all, once they all were one… and if you think deeply…. Life came and originated from such moving inanimate objects…”
Asim interrupted and said “O.K. you mean, the influence of those moving planets still retain the control over different life forms! Is it so, if I have understood properly?”

---- “ Yes, if you think so! As you know, these natural stones are nothing but the products of different rocks which were formed millions of years before from the molten magma”.
Asim could understand that the man has basic knowledge in geological science. However he did not have any desire to discuss on such topics. Thus he changed the discussion and asked “ Sir, please don’t mind, may I ask you one question?”

Ghanashyam replied quickly “ Yes, no problem”.

--- “ Where from you get these stones? Someone may be supplying you because none of these stones used in astrological purposes, are available in West Bengal! Why West Bengal, they are not available even in India!”

To this Ghanashyam stared at Asim and said, “ Like any other place, people engaged in this profession supply the stones to me also”. He stopped for a while and again started “…Yes, you are right. These stones are mostly from Sri Lanka, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Madagascar, Japan, Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, Russia and many other countries but Jaipur in Rajasthan is one of the biggest centers for cutting & polishing the raw stones for trade. And we get those polished stones of specific shape, size and weight through agent… they come and supply us the material depending upon our requirement..”
Chandan got the point and hurriedly told “ Ghanashyamda, I have forgotten to tell you one thing. Actually Asim is posted at Jaipur only! He is a geologist there and knows many people there at Jaipur connected to this trade.

Asim added, “ Yes, I know some jewelry dealer; they often come to us for information about occurrences of precious stones. They deploy personnel who pay sudden visit in our field camp even! As you know, Rajas than is interesting place for hard rock of geological age”.
Ghanashyam told, “ Yes, that is true! Rajasthan is full of hills and deserts…. are you engaged there in search of minerals only? Then, have you not come across any such mineral deposits like emerald, cats eye, zircon, diamond or any other valuables?”

Asim replied “ … Actually our primary job is to locate huge deposits of copper, lead, zinc etc for industrial purpose…. You are talking about precious to semi precious minerals… in fact; these are all our secondary looks out! …. Yet, sometimes we do get occurrences of those minerals… like the one that we have brought to you….”.

Ghanashyam stared at him and asked, “ Where it is?”

Asim took out a sample wrapped in paper from within a cloth bag. He opened the sample and displayed in front of his eyes. All were silent; the stone was a big chunks about 250 gms in weight! It was a big crystal, semi transparent and green in color with adamantine luster! Asim told, “ Can you identify it? What you guess, it could be! This crystal of course, is highly fractured and therefore when properly washed and processed, the crystal would give rise thousands of grains and each grain would weigh about 2 to 3 gms”.

Ghanashyam was deeply engrossed in observing the sample; meanwhile he took it and tried to feel! It appeared, he did not give any attention to Asim. His eyes were full of astonishment and disbelief. He was murmuring and whispered, “ Is it not emerald! Same color, same luster, same transparency…”

Asim replied with serious tone “ If you like this specimen I can hand over to you but then you have to give me five hundred grains cut and polished out of this, in return… you have to get it done through your agent who supplies your requirement….”

Ghanashyam thought for a while and quickly measured the weight of the sample in his electronic balance. Turning his face towards Asim he said, “ What should be the size and shape of the grains?”

Asim replied “ It should be globular or spheroid or even elliptical with a small thread hole in each grain. In simple those beads will be used in a garland… and rest of the grains will be yours from which you can meet the labor charges and your profit…”

Ghanashyam told, “ Do you know how much price of the sample would be?”
Asim replied “ Not exactly! But it is sure that it cannot be made public. Range may be very high! At least in case of a big crystal of emerald, if pure without any impurities and unaltered the price would be no less than fifty lacks…and that is the reason that I am not making any deal and hue and cry with any company! Who knows what will happen! I want you to do the job as secret as possible”.

Ghanashyam said, “ It is alright but time consuming. You may have to wait for long, may be six to seven months to complete the deals! The agent is expected to come next month any time. I will talk with him and hand over the sample, if you agree.”

Asim told, “ No; initially you may give a portion of the sample. I will not be here, however Chandan will monitor and meanwhile you may keep the sample in your safe custody”.

Ghanashyam agreed and then Asim and Chandan left the place. While returning Chandan asked Asim “…Is it that much costly? You could have done the job at Jaipur only! Why you have decided here and why you have given the entire sample to him!”

Asim laughed and replied, “ I can guarantee, there will be no foul play. More over, the actual identification of the mineral is not confirmed. It has similar physical properties of emerald but its hardness is comparatively little less, of course when compared with pure & unaltered crystal. As you know the sample is highly fractured! There is every chance that it may be a green variety of tourmaline, which is semi precious and less costly! What ever, smaller grains when cut and polished, will appear like emerald only. It is up to Ghanashyam whether to use them as emerald or not. It would not be safe to contact directly with any buyer at Jaipur”.

Asim returned Jaipur with an understanding that Chandan would monitor the rest of the job. He will be in touch with Ghanashyam and if possible the agent to whom the job would be entrusted. Sudden death of Ghanashyam was not however, under calculation! The astrologer himself did not know his own fate! Chandan sent a message to Asim to come at the earliest. He came and heard the news of Ghanashyam’s death. Chandan informed that in his presence, the sample was handed over to one Mr.Prasad, the agent from Jaipur. Asim knew that Prasad could never be traced!
Published: 2007-11-13
Author: Asimendu Bandopadhyay

About the author or the publisher
About the author :
The author, Mr. Asimendu Bandopadhyay, uses his free time in writing. He has developed a writing style revealing the bondage of nature and the life. He wants to share & communicate those events of his own with the readers for their valuable feelings and interactions. The author was working as a Director in Geological Survey of India in the last phase of his service career. In his younger days worked in various field of geology with background of foreign training in United Kingdom under United Nations Development Programme Scheme in Marine Exploration. He gathered vast experience both in land and Ocean. Active participation as Chief Scientist in as many as 15 different geological cruises in the Bay of Bengal is in his credit. He took part in search of Fe-Mn nodules cruising 45 days at a stretch in sea in the Indian Ocean in Skandy Surveyor, a Norwegian Research Vessel. Published scientific papers in national and international journals. Besides scientific milieu, came across many human-inhuman experiences. Vast field of Rajasthan, the place of desert and his initial placement in the job ended in the deep sea through majestic happenings covering human feelings and scientific search.

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