It was 1993. I got into a flight from Lucknow to New Delhi along with my friend Chris Messner. The flight was Indian Airlines that hopped from Kolkata over to Patna, and then to Lucknow and finally moving to Delhi. We did not have seat numbers and it was a free seating arrangement.
Chris and I were looking for a place to sit next to each other. As there were already passengers sitting on the seats from Kolkata and Patna, we were not able to find two seats together.
As I reached almost half of the galley of the aircraft, and was looking around, I suddenly realized a gaze at me. It was an alarming sensation as if I was getting scanned. It made me uncomfortable and also curious at the same time.
I looked around and found a white bearded person in a kurta and pyjama with shining and powerful eyes. He had a magnetic personality – and there was something special in him that I could see.
I told Chris to go ahead and find a place for himself and chose to sit next to this mysterious man. He was sitting in the aisle seat, the middle seat was vacant and the window seat was occupied by a Sardarji (Turban headed), who later turned out to be the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
As soon as I took the seat, the man held my hand and said very warmly – “So you got my invitation?” I was an amateur student of reading faces then and so attempted to read this man. The aircraft was moving already. The Man said “Trying to read me?” I realized that this Man was really gifted. So I simply gave up my attempt to read.
The Man took the air sickness bag that was in the front pouch, took out his pen, drew a circle, made quadrants, gazed at me once again and did few scribbling over the quadrants. This was something strange to me.
He then spoke to me in a matter of fact tone and told me why was I travelling, what was my education and profession, then spoke about my family, wife & children and the three sisters. He essentially told me my story that was all true. He did not ask me whether what he said was right or wrong. It probably did not matter to him as he was so confident. Whatever he said “had to be” true.
By that time, the aircraft had taken off and we were cruising. The sign of fasten seat belts was switched off. The Man got up and went to the loo. I was simply dazed. I turned to the Sardarji next to me and said “Sir, do you know what this person said? Everything he told me was true. It is just shocking!” The Sardarji smiled and said “Well, before you there was someone from Patna and earlier somebody else sat here from Kolkata. They experienced exactly the same thing that you did. What do you expect when you are sitting next to Anil Sharma (name changed)?”
As a student of face reading (known as phrenology), I used to follow Anil Sharma’s books. His books were based on work of Samudrika Lakshana written by the Samudra Raja (King of the sea). It was thrilling to know that Anil Sharma was sitting right next to me and in fact had read my mind.
Phrenology is one of the most traditional techniques of predicting a person’s character, personality, behavior their attitude and their success in life. All our future, present or past may well be defined and determined by our own facial structure. Face is the index of the mind. It tells all about our character, our destiny and your future. Comparing the human face with that of animals and birds is one method in which the reading is done. Watching the walk of the person helps greatly in identifying the ruling animal or the bird.
There are a few blessed souls who by merely looking at people can predict with high levels of accuracy. To some, it comes as a siddhi (power), and for a few it comes out of experience. The art or science of face reading is an age-old method of predicting human lives, and has been used by people as a reliable method of astrology.
When Anil Sharma returned to his seat, I introduced myself. I told him about my interest in face reading. “I have just started with your books Sir” I said. I also told him that I was his great fan and felt so honored sitting next to him. Anil Sharma smiled.
During the flight, Sharma spoke about several aspects of face reading that are generally not in the books. I wished the flight took much longer to reach Delhi–something not difficult for Indian Airlines if so wished!
As the aircraft was descending into Delhi, Anil Sharma suddenly said “I know you don’t have checked in baggage (how did he know? – I wondered) but I have. I want to gift you my book of notes and sketches. This is work unpublished and only for a select few. Would you mind waiting at the luggage belt to pick it up?” I was pleasantly surprised. ”Of course Mr. Sharma, I have all the time for you. I will wait. It will be my great honor” I said
Near the luggage belt, Anil Sharma opened his suitcase and gave me his book with a parting note saying – Don’t share this treasure with others. Just keep with you, study hard and practice”
Since 1993, I simply followed his book and the advice.
I got addicted to face reading. I would keep practicing reading of faces of people around or shall I say do mind scanning all the time – at the meetings, at the airports, at the parties, while teaching students and when I would meet strangers. I used to enjoy when flights used to be delayed to give more opportunities for scanning. Initially, I used to be terribly wrong in my assessments and judgments – it was that fun & learning phase – but I soon realized that I was building the skill alright and doing pretty well. The proof of that learning was at a bizarre incident at the International Airport in Jakarta.
I used to work in Indonesia for a project ProduksiH Bersi (Cleaner Production) as a GTZ consultant. I was in Indonesia almost every two months travelling across the country – developing demonstration projects, holding in company training sessions and advising BAPEDAL – then Ministry of Environment. My face reading hobby and skills became however more known across Indonesian professionals and Academia than my expertise in Cleaner Production!
During one of the trips, I was immigrating at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. After clearing the immigration, I was going through the ritual of customs check. When the Customs officer saw my passport, he spoke in Bahasa to his colleague (probably saying – here is the Guy!) and then looked at me sternly. He said “Well, we have to question you Dr Modak, please come with us upstairs for an interrogation. Its part of our routine check”. I was shocked and scared. I tried to tell the Officer that I am all innocent, frequent traveler to Indonesia and you would be wasting your time – checking me out.
The officers were however firm.
I was taken to a lounge upstairs and made to sit. As I sat tense, one of the customs officers (his name I later learnt was Rudy) smiled and said “Oh Dr Modak, Don’t get tensed about the custom check. We are not going to do that. Professor Nurul of University of Indonesia (Nurul was my good friend) met me yesterday for a dinner and told me about you and your amazing skills of face reading. I asked Professor Nurul how to meet you and he said that you are busy. He asked me to try meeting you when you fly out. He gave me your flight details and that’s how we found you! Now, can you read my face Dr Modak, Please?” Rudy said this while ordering for me a glass of beer.
I was shell shocked. Face reading should not be ideally forced upon. It has to be a “natural” process. But I saw that I didn’t have any option or choice and had to make an attempt! I thought of Anil Sharma, his shining eyes, the book of his notes and my few years of “practice learning”. I looked at Rudy for a minute and said “Rudy, you have an elder brother. Your parents live in Yogyakarta. You send money every month to them to help them to look after their health expenses. Your elder brother unfortunately does not help at all. The problem with you is that your parents still love your elder brother much more than you – despite all your good doing”. I said this calmly – and as a matter of fact – just like how Anil Sharma had said to me.
I also realized that saying this was so simple and straightforward – and so easy. I just told him what he already knew! Rudy was shocked. “You are absolutely right Dr Modak, but how do you know? He exclaimed. The girl who got me a glass of beer was watching and listening – How about me Sir” she pleaded. I looked at her and said “My friend, you are in a difficult situation – you have fallen in love with two men at the same time– one lives in Indonesia and the other is outside the country. That’s your dilemma and the problem” I had not just observed her face but had scanned her walk towards us as well. The girl blushed.
This incident was a kind of a “take off” for me for building all my confidence. I understood that face reading and scanning of the minds is possible – and it does work.
Soon I realized that this skill as essential to make the situation around you easier to deal with as you now understand the minds of people working with you much better. It greatly helps in taking decisions. It also puts you in some advantage if you follow the “rules”.
For example, if I am to meet a stranger to do a contract, then I would reach 10 minutes earlier to see the walk of the person while he/she approaches the meeting table. You get sense about how much can you trust! Walk tells you about the ruling bird and the animal behind the person. You then focus on the eyeballs and the nails – amongst other things!
While teaching, you can construct a face of the entire class (this is a bit of advanced phrenology) through a quick scan and work on the “face of the class” while you communicate. You become a better teacher or more effective communicator in the process. I therefore like to ask people to introduce themselves before speaking so that I get time to construct face of the class.
Does phrenology work for predicting the future? Sure it does – of course with all its limitations. I remember working on the Ho Chi Minh Environmental Improvement project in 1998 in Saigon. My project manager was Bert. He was 76 years old and had fallen in love with a Vietnamese girl of age 22! Bert asked me to have a dinner with them, I was to sit facing the girl and read her mind. I wasn’t keen for this kind of dinner but Bert simply insisted. After the dinner late night, we were walking towards my hotel on the Bon Sen Street and Bert asked me about my “assessment”. I didn’t want say anything as something weird had come up to my mind. Bert however insisted and he simply wouldn’t let me enter the hotel! So I had to say. I told Bert that this girl was going to kill him. When Bert heard this, he laughed loud and said “Not a good joke Dr Modak but I let you go”. In just three weeks, Bert called me to tell that the girl attacked him with two knives while he was sleeping. He survived miraculously but lost three of his fingers! “How did you know” he asked. “Well it was all there in her eyes”, I told Bert.
For last 20 years, I run my consulting outfit “Environmental Management Centre, LLP” (EMC). Nobody has left EMC so far with any grudges or bad feelings. Those who left us for other reasons are still a part of the EMC Family and the network. Do you think this happened because I used to read the faces and minds of every new entrant?
But it’s also quite a fun when you read the mind and see the person talking to you is speaking something else! One of my colleagues who resigned from EMC told me how her mother in law has been sick and she now needs to get out of the full time job and look after her. I could “see” that she was to join a competitor consulting firm and was feeling awkward to tell me so frankly. I accepted her reason and resignation for her comfort, but was simply amused to see how we pretend in our life and do a “double-show” because of various constraints, uncertainties and risks that we perceive. It’s a mask we wear. Next week after she got reliving letters from us, she informed me that she has joined our competitor firm as someone else has been found to take care of her mother-in-law!
You also meet as you go along other “mind scanners” and come across some “mighty minds”. In the crowds you mingle, you can easily spot similar mind scanners. And when you get into eye contact with them, you often smile to recognize or acknowledge each other. That’s fun. I recall I met a sage – whose age was claimed to be 150+ years – something hard to believe. The sage looked strange as his hands touched his knees like an Ape. The sage looked at me with his shining eyes. I tried to resist but I saw in him such a force of light that I realized that it was best to surrender and let him enter your mind. There was a few minutes of silence between us. I experienced that he opened all doors and windows of my “mind-house” and wandered around to feel and understand me. All this long, he had a warm smile on his face. And that was electrifying!
I told my Professor Friend about my experiences and that we should perhaps introduce phrenology as a course or offer training programs especially for our environmental fraternity. In the environmental field we are constantly connecting with people, meeting folks of diverse backgrounds, resolving conflicts and attempting to align visions for the sustainability of this planet. Armed with phrenology, we could perhaps build more effective communicators and change agents that this world needs! Of course, not everybody can learn this science, and you need the inclination, intuition and the perseverance. But to some extent each one of us holds the phrenology skills. Don’t we? Most however don’t cultivate this power on a systematic and serious basis.
Professor lit his cigar when he heard my recommendation and all the stories “Rather entertaining anecdotes Dr Modak but really hard to believe – I don’t know how much of you said is real and how much is the fiction or your imagination. Well, I must stay that you are a good story teller”
“But I like your idea on coaching our environmental folks on face and mind reading. And why limit to the environmental fraternity – we should keep such courses and discourses open to all.”
While extinguishing his cigar with a deep puff, he added “But please don’t introduce this skill before people fall in love. If you teach face reading earlier, then nobody is going to fall in love. The relationships will be looked rather “analytically” or shall I say “clinically” through the lens of deductive science like phrenology. Love should simply happen and that is how it should be. Reading of face and scanning of mind upfront will interfere this natural process”. He gave me his typical mischievous smile. That was rather charming.
“You are absolutely right Professor” I responded “I learnt phrenology only after marrying my wife Kiran. Not before – and I don’t regret a bit at all!”
(cover image sourced from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIC4FDfCxk0)