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Premonitions: fact/fiction?

Premonitions, or extra sensory perceptions, are interpreted as instincts that ‘something will happen’, writes Nikhil Taneja.

sex and relationships Updated: Nov 17, 2008 15:38 IST
Nikhil Taneja

Premonitions, or extra sensory perceptions, are also interpreted as instincts or gut feeling that ‘something will happen’, writes

Nikhil Taneja


One Monday, on his way back to college from Karnal, he wondered randomly, “What if my grandfather were to pass away some day? Would I have to shift from the hostel to take care of my aunt and travel to college every day by bus?” The thought upset the boy since he was very attached to his grandfather, who at the age of 74, was fitter than him. <b1>

On that very Friday, his grandfather choked on his food and passed away. The boy had to shift to Karnal. A premonition had come true.

Gut feeling
Premonitions, or extra sensory perceptions, are also interpreted as instincts or gut feeling –– a vague feeling of disquiet, uneasiness or a strong sense that ‘something will happen’. These can even take the form of hallucinations –– which give an indication of what is in store for the future. Over the decades, tarot card readers, astrologers and psychics have been able to harness this energy productively and claim that they can summon this power at will.

Dr Seema Hingorrany, clinical psychologist, explains, “Premonitions can be anything from knowing that you will get an inkling of the future to a gut feeling that you will marry a particular girl to something serious like a foresight about someone’s death.. or even your own. This is a result of our subconscious mind speaking to us.”

Dr Hingorrany recalls, “Take one of my patients. And let’s call him Atul Verma. He lives in the US while his parents live in Mumbai. He had a premonition that his father had passed away.. even though his father had no illness whatsoever. He flew down here immediately, much to the surprise of his parents. Three days later, his father went for a walk, fell down on the way, and died following a heart attack.”

Divine skill
Sunita Menon, card reader, believes that premonitions can be harnessed into a skill that can be utilised positively. “We can build upon it for our success,” she says, elucidating that tarot, astrology or any other form of divination are tools that give you clarity –– and can be summoned upon by anyone.

“It is a gift,” agrees Dr Kanan Khatau Chikhal, clinical psychologist. “It is not a psychological disorder, like people assume, but a sixth sense. It becomes a problem only when people can’t understand what to do about it.”

Dr Kanan cites the example of one of her patients who was distraught over a premonition, “He was walking up the steps of his friend’s building when out of nowhere, he got a flash of smudged blood on the staircase of the building… as if someone had been dragged down the stairs.

“A few days later, there was a robbery in the building and a resident, whom my patient didn’t know at all, was dragged down the stairs brutally by the thief.”

Both doctors corroborate that such a power works as a disadvantage only when those struck by premonitions blame themselves for not being able to stop an impending tragedy. “They need to understand that they don’t make the event happen,” says Dr Kanan.

“They need to channelise this energy productively to avoid letting it take a toll.” She cites the example of the U S police which is known to have taken the assistance of clairvoyants.

Channelise it
Dr Hingorrany advises, “Those who are bothered by premonitions should talk to someone close to them. If need be, they should visit a therapist or a counsellor.”

Dr Kanan believes that latent fear –– or the constant fear amongst sensitive people that a calamity might befall upon their loved ones –– should not be mistaken as premonition. “A premonition is characterised by exactness and precision,” she explains. “It is a sudden thought, disconnected from reality. You know exactly what the person is wearing, whom he or she is with or details about the surroundings.”

Unsolved mystery
Drawing upon her own experience, Dr Kanan recalls, “I had a very vivid dream once. A giant wave attacked me, which left me so scared that I didn’t know whether to run or not. It caused massive destruction. A week later, the Tsunami happened. My collective consciousness had picked up the energy. ”

Many psychologists believe in it though the phenomenon is yet to be proved scientifically. Until then, it will remain a mystery waiting to be cracked.

For more information on premonitions, contact:

Dr Seema Hingorrany, Hingorrany’s Clinic,
Bandra(W). Ph: 26421230.
Dr Kanan Chikhal, Wellness Clinic, Andheri(W). Ph: 26324840