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Crystal Ball/K N Rao

Bill Gates will no longer be the richest man in the world

Bill Gates' illustration February 1997 was, astrologically, a good month for Deve Gowda's government. Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his far-seeing Budget did wonders for the image of the ruling coalition. With all the excitement, though, no one seems to remember the late ICS officer Bhoothalingam who has been recommending, for over two decades, many of the reforms that featured in Chidambaram's Budget.

As far as communications, newspapers and journeys are concerned, we have entered a month of strange developments. Pakistan's recent train disaster should awaken us to the need of being prepared for similar disasters in India.

The euphoria of the Indian stock exchanges is not without basis. Foreign investments that will flow now will be the harbinger of a better economic picture in 1998. This year will also witness a national election. Foreign investments and foreign aid, directly or through series of international collaborations, will sweep India and cause an economic boom. Bill Gates's visit to India should be viewed in this light.

But is Gates really interested in investing in India? The question can be probed astrologically, but there is no fool-proof answer.

A good American friend used 9.55 pm on October 20, 1955, as the correct time and date of birth for his astrological article on Gates. It did not appear correct to me. Later, I saw another date -- October 28, 1955. I worked on it and found two events: marriage between 1992 and 1995 and that his father is a lawyer. Both events (Gates married Melinda French, a former Microsoft product manager, on January 1, 1994) are confirmed. Further, the present period cannot be favourable for his parents, particularly his father.

That brings us to the effectiveness of his investment towards the growth of Indian computer culture. At the very least, it will give a boost to young Indians. If the horoscope I am working on is correct, he is going to quarrel with governments both within his country and abroad. The suave, soft-spoken Gates will asset himself in no uncertain way.

After October 1997, his huge investments in a foreign country will become a reality but he will be emotionally affected by a bout of sickness and family tragedy. Gates will dominate the computer world for another four years. But, 1999 on, he will lose many battles, suffer losses for two years and lose his rating as the richest man in the world.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

Crystal Ball

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