The subject of past lives was best left to 70s Rishi Kapoor movies, I had always thought. Then today, a psychologist friend mentioned something interesting: regressive therapy. This therapy is used in extreme cases (as I understood it). It involves hypnosis, under which the patient reaches back to a previous life. "This way," the friend said, "we have uncovered that people who suffer from asthma in this life were suffocated in a previous one."
She raised her eyebrows higher than I had mine, emphasising that even if I didn't believe her, it was true. "It's been tried and tested. It's not an Indian device. A westerner devised this method and now many of us use it. But Indians are wary of being hypnotised, so it's more common abroad."