"pools of ink the Hindus use for reading the future."
Falling water drops
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFalling water drops - Credit: The High Fin Sperm Whale

This may be a reference to hydromancy, a form of scrying or divination using pools of liquid. Although traditionally it involves pools of water, ink is also used. A stone is dropped into the pool and predictions are divined from the ripples that result.

You can find an article here on different forms of scrying, as well as basic instructions for doing it yourself.