January 18th, 2010
03:29 AM GMT
New Delhi, India (CNN) – Most of us don’t worry about “the economy.”
We worry about our own personal economies. We ask questions such as how will I pay my bills if I get laid off? How can I possibly ask for a raise in this kind of economy? Where do I put my money so it is safe for retirement?
When some of the best and brightest minds on Wall Street failed to predict the global financial meltdown, where do you turn for advice about your financial future?
In India some are turning to a centuries old tradition for help.
Vandana Varma is a saleswoman trying to make a name for herself on the global stage but it’s been hellish. “My effort level was 100% but my finances were going down,” she said.
Nothing was working and Varma was losing self-confidence fast. Varma decided to solve her financial frustration by going to an astrologer, or as some in the West might put it, a fortuneteller.
“People are looking for solutions and every country every direction on the globe has some solutions,” she said. “We Indians have lot of alternate remedies. For example we have Astrology, Gemology, Vastu, and Reiki.”
Varma picked one of the most sought after seers in New Delhi, Poonam Sethi who calls herself a “Karmic Healer.” She reads flames, coffee grinds, Tarot Cards, a Crystal Ball and faces among other things.
As the economy has declined, her clientele has gone upscale. "CEOs, vice presidents all that lot – I used to never have people of that lot coming in,” Sethi said. “One, maybe they were too practical in life and they had it all going for them, they never needed to. But today I see all of them.”
The question is does it work? It is hard to find a scientist who will agree any of the methods Sethi uses can predict anything.
But for Varma it’s done something else. She says Sethi’s reading was like having a personal guide through life’s financial pitfalls. It has also given her a boost in confidence, which has helped her work-life.
“It’s as if I’ve gathered lot of strength,” Varma said. “I have become calm, composed. [The] situations are still the same they may have changed a little, however the anxiety level has come down to such a low level…I feel relaxed.”
It also won’t hurt her chances for better sales now that economic analysts are predicting India’s economy will surpass growth expectations and grow between 7 and 7.5 percent this fiscal year.
The question is: Is it crazy to think that a fortuneteller might be able to help predict your financial future as well as say one of Wall Streets best and brightest financial gurus?
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