January 18th, 2010
03:29 AM GMT
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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?



soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Manish Sharma

    most of the things mentioned like Astrology (Kundli), Gemology, Vastu etc really works but one must be expert, experienced and genuine.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  2. Michael

    I wish I would have gone to an astrologist or soothsayer, or whatever, that would have told me not to throw coins in that Trivi founatin in Rome, it led to another continuing Generational Curse. If you visit Rome, get out fast, don't stay, and whatever you do, don't throw coins in that fountain!!

    t

    January 19, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  3. Jenny Buckton

    I think you are all incredibly thick.
    You don't get this mumbo jumbo on BBC World.

    January 19, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  4. Shriya Rishi

    I used to believe they dont, but this experience changed my beliefs.
    How else would I be able to explain a face-reader I met about 2000 kms from my home – on a field trip so it was also away from my 'usual' place of study who told me that I had 1 brother – he is younger to me – the starting letter of his name and even the fact that I will be married that year itself ( I didnt believe him but it did turn out like that) and the first letter of my fiance's name! He told me many other things about my then current life and what I can do to change things I was feeling pressured by...well – I was truly shocked

    January 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
  5. Dennis Sumaru

    Maybe a Fortune teller in India can tell when China is invading India.Please provide time ,date,stretegy.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  6. Gurbir

    Hi!! I am from Delhi and i once visisted Poonam Sethi in 2007 by paying huge fee for just 5 minutes of her time and she did not tell me anything of value or which can change my life. She told me only very basic things that one can know only by sitting in peace and doing some introspection.
    May be Varma is lucky that her problems are solved by Poonam Sethi.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm |

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