As they wait for the new year to ring in, Mumbaiites are eager to gaze into the proverbial crystal ball. With demonetisation already playing a spoilsport on celebrations, the worry about the economy is sending people to those who claim to predict the future.
Astrologers of all kinds, palmists, palm leaf readers, astronomers, numerologists, tarot card readers and crystal ball gazers, are in demand as people await the new year.
“Instead of knowing their own future, many people have literally asked me about [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi’s next year’s move. People claimed they had an abysmal 2016 financially and hence, mentally too,” said Sriranng Upadhay, a numerologist from Borivli. “Some middle-aged people even went on to say the year was their worst ever.”
Upadhay asks people for their birth dates and numerically predicts their prospects next year. He said, “People are subconsciously afraid of numeric changes and thus afraid of year change as well. Even if it is a single number, some fear change in the year would bring something unusual,” Upadhay said.
R Murugeshan, an expert in palm leaf reading (also called Naadi astrology) who runs Sri Vashishta Nadi Astrology Centre in Santacruz, said people ask for predictions on their health and financial status for the upcoming year.
“People start asking about next year’s predictions from October onwards and such inquiries peak in November and December. There has to be something in this 1,000-year old science since people are messaging even from abroad to predict their next year,” Murugeshan said.
Naadi astrology uses writing on palm leaves written centuries ago by sages. The manuscript, in old Tamil, holds specific information of the past, present and future, astrologers said.
Bhavisha Vaidya, 27, a regular to an astrologist, said it gives her happiness if she has some predictions for next year. “I don’t come only to know of my new year. I even ask him whether a particular job will make me prosper or not. I don’t do anything without consulting my astrologer,” said Vaidya who added that she has quit a well-placed job just because her astrologer said it would hinder your marriage prospects.
Another group of future seekers go to tarot card reading. One session is organised at a book shop in Churchgate. Mitali Jaain, 29, who works in an advertising company, hears the predictions and plans her year accordingly. “Each time I haven’t consulted her (Tarot card reader), my year has been ordinary,” said Jaain.
“Her (the tarot card readers)advice and prophecy has always helped me in my journey for the year. It is soothing to know what lies ahead of you,” she added.