If you thought education could wipe out age-old superstitions, think again. Students who are seeking admission to colleges or applying for courses abroad are queuing up outside homes and offices of astrologers, seeking divine knowledge on their chances of success, as the admission season picks up momentum up in the city. City astrologers, delighted at the turn of events, say they are being inundated with questions about best dates and timings for visa interviews, career choices from students who have scored poorly in their HSC exams and even those that focus on questions they might face in interviews.
The admission process has started in schools and colleges across Mumbai. This is also the time when most students prepare to travel abroad to pursue higher education. Subhas Kotak, 62, a Charni Road-based astrologer said, “I offer solutions to students who are hoping to get their visa to go abroad. I tell them to offer rice to Lord Shiva. This is supposed to be auspicious. Their chances improve thereafter.”
Another astrologer Vinayak Joshi, from Kandivli said, "I am into this profession since 1985 and I have seen a significant rise in clients recently, asking about career prospects. I have had several clients asking if they should go abroad for further abroad studies. I offer solutions after looking at their birth chart."
Another astrologer from Goregaon, Ashish Shreemali told SUNDAY MiD-DAY, “On an average, at least one students comes to me every other day now. In the last few days most questions have been linked to career choices. Many students and parents are also asking if they have a chance of going abroad for studies and settling there.
Many of them are from well-to-do and English-speaking families. Recently a client who scored poorly in her HSC exams if she was destined to become a surgeon and asked me whether she should appear again for her exams to improve her scores. I told her to reappear for her exams. It’s a matter of giving positive energy so that the person doesn’t give up. People come to us and we guide them.”
But do students and their families really believe them and does such advice work? Priya Sathe (name changed), a post graduate student in medicine, said, “My friend approached one of the astrologers because he wished to pursue post graduate studies abroad. He asked the astrologer about an auspicious date for a visa interview. The man gave him two dates. I hope it works.”
Nitin W, a resident of Parel said, “When I was a student I consulted an astrologer after my graduation asking him if I was fated to get a job as a media professional. He told me to chant some shlokas. I used to chant them for a while but have given up since.” With admission to colleges becoming tougher by the day and studying abroad remaining the ultimate dream desperate Mumbaiites seem to be clutching on to anything and everything in the hope that something clicks for them.