Delhi housewife Kanika Malhotra, 37, has circled July 22 on her calendar, the day she’s expecting her second child. But now, she does not want it, on any account, to be born on Wednesday.
“We don’t want our child born on the day of the solar eclipse. Our astrologer said the eclipse may create disharmony in the baby’s life, we don’t want to risk it,” said her husband Sandeep, a software programmer.
Obstetricians are likely to have a lean day on July 22 with many expectant mothers reque-sting doctors to deliver their
What's so special? Will be the 21st century's longest, lasting 6 minutes, 44 seconds
Where is it best seen? Surat, Bhopal, Varanasi and Patna. Partial eclipse locations include Mumbai, New Delhi
Precautions? Must be seen indirectly to block out infrared radiation. Use certified solar filters, sunview goggles and indirect projection through a pinhole camera
Text: Mila Mitra, astronomer, formerly with NASA
“No one wants an eclipse baby,” said Dr Abha Majumdar, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Saroj Jaiswal, 27, chose to have her child two days before the eclipse. “We got her labour induced today so that the baby is born before the eclipse starts,” said her husband Amit Kumar Jaiswal, 28, a software techie in Gurgaon.
Dehradun gynaecologist Dr Reeta Goyal said she’s accepted several requests to advance and postpone deliveries. “People fear their child may be born retarded or they may have complications during delivery. How can I refuse?” she asked.
But Pandit Chandra Moily Upadhyay, an associate professor of astrology at Banaras Hindu University rubbished the beliefs. “The effect of the eclipse depends on the zodiac sign and the ascendant a person is born under. It’s unlucky for some, and lucky for others,” he said.
Agreed Dr Debiprasad Duari, Director, Research and Academics, MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, Kolkata: “No ill effect will befall a baby born on that day. We should never allow such dark age beliefs to overcome us.”