Phew! Saved by a whisker. The apocalypse has been postponed. 11.11.11 has come and gone, without major mishap. A couple of good things happened, like Pippa Middleton ditching her boyfriend and being ready to mingle. Also a few bad things, if you think the replacing of Papandreou by Papademos as prime minister of Greece is bad. But overall, it was a pretty average day.
When reports first started appearing about people lining up to get married on 11.11.11 and pregnant women planning to have their babies on that date, I thought that 11.11.11 must be a good thing. I accordingly planned to make a wish at 11 am on that date and happily sat back, all agog for the birth of the Bachchan baby.
But the more I read about 11.11.11, the more frightened I became. The digits of number 11 add up to 2, which is apparently a feminine number. The date 11.11.11 would therefore have an abundance of feminine energy. But is feminine energy necessarily a good thing? Think of evil stepmothers, Lady Macbeth or Kaikeyi. Or add up the digits in 11.11.2011, which gives a total of 8, which, several learned articles informed me, was the number of Saturn, not a friendly planet. How can it be, since it is just a gigantic gas ball with rings? Sounds a bit like an intimidating aunt of mine. I too believe the number 8 to be inauspicious, but that's because a real estate broker told me never to take a flat with the number 8, because, as he put it, "you'll just go round and round."
Going round and round was the least of my worries. An astrologer told me that people born on the 11th of a month were 'number 2 people', because, he explained with irrefutable logic, 1+1=2. Being no. 2 is not very nice, though people with black money might disagree. So I immediately told a pregnant friend whose baby was due to hold it back for the day. Unfortunately, the shock of seeing Swami Agnivesh on Bigg Boss sent her into labour and the kid was, sadly, born on 11.11.11 in spite of his mother's best efforts.
I found out 11.11.11 is 'a rare opportunity to release lifetimes of karmic scripting' and a God-given chance to 'shift the flow of the psyche'. But is replacing the karmic scripting a good thing? I discovered number 11 is like a funnel, though which cosmic energies could be channelled. But what if the energy being channelled is dark energy and the number is a portal through which Dark Lords like Voldemort and Darth Vader enter our world? What if alien beings from another dimension took advantage of the moment?
Petrified, I wondered what I could do to save the world. I realised the old magic I used to make the Indian cricket team win its matches —I scratch my right year and twiddle my left thumb whenever we bat — would not work. The method had stopped working during our recent English tour anyway. More powerful stuff was needed. So this time, after lighting eleven candles, I made a beeline to flat number 11 in our building at 11.11 am on 11.11.11 and meditated outside it for eleven minutes, breathing in the correct Baba Ramdev style all the while.
I am happy to say that these strenuous efforts, along with the hard work of other like-minded public spirited persons, helped avert Armageddon on 11.11.11. But sadly, we cannot afford to relax-the spectre of 12.12.12 looms ahead.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. Views expressed by the author are personal.