We’ve always known that Indian politics is a numbers game. And it would seem that some of our political worthies take this very seriously if former PM Atal Vajpayee’s request that the number of his new residence be changed is anything to go by. The reason? The former incumbent’s number of days in office was cut short by a fatal illness. Now, Mr Vajpayee is not alone in his touching faith in numerology.
Many of us — from Jayalalithaa to Shobhaa De — are not averse to adding a few alphabets to our names so the numbers add up just the way they should. Our stars don’t shy away from changing their names altogether if that helps increase the number of big bucks they can rake in. Most politicians depend crucially on numerologists to ensure that their number is not up prematurely. The latest in the name game is new Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa who has taken umbrage to friendly mediapersons referring to him as ‘Yeddy’. “Call me BSY”, says the busy CM.
Then there’s people like us. How many of us are really comfortable venturing out on Friday the 13th? Or can repress a frisson of horror when confronted by the number 666? People go to great lengths to get the car and phone number of their choice. And, of course, as you may have noticed, 9 was our preferred number for the date on which we set sail with our new Comment page.