Friday, March 13, 2009

13th? And a Friday? So what?

The one thing I have consistently adhered to in my “avatar à la pardes” is ensuring I am always in line with whatever cultural appendages that particular society follows. Now, while this does not necessarily translate to the automatic assumption that I follow them myself, what it does mean is that I am at least aware of their looming existence. So for the last decade I have always been quite akin to recognizing something that comes to me as a ‘very non-desi concept’. And by that I mean something I had never heard of during all the joyous 22 years I spent growing up back home.

Among the many adoring little nuggets of interestingly different versions of wisdom I have received over the years, Friday the 13th happens to be a prominent one. You know…the phobia about that day of any month in any year as being a highly inauspicious day? Yes. That one. I still remember the day I heard about it the first time. I wasn’t quite sure why, but it made me giggle a bit. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that our conditioning back home with regards to what is auspicious and what is not is so intensely specific, that we rarely consider anything unholy anymore. And even if we do we will do everything to ensure its religious status does not affect our personal lives in any way. Why, even if a random rock on the side of a street happens to look like a distant cousin of a famous image of the Almighty from our generously peppered pantheon of choices, we dive at its feet and lo! There is a small temple there with thousands of devotees thronging it with hopes, dreams, desires and wishes aplenty. Before you know it every television channel that believes in “screaming the truth as it unfolds” is making the rounds at what now resembles a pilgrimage spot. So yes, I do recognize the power of faith when I see it.

But being a guy who has always hated numbers – especially mathematics! – I never really shared any major emotions with them in any form. To me there are just that – numbers. Symbols that represent knowledge and should be looked at for inspirational and intellectual components and not as sources of evil that might come looking for you to hunt you down. Be that as it may, this day is still revered as a dangerous one by many in the world. I even know of people who do not go to work that day under the fear that something horrible might befall their otherwise amazingly peppy lifestyle. But then, like most things, this number too has its share of historical (even Biblical!) references that have sound claims justifying that 13 as a number and Friday the 13th are things one should be wary of. I feel sorry for this isolated little fellow already.

Now being a man of science, I wanted to play with this theory a bit and see if there indeed was any truth in the proclamations that have made headlines on every prominent website around the globe today. Hence I did everything that could easily be considered the opposite of what I do usually. I got up on my left instead of right (no superstition here …just that I sleep to the right edge of the bed and makes for easy getting up), flipped open the cellular and saw my fiancé’s photograph before seeing God’s face (something I should probably start doing more often considering she is my new source of love and inspiration!), walked lazily towards the bus station without the usual “turn around and see if a bus is approaching” gimmick that I do to take the next bus out. Oddly enough the moment I stopped at the bus stop today, a bus came screeching to a halt and was even partially empty! Hence, I did not have to make a dash for it. I then walked lazily into the Metro station without looking at the “Next train arriving in…minutes” display that I normally do. I even took the elevator to go down into the platform to delay that process as much as possible and lo! The metro came chugging in the moment I stepped out of the elevator and what else was new? I even got a seat! Something I never do while going to work! Not only that but I also have had a pretty smooth sailing today with minimal emails coming to me requesting a zillion different things with tech assistance. In fact I have had only 1 so far! Hmmm…curious, isn’t it? What else was nice? My friend who has been proofreading my second book (yes, it is coming!) said she was done proofreading it and would send me an email with observations and corrections tonight. Phew! Will this list ever end? Nice little surprises on a day that was supposed to be the ghastliest of all! How unlikely, isn’t it?

Anyway, all this may mean nothing. I mean, after all it is still 12PM here and there are still 12 more hours to go! Maybe that long awaited chain of ill happenings will come to me after all in some form or shape. But until then, let me bask in the glory of this wonderful sequence that has been ...oh…hang on…just got another email from the boss…has it already begun?!?!?! No wait, false alarm. He just wanted to thank me for something I helped him with last week. So…I am still hopeful!

Have a happy Friday the 13th folks! ;-)


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