After a lull, I am back with something to blog. I was inactive because of a lot of factors. But for now, I am dealing with 'Numbers'.
When I was a small boy studying in primary school and then high school, I had a fetish for using words like ‘Dozen’, ‘Score’ and ‘Peg’ almost as a rule. Very few of my friends knew the exact meanings of these words. In those days of the Amitabh Bachchan dominance; I enjoyed every opportunity to call him the 'Numero Uno' of Indian Cinema. Two weeks was too weak an expression for me; I preferred the 'Fortnight'. Thus I used to ‘Score’ over my peers by using words that were not very familiar to others. In spite of my fetish for exotic words, this wasn't exactly Sesquipedalia.
Well, everyone knew a ‘Dozen’. Some of them who had heard about Bar and Booze knew vaguely about a measure of Alcohol being called a ‘Peg’. But a ‘Peg’ means a third of anything was not known to any of my friends. Not a single friend of mine knew ‘Score’ was not exactly the Cricket Score but actually ‘Twenty things together’. I also knew what was ‘Baker’s Dozen’ and why was it called so!
So I never dealt with numbers and milestones in ordinary terms. When I completed ten years on this planet, I was actually a ‘Decade’ old. I was never really twelve years old; I was a ‘Dozen’ years old. In one of my elocutions, I went on to say, “Maha Bharat war went on for One and a half Dozen days where a Handful of Pandavas fought with a Century strong Kauravas for two less than a Score days”. Looking back, all that sounds stupid today. Taking this stupidity a little further, I am 'Three and a Quarter Dozen' years old today.
I think ‘We, Indians’ have the greatest admiration for numbers, landmarks and milestones. We as a Country are so enamored by Cricket primarily because of runs; centuries, records and a hell of a lot of numbers conjured up by this game. So much so, I know many women who can’t differentiate between a cover drive and a back-hand cross-court shot; will rattle up statistics about the number of centuries Sachin Tendulkar has raked up in ODI matches and Test Matches. I have seen people who have never invested a single penny in the market gushing about ‘Sensex’ crossing the 16K or 17K mark!
I think it all started with the Great Aryabhata contributing the ultimate weapon to Mathematics, the Zero. We are obsessed by this one single entity. We ought not have been what we are today but for this singularly patentable entity! When it comes to Zero, the more the merrier for us. Sunil Gavaskar told this when he reached the milestone of Ten Thousand Test runs, “When I played my first test, I did not know I would last this far. I thought for myself that if I can score one thousand runs in tests, that would be magnificent”. The newspapers ran the headlines next day “Ten Times Magnificent”!
By the way, on September 3, me and my wife completed a Dozen years as man and wife. What inspired me to write all this? Well, I am reaching a landmark here. This in itself is not really a great affair. But for someone who still has a long way to go in communicative writing; this is an achievement. With this post, I have completed a 'Half-century' of blog-posts.