The unique once in a century date 11/11/11 is finally here. We speak to Mumbaikars about their fascination with this perfectly palindromic date
For Dheeraj Bhatia, a share market investor, getting married to the love of his life has been his dream and what better way to do it than having that perfect wedding today. "Three years ago I had decided to get married to my fianc �e on this day itself. It was on November 11, 2008 that I met Ritu through a common friend. The one hour that I spent with her that day was enough for me to decide that we were made for each other. The same day I proposed to her and she just said yes. We then decided to get married on 11/11/11," said Bhatia. Bhatia feels that the advantage of getting married on 11/11/11 is that this date is very easy to remember. "I have seen many married couples who cannot remember their wedding anniversary. This will not happen in our case as the date is very unique. I am sure that our family members and friends too will remember our wedding date. Also, 11 is a very common number. Soccer and Cricket teams, all have 11 players," said Bhatia.
Bhatia's fianc �e Ritu Chandwani too believes that 11/11/11 is the perfect date for her marriage. "Like they say, it is a defining moment in any woman's life. Marriage is special to me and the unique date makes it all the more special," said Chandwani
Ward number 11
With the 11/11/11 mania gripping Mumbaikars, this reporter decided to check out bed number 11 of the 11th ward of civic run KEM hospital. Situated in one corner of the room, bed number 11 was occupied by Jagganath Jingade, a 67-year-old patient from Ulhasnagar in Mumbai. Jingade said, "madam piles se pidit hu (I am suffering from piles)." Jingade has been suffering from piles for a decade now and has consulted many doctors. "I am happy with the treatment here. The medicines are working for me. The pain has reduced now," said Jingade a grandfather of four. Jingade had earlier tried all sorts of treatment for piles, which he claims haven't been of much use. When asked what he feels about the 'magical date', Jingade said, "If this date ends my piles problem, only then I will consider it magical. Otherwise ye sab natak hai." When this reporter was about to leave, Jingade's wife, Tarabai, inquired, "is there some lucky draw tomorrow?"
The Ansaris have a unique address. They live on the 11th floor of a building in an area, which has a postal code -- 400 011. But the Ansaris were until now oblivious to their unique address. "We don't pay much attention to dates. We also don't find anything auspicious about them. But now with the 11/11/11 hype, it is quite amusing to actually live in flat number 11 on the 11th floor of a building in an area with a postal code 11," said Assar Ahmad Ansari (42), who stays with his family in Akash Apartments in Mahalaxmi. "Friday would be like any other day for us and we do not have any special plans. But we would be attending a wedding in our area on the same day. May be the couple decided to get married on the day because of the date," said Ansari jokingly. Despite having no obsession with numbers and dates, Ansari lists some strange coincidences. "If you ask me about the number 11, then my maid Vimla has been working with us for the past 11 years. Also my daughter Faiza is 11 years old. My elder son Osama's birthday is on December 31, my birthday falls on December 25 and like 11/11/11, my youngest son Affan was born on 04/04/04," said Ansari.
Ansari says that there was no special reason for buying the flat on the 11th floor, but this place has been lucky for him. "My brothers too own flats in the same building. After I bought this apartment in 1972, I have achieved a lot in my life. So, this place has been lucky for me," adds Ansari.
For ten years now, Kailash Verma has been boarding a local train between 11 and 11.15 am from Santacruz to Goregaon. The much talked about 11/11/11 date hasn't escaped Verma's notice and like a lot of people Verma too has some special plans. "It will be great if I could take a 11.11 am train on November 11 from Santacruz to Goregaon." Verma prefers boarding trains during this time as, "it is less crowded. I have no obsession with number 11. It is mere coincidence that my train timing and tomorrow's date has some similarity." It is not just trains, even the ubiquitous BEST buses too have similarities with the number 11. Mangesh Rane, a driver with BEST and Namdeo Tandle, conductor are in charge of bus number 11, which plies through route number 11 from Navy Nagar to Bandra Colony. Both Rane and Tandle have worked for BEST for 25 years.
"We never thought that such a date would actually come where it would coincide with the bus number we ride everyday. I am excited about Friday," said Tandle.
Meanwhile the conductor Rane said that 11 is a lucky number for him . "I joined BEST on the 11th day of a month. I feel that this number is lucky," said Rane.
Vijay Shetty(48) was born with an extra thumb and has 11 fingers. "It turned out to be lucky for me. As a child I would get upset about having an extra finger but now I am really happy," said Shetty, who lives in Thane. "When I was 28, I wanted to get rid of this extra finger. I even went to a doctor. A lot of people would make fun of the extra thumb I had. Eventually I dropped the idea as my parents convinced me that I should be happy with whatever God has given me." Shetty further added, "I don't believe much in astrology. So I don't believe in numbers too. But I feel I am different and have a different identity. My daughter keeps asking my why I have eleven fingers and why she has only ten fingers. I tell her that I am special."
Ajay Ajitkumar Mane (21) has a strange fascination with the number 1. Born on January 1, 1990, he considers 1 as his lucky number. "I was born on January 1 and since that day my father, who is into construction business, started doing really well in his profession. Hence, we consider number 1 very auspicious for our family," said Mane, an engineering student from Thane. One might say that the Manes fascination with the number 1 borders on superstition. Mane's car (a Chevrolet Cruze) number plate reads MH-11-AQ-1111. "My cell phone ten digit number has 11 in it. My bank account too has number 11 in it. While donations too start with number 11. It could be 1100, 11000 or more."
And believe it or not his shoe size is also 11. "My friends too ensure that, whenever they gift me anything, it has number 11 in it. While embarking on any new venture, I stick to the 11th day of a month. Infact, I try to be precise and go with 11 pm 11 minutes and 11 seconds. I always give my friends bouquet with 11 flowers," said Mane. Today, is definitely special for the Manes.