Today is a leap day. Bangalore edition of Times of India Page 1 (which comes after four page-full advertisements) has a story ‘Being a leapling is no fun.’ A lady has been advised by her astrologer that leap day would be auspicious to deliver a baby and the burden is on her gynecologist to fulfill this need. The article continues on second page with discussions on auspicious dates of birth.
This story is better than the talks about a politician in power wearing a stolen watch and the son of the accuser driving a Lamborghini as if it is not stolen. This accuser had some years ago blamed another politician in power for practicing black magic in legislative assembly.
More than a score ago, a girl was born at an auspicious time by Hindu calendar and the parents aptly named her Pavithra. When it was time to start her schooling, some friends revealed that her date of birth being 13th by Gregorian calendar, was inauspicious. Why take risk? While admitting the child to school, the parents changed her date of birth to 14th of the month. Pavithra remained Pavithra (the holy one), albeit a day younger.
As she grew up, her school records, driver’s license, PAN card, passport, bank accounts, Aadhar card – all carried 14th as her date of birth, the real one remaining secret and hidden from evil eyes.
She graduated and joined a multi national company as a software engineer, the dream goal of her parents. She did well in her work and came an offer for her to work in the USA for three years. Another dream-come-true.
While processing her VISA, the immigration department of US asked for her birth certificate, issued by the municipality. This created a problem by showing her date of birth as inauspicious 13th, contradicting all other documents.
Parents change the records of date of birth – sometimes for convenience like school admission and at other times to officially record an auspicious time of birth in horoscope. An auspicious horoscope can ease the efforts of finding a matrimonial match.
By oral tradition I learnt that my wife’s date of birth was 15th of November and provided that for the records in the Indian Navy, where I served then. When I wish her on her birthday known to me, she tells that her mother celebrated the birthday on Tulasi Pooja, the actual birthday, but her brother brought her gifts on 15th November. I can’t remember the day of Tulasi Pooja and miss wishing her on the second celebration of sole occasion in the same year.
When I was to be deputed for a project in Spain, my wife could accompany me. Our office applied for her official passport, using the date of birth in their records. Document verification was not done because the application was from a government office. However, when the passport was delivered, my wife took out her school certificates and showed that her official birthday was 1st of June. A third birthday! I was blamed for not knowing it earlier, as appropriate. Then on, in all records her birthday is being registered as the one recorded in the passport. I wonder when the dual official birthdays will be exposed and what inconveniences will arise.
Manku Thimmana Kagga (The Ramblings of Thimma, the Dull) by DV Gundappa is hailed as the Bhagavadgita of Kannada. In stanza 366, he writes:
Will the astrologer correct the bad influences of unpropotious stars as seen from the horoscope
Regulated is their motion by the ordinance of Creation
Whatever the condition of life one may come in to will not end unless endured
Patience is an adamantine coat.
Now the astrologers, parents, and doctors team up to deliver babies at the most auspicious moments. “One couple gave us time slot between 9:40 and 9:50 a.m. as it was auspicious and we pulled it off,” states the chief gynecologist of People Tree Hospital in the Times of India report.
And, “to develop scientific temper” is one of the fundamental duties of Indian citizens, according to the Constitution of India.