Thursday, October 16, 2008
Myth of 13th FLoor
The Crazy 13th Floor (I always get an uneasy feeling in the Office elevator staring at the missing number between 12 and 14. And since I am utterly bored right now, I might as well churn my brain to capture the story of the Missing Floor).
A known fact in all of our unknown Multi-storied buildings is the lack of the unlucky 13. Yes, as you have guessed, there is no 13th floor on these high rises. But what bothers me is that, this is a practice that makes no sense (at least to me). I mean there is obviously a 13th floor. Just renaming the 13th floor as the 14th floor doesn’t really omit the presence of the 13th floor. It just makes the whole scenario spookier than it already is. It kind of freaks me out to see the number 14 in the elevator right after 12. It makes me feel as if it is the Haunted floor or something (Watching too many Horror flicks lately). Maybe someday, when I am all alone in the lift, I may suddenly see a 13th floor button, and the doors automatically open to the 13th floor… (I would have a heart attack for sure.)
Some crazy facts of the 13th floor superstition point to the fact that based on an internal review of records, a very important decision maker of ‘Otis Elevators’ estimates that 85% of the buildings with their (Otis) elevators do not have a named 13th floor.
However, what I like is that the Empire State Building, one of the most famous buildings in the world, has a 13th floor.
Wikipedia says that "new buildings in some parts of China omit the fourth, fourteenth, twenty-fourth, etc. floors, as the word 'four' sounds like "death" in Mandarin." Well, there’s your freaky spooky story now. Taking this a step ahead is Italy: Seventeen is considered unlucky in Italy because rearranging the letters in the Roman numerals for 17 could spell "VIXI" which means "I lived" in Italian. Well… to add to the confusion “Lufthansa airplanes do not have row 13 or 17. You would certainly expect Alitalia airplanes to be missing row 17, but this is not the case. To further confusion, Alitalia's Boeing 777s have row 13 while the rest of their fleet does not.”
Personally, I feel that this is just like shaping up and nurturing your worst fears! I mean what is the purpose of the mindless myth. It can’t be a superstition, it can’t be folklore, and so, it has to be something to do with the way our mind functions. It is just that we have been trying so hard for centuries to ward off all that is evil (don’t even get me started on 666), and trying so hard to emancipate ourselves from the so called allure of the evil, that we have tried every possible act of utter desperation. We have omitted unlucky numbers from our lives; we have erased unlucky symbols from our texts, we have burnt witches (again not going in to the details) through decades. But the end result was futile. Were we ever able to ward of any evil at all???
We were never able to stop any one of Devil’s calls. We were not able to stop buildings and planes from crashing just by renaming a floor. We were not able to stop the mindless political games that have caused the World Wars. We were not able to ward off the cold war, or the Holocaust, or the Great Depression. Why are we trying so hard? When will we get it that it is not our choice to be made! It is not our power to influence. 13 is just a number in your head. I suggest we put it in its real place, Right after 12!