Sunday, 29 November 2009

Your Number is Up

On Thursday evening as I came home from work I saw the bus just driving past and so ran to catch up with it. It turned out to be the wrong bus. Ah well. It was the 247, when in fact I was looking to catch the 240. The reason for said mistake was due to the way numbers are written in the local script. Almost every Indian here speaks Hindi which is written in Devanagari and looks like this: मैं ठीक हूँ (mai thik hu – I am okay). Now whilst there is no chance of mistaking any Hindi letters for English, the numbers are not so accommodating. It starts simply enough: 1 is , 2 is , and 3 is . ‘What’s the issue?’ I hear you ask, ‘There is none!’ I reply. They look pretty much the same as English. Excellent. And therein lies the problem for the later numbers: is 4, not 8, is 6, not 3 again, and is, of course, 7, not 6, whilst 5 is also suspiciously six-like: . Well, why wouldn’t it be? So when I saw the २४७ drive past, I saw the २४०. Alas, it was not. Silly me.


  1. Nice posting. Do you know about these Devanagari books?

  2. Aw I hope you are enjoying your time andrew bailey! very funny!

  3. I've heard of the Bhagavad Gita but not the others. That looks like a good website, I shall have to check it out some more. Thanks.