Road Series : Spare the plate !

What is 3 + 7 + 9 + 8 + 23 ?




I mean…I take time. Lets face it. I am slow. Ok ? With numbers especially. I have a problem with numbers. Give me words to play with. Any day. But get the idea.

I mean, look at the numbers that confront me with appearance or disappearance. Like that mirage of a bank balance. Or that illusion of a 32 inch waistline. Why go that far. Take the worry around my age. Ok. Ok. Stop.

The world runs on numbers. I know that. The missus knows the number of dosas i have gulped down. The boss clearly knows the number that i missed. And how many times as well. The pittance of the shares that i bought long back, disappeared before the fanfare in the heart around their purchase evaporated. Manufacturers alter their discount percentages the day i step in to buy.

A trillion dollars is a lot of number for a bucket and a bail out ! That’s my perspective. And of course, bonus is a bad word !

Of all of these, the only constant shareable number in peoples lives are number plate on their cars. I mean, its there. Right up there for the world to see. You can have it fancy or simple. But you cant have a number on the same car that goes up and down like the economy or the bank balance.

And that has been so comforting. For a long while now, while people look at the car and brand, i look at the number on the number plates. That degree of constancy is so assuring.

And for some time now that has been under threat. Obviously i don’t like it.

Indian numerals on number plates ! And i have seen this in Tamil, Marathi and kannada scripts. And quite obviously, i didn’t study numerals in any of them. I am illiterate ! And naturally all of them seem to be forms of art to me !

I am told that this is done to demonstrate a passion for the language. Come on. Come on!

Demonstrate passion. Sure !! Write an essay. Send text messages. Speak (abuse) in chaste native. Send children to native language schools. Speak the language. Read up literature. Ok. Ok. Ok. I give in. Go ahead and watch those damn mega serials. All in Gurmukhi, Tamil, , Marathi,Kannada, Hindi…

But please. Please. Spare the number plate

I mean, if you cut the lane, jumped signal, crashed into me and drove away, and i want to file a complaint. You sure dont expect me and the rest of us illiterates take a pen and paper to do a pencil sketch. Do you ?

Wait a minute…

Was that the idea ?!?

14 thoughts on “Road Series : Spare the plate !

  1. Funny..this ‘nativization’ of numerals…I can’t say the numbers in hindi but sure can read the digits…thank goodness:)

  2. Nachi says:

    hahahaha!!! did you see the ‘Ministry of Textiles’ sticker below the number plate???

    *sigh* the Marathi manoos spirit jaagla…

  3. SGD says:

    Misplaced passion & love for mother tongue or greed for the votes of the local population?? Oh God !
    Spare us from these politicians and their newest whims that we have to abide by…
    Is this the newest fad….vernacular number plates??? Goodness….

  4. Absolutely ridiculous! Is it a coincidence that it was on a govt vehicle!?

  5. We have to check languages allowed to display vehicles number plates.
    Because if someone writes in sanskrit we are not going to know what is written if we do not know the same.
    Do you know the languages allowed ?

  6. Inder says:

    very valid question. okay.. i study numerals in my native language… should i blink at the vehicle numbers, platform numbers, price tags, door numbers, etc when i travel around other parts of the country???

  7. Two points.

    One. If you think about it, learning numerals 0-9 in any script is easier than learning the entire alphabet with its phonetic oddities. So this is the shortest and fastest method of showing your “passion” for the language.

    Two, I just noticed that in Kannada, numbers for 3 and 4 actually look line 2 and 3 (Devnagari). I feel for someone trying to write down out-of-state car numbers in Bengaluru.

    While English always appears as a solution, the concept of a national language /Hindi sure sounds promising, in tha face of passionate numeric folk, and a pan indian law and order set up.

  8. amreekandesi says:

    Is this even legally allowed?

  9. ~nm says:

    I agree with you on the this 100% and I also feel the reason, of evading, can only be the logical reason 😀

  10. Suma says:

    is this legal?

    and it is really frustrating…

    in a totally diff context, i remember we used to play some games involving the number plates when we were small…


  11. Kavi says:

    NM : You can ? Goodness. You must be living here !!! 🙂

    Nachi : Yes sir ! thats the unkindest cut of all !

    SGD : Somekind of a new age fad. Ridiculous fad.

    Roshini : This you ought to give it to the government. I mean, this was coincidence !! Sigh. 🙂

    Hobo : I dont think this is legal. You cant write in any other native script. So tell people in the know of things.

    Inder : Yes sir. yes sir. Lets ask those questions aloud. Let us..!!

    Ugich Konitari : 🙂 Write down out-of-state cars !!! LOL !!

    Amreekandesi : I dont think so..

    nm : Gee. I am thinking right i guess

    Suma : I dont think this is legal. And games with number plate…now i am curious…!

  12. Priya says:

    The fanatic in numbers for his or her identity of that state. Very sad.

  13. nsiyer says:

    A day will soon come when Kavi, you will have a name plate in Marathi thanks to Raj Thackeray.

  14. SSQuo says:

    Bonus is a GOOD word marred by the present day nonsense!

    I didnt know there were customized license plates – so youre right, if I am driving and I get hit by a car in the land of Tamil, do I continue to steer the wheel into safety, or do I scramble for a pen and paper and implement my art skills, in the bargain banging into a shop with sharp edged swords! Tsk tsk.

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