A question of numbers !

Numbers !

Race horses sport them. Players in football, basketball, cricket and such other games sport them. Athletes & sports people sport them. Convicts sport them. Cops sport them. ( In tamil movies, ‘ 403’ is how a junior cop is usually called in by the inspector or officer of similar / higher order ).

Yes. People sport numbers. On them. Although, am not sure about cops wearing them around. But still, you get the idea, right. It seems logical in sports or in prison. From a distance you cant tell one player from another. And so a number becomes a convenient representation.

Now that is logical.

But tell me, why would a young man walking down the street, in the summer heat of Mumbai, wear a jeans with 33 inscribed on his backside. Twice. I mean, on both sides of his backside. Why ?

This question has occupied my mind for sometime now. And as is the norm these days, i dived into the Internet. I never knew 33 was pregnant with so much meaning and possibility until Wikipedia told me so. I took a bow. Sample ( the list is huge) these :

33 is the largest positive integer that can not be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers

Jersey number of basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The number was retired by the Los Angeles Lakers

Beethoven’s Op.120 consists of 33 variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli

Quite obviously, i have been left with far more questions than answers. And as is the other norm, i have been asking a few people around. “what could 33 written on the back pocket of a young man’s jeans, signify ?

Quite obviously greeted by strange looks. With a ‘Oh, not again’ sigh. Or a ‘where were you all this while’ mutter. Or sometimes a ‘whats the temperature outside’ question. And such else.

It was becoming a far too occupying thought, and then it happened: The question is posed to the missus. And she asks, head tilted, arms crossed, ‘ pray tell me, where have you been looking ?’

Stumped, bowled and adjudged leg before wicket on the same delivery, i walked ! I retired hurt. Pointing out to the coalescing clouds and reading something vague about a G 20 summit from the days newspaper. I bailed out. For that moment.


But hey, that thought refuses to go away. Tell me….. What is this 33 ? Written twice. Hmm.

20 thoughts on “A question of numbers !

  1. dinu says:

    good one 😀
    you could have asked him what he meant by that number 😀

    numbers …. I remember some ad showing how important numbers are, in life … do you know that one ? guess it was some mutual fund ?

  2. 33? hmmmmm…. maybe, just this once, it’s a puzzle…a marketing gimmick? got you/ us thinking abt it, for sure:)

  3. You forgot coolies!! Remember Coolie No.1?!!

  4. nsiyer says:

    My head refuses to think at 110 am in the morning. Mighty sleepy but concur with Mrs. Kavi.

  5. Wasn’t 33 the age when Jesus Christ and John Lennon died? Or is that some other number? Gotta google-check. Nice post, as expected.

  6. arun says:

    waist 33 probably

  7. Deep investigations reveal that the number is actually supposed to be 88. It is printed badly, appears as 33, and the pair of pants is either an export reject from Hill Rd Bandra, or a Chinese manufacture…..

    Why 88 ? Would you believe it is called an “untouchable number” (see the disgusting wikipedia). Makes u feel exclusive 🙂

    Its also considered amazingly lucky in China, from where this pair of pants may have arrived. (Eighty-eight (88) symbolizes fortune and good luck since the word 8 sounds similar to the word Fā (发, which implies 发财, or wealth, in Mandarin.

    Something that might explain the positioning of the number : 88 is used to mean “bye bye”; found in Chinese-language chat, text, SMS, IM. 88 is pronounced in Chinese Mandarin language as “ba ba” (“bā bā” to be precise), simulating the sound of the English language farewell “bye bye”.

  8. by the way, how did you get him to consent to have his backside shot? Or was he conceited enough to be delighted to do so?!!!

  9. manju says:

    Kavi, No wonder that Mrs Kavi asked you that question! 🙂

  10. Kavi as far as my understanding & investigation goes – (Gosh….am mad …absolutely mad for having done this….u r a NUT kavi…making good people like me doing these things…..)

    From a religious perspective – 33 symbolizes TRUTH – meaning, that good will always triumph over evil.

    A normal human spine has 33 vertebrae when the bones that form the coccyx are counted individually

    United Nations symbol has 33 segments.

    33 or 3+3=6 in 69 position of love making, your position is upside down.Thus if you get married this year your position will be below with your opposite.

    First World War according to Albert Pike’s occult plan to produce Antichrist deliberately ended it on the 11th hour, on the 11th day, on the 11th month. (11 x 3 = 33) The signing of the Armistice agreement was undergirded by 33

    President Truman, the 33rd President of the United States and a 33rd degree Mason, ended World War II which correlates with the 33 years of the Messiahs life.

    PHEW …now thats some work….please stop ATLEAST NOW !!!

  11. Swatantra says:


    I liked your post!! Your writing is going amazing post by post!


  12. Anonymous says:

    maybe you should be asking missus again, to throw that question out of your mind.

  13. tina says:

    Possibilities are that could be the 33rd product of the original manufacturer and coded as 33!

  14. Question and numbers are two words that have together created immense fear in my mind at all times.

    I guess it all began with my parents asking me how many marks I got in an exam…..


  15. amreekandesi says:

    The 33 is still ok…it’s all nice and symmetrical, but is that a flower below the belt?

    I thought this was a guy?

  16. hello sir. havent been here long, but been reading in the reader 🙂 hope you are doing well, will contact soon…been very very busy 🙂

  17. Jeevan says:

    these things tell how well u profound with 33! what people wearing today resemble no means.

  18. funforall says:

    I saw chandramoorthy’s comments and this guy has really done some research on the significance of 33…But I keep it simple…33 means 3×11=33..3+3=6…50-17=33…100-67=33…So this a technique used by chinese aboriginals to help people learn some math…Its as simple as that!!!


  19. Kavi says:

    Dinu : I know. I missed it. Maybe, i should have just asked him and put the matter at rest !

    Naperville Mom : Hmm.. Puzzle indeed ! Gimmick indeed. But what ?!? Hmm !!
    Sure got us thinking ?!

    Roshini : Ofcourse, coolies. Ofcourse. And that 786 that he wore !! hmm. No, i did not ask for permission. Nor did he explicitly agree. So much for 33 !

    NS Iyer : I am glad it refused to think sir. Lest it did think at 1.10 AM, and your imagination, something would have indeed come up !

    Sucharita : But ofcourse. 33 is when they died. So one 33 is for Jesus Christ. And the other for John Lenon. Seems plausible. But he sure could have found a better location to pay homage !

    Arun : Waist..aspirational ? Or present ? Or past ? What. And why on the behind ? But it sure is a possibility !

    Ugich Konitari : i take a bow. A deep bow and the most difficult salute ! This is awesome imagination. Perhaps this indeed is the truth. This indeed is the truth !

    Hmm !

    Hobo : thank you ! Partitioning is much desired here ! 🙂

    Manju : She always ends up having support from this blog !! 🙂

    Chandramoorthy : I take a bow sir ! a big steep one !

    Swatantra : Thanks a ton ! I get by with such appreciation !

    Anon : Hmm. It will not only throw the question out of my mind…i will get thrown out as well…!! 🙂

    Tina : Hmm. Possible ! Possible. You are thinking hard. Arent you !?! 🙂

    VSP : Sir..!! Going by whatever you are saying, we seem to have shared a few things in life. Questions & Numbers !! 🙂

    Amreekandesi : Man, arent you looking !?! Phew ! Yes. this was a guy. I didnt go beyond the 33 to spot the flower !! Whoa !!

    GP : hey ! Trust you are doing super..pray all is going well for you

    Jeevan : Thanks !!

    Ajith : Welcome here !! And i must tell you, you are Mr. Moorthy are quite a pairt ! Really !!?!


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