Those days, Shakespeare used to say, What’s in a name? A Rose by any other name smells as sweet”.
Now the appropriate expression would be, “ What’s in a number?”
For -all of us are being converted to numbers. Man is trying to make robots increasingly like him, but Man himself is getting increasingly machine-like, being ever increasingly identified by numbers. From PIN to PAN, human identity is being hopelessly enmeshed in numbers.
You have to remember a bewildering number of numbers to transact any kind of business today.
Remembering your name is probably going to be just optional in the future. In other words, the days of the ‘Name’ are numbered!
The numerologist never had it so good! The astrologer’s loss is the numerologist’s gain. Now people will probably go for marriage matches to the numerologist instead of the astrologer—“ Does my son’s number match with that of this girl?”
In Banks and offices, machines have taken over the function of identifying people; by numbers, what else! Gone are the days when you could walk into any office, say a bank, be instantly recognized and received with a warm smile (Come, come. Rameshji--- etc). Now the scenario would be more like this---“Welcome sir, your credit card number please, your debit card number please, your ---- number please”, and so on.
In the event of not recalling any or some of the numbers, the machine refuses to identify you, or grudgingly tries to recall your identity through your name--- as a last resort!
The other day I tried to obtain some information about my credit balance from a renowned bank.
All my efforts at getting a normal direct response were futile—They had handed over such matters to a call center, it seems. A prerecorded voice took me through a series of mental gymnastics or (memory tests) by asking for a number of numbers, and finally announced gleefully that I must be Shankar!
I pray the Lord that HE may not yield to this numberful temptation and start numbering our Souls! Imagine God’s PA punching feverishly into his laptop, yelling, “ Hey there! Number 12345 is about to arrive! –he is breathing his last!”