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22.02.2022: Happy Palindrome Day, everyone!

Palindrome days like the one that just went by – 22.02.2022 – can bring us luck, yes, but mainly many WhatsApp forwards.

February 26, 2022 / 04:22 PM IST
(Representational image) Twins turning two on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, had even more reason to get excited about the palindromic date. (Photo: Frank Mckenna/Unsplash)

(Representational image) Twins turning two on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, had even more reason to get excited about the palindromic date. (Photo: Frank Mckenna/Unsplash)


The superstitious don’t need much to cross their fingers or toss salt over their shoulder. As they deftly avoid a black cat crossing their path, they are grateful for anything the universe throws them by way of coincidences, synchronicity, sneezes. They start every year marking the calendar and watching the clock with quivering excitement. No date, no time, no full moon, no eclipse escapes their feverish eye.

Wishing on a shooting star, going squint-eyed with joy at the dot of eleven minutes past 11 o’ clock, referred to breathlessly in certain covens simply as 11:11 for its abracadabra tick-tock, folks are forever circling this date, counting down to that hour. Crowding this numeral-crazed cosmos are the dates on which the minute hands and second hands coincide not only with each other, as they must at some point on their routine march-past, but also with whatever the calendar has to say that day.

The magical optics of a number repeated five or six times in a row is dizzying. Dates that can be read back to front, front to back, and sound the same while looking the same, are very thrilling for some reason. Palindrome days like the one that just went by – 22.02.2022 – can bring us luck, yes, but mainly many WhatsApp forwards. From the midnight of the previous day to the midnight of that very day, we are flooded with reminders and unaesthetic visuals hastily etched by self-proclaimed artists harping on this theme. And, believe it or not, this is also an ambigram, which would necessitate a peek into your calculator where you can read it upside down as also downside up.

The mass hysteria reserved for this event found articulation on social media the most. People turned 22 on that day, or ordered a second drink, or appreciated their second kidney. A pair is a good thing, as Noah will confirm. With two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, etc., we have done good so far. And if you are a two-year-old twin whose birthday fell on 22/02/22, you had more reason than most to celebrate that date. The rest were hyperventilating out of boredom and phone addiction.

In these new woke times, with cancel culture at its most cacophonous, should we not look at those moments that just go by with no agenda whatsoever? The mundane and the unmagical hours must be given their due too. Just because the clock says 23:09, is there no beauty in numbers anymore? Why is no one raising a toast to 06:07, an early a.m. sunrise that no one wants to witness just because you are hungover and want to wake up noonish. If we pick a particular moment of a particular day in a particular year for special treatment, are we not being… time-ists?

Believe it or not it is 11:11 as I type this; I mean I typed 11:11 when it was actually, gulp, 11:11! Okay, now it is 11:12, neither an auspicious time nor an inauspicious one. It just happens to be the time right now.

Also read: How Paytm, Swiggy and Netflix celebrated palindrome date - 22/02/2022



Download your money calendar for 2022-23 here and keep your dates with your moneybox, investments, taxes

Shinie Antony is a writer and editor based in Bangalore. Her books include The Girl Who Couldn't Love, Barefoot and Pregnant, Planet Polygamous, and the anthologies Why We Don’t Talk, An Unsuitable Woman, Boo. Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Asia Prize for her story A Dog’s Death in 2003, she is the co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival and director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival.
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