Expectant parents rush to get children born on the lucky 12/12/12
Expectant parents are visiting maternity homes in Varanasi, and asking doctors to deliver their babies on 12/12/12, the once-in-a-century date, which is also being hailed as a very auspicious day by astrologers.
Hospitals are experiencing a surge in bookings, as many pregnant women have asked for induced labour, so that the babies leave their womb with a coveted 12/12/12 birth day.
Over the last few years, symmetric dates have become an obsession among prospective parents.
Neetu Rani, who is expecting her baby a few days ahead of the unique birth date, said that she is ready to go to any length to hear the first cry of her newborn on 12/12/12.
"I have come here for a routine checkup before my delivery. The doctor gave me 14th of this month as my delivery date, but I want my baby to be born on 12/12/12. The doctor said that I will have a normal delivery, but I told her I want it earlier. I am ready for an operation. I have heard that 12/12/12 is an auspicious date and we would feel nice to say that our child is born on 12/12/12," she said.
Medical experts advise against opting for a Caesarean section over a natural birth just for the sake of choosing the baby's birthday. They say there is still a risk to the health of mother and baby from surgery, despite advances in medical technology.
"Many patients have requested me for a 12/12/12 delivery. People know that it is an auspicious day and a lot of people want that their child should be born on this date. So, many people have requested to have their delivery on this date, especially those who know that they have to undergo an operation," said Shalini Tandon, a doctor who has been flooded with requests for the once in a life-time birth date.
The date 12.12.12 is also being considered auspicious numerologically as it adds up to the lucky 9, according to astrologers.
"The time 12:12:12 on 12/12/12 is an auspicious moment. Whoever is born on this special moment will be lucky and intelligent," said Vimal Jain, a priest.
Earlier, a similar obsession was witnessed last year, when hundreds of couples fell for the once-in-a centenary configuration of 11/11/11 for the birth of their bundle of joy.
According to reports, over 70 babies were born in southern Bangalore city - both planned and unplanned deliveries on the auspicious date of 11/11/11.