New Word “friggatriskaidekaphobia”

I had known that fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia and today, I learnt that fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.

The pleasure of learning this new word is all the more enjoyable for having learnt it from an article written by a favourite author of mine Bibek Debroy whose magnum opus, a ten set volume of The Mahabharatha is among my cherished collection of books.

BD’s full article, a very readable one can be found here.

I am not superstitious and do not suffer from either triskaideskaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. It however is a matter of fact that my wife died on a Friday the thirteenth.

Have you experienced any such incidents in your life?


A friend who is an Economics Journalist, one of the busiest persons I know, recently recommended a book for me to read. It is an English translation from Sanskrit of one of India’s epics, The Mahabharata. I was intrigued because, the author, Bibek Debroy, is a well-known economist and the last person that I would imagine writing on or about the Mahabharata.

My friend’s recommendation and the author’s credentials decided the issue for me and I have purchased the book. Right from the very beginning, it is everything I expected from a book recommended by my friend written by this particular author.

This post is not about my purchasing the book or, about the author, but about the very scintillating response from my friend to a mail from me.

Having purchased the book, I sent an e-mail to my friend and asked him how he found the time to read such a book, as I know that he is an extremely busy man.

Just look at this reply:

“Well, I know a little bit of Sanskrit, thanks to my father who taught that language in the Punjab University in Pre-Partition days. I love to read. Time does not permit me to read all that I want.

If you manage to get me sacked from my organisation, I will celebrate like Charles Lamb did on being asked to quit his job. Lamb said: “I have now more years to live in which I can read some more books!!”

I am seriously tempted to get my friend sacked from his job, or at least try. I do not have that kind of clout but no harm trying is there?

What would you do, if he was your friend?