Actor R. Madhavan says he had some strange experiences while shooting forthcoming horror flick 13B but insists he isn't superstitious about the number 13 being inauspicious.
"I'm not particularly superstitious. But I have to tell you it has been really strange. Every 13th day of the film's shoot there would be some disaster and we'd have to cancel shooting. And on the 13th of every month, the weather would create havoc with our plans. There would be torrential rains or we would not be able to record. Things became eerie. But I don't believe in the myths associated with number 13," Madhavan, who plays the lead, revealed.
Director Vikram K. Kumar used number 13 in the movie's title to make it sound more spooky, but he too doesn't believe that the number has a negative connotation attached to it.
"That the number 13 has an evil connotation is a cliche, so I used this cliche to create an element of spook and fear in my film that falls under the horror genre," Kumar said.
Kumar zeroed in on the film's title only after he started writing the script and he says he too has had several face-offs with the number.
"The title of my film 13B struck me after I started writing the script for it. 13B is the flat number of an apartment in my film. The number 13 kept coming in front of me on many instances - as my row number on a flight, the time on my watch, the over of a cricket match I watched - so on and so forth. And I have always taken it in a positive way," he said.
Even Neetu Chandra, who stars opposite Madhavan in the film that releases March 6, was a little wary of the 'unlucky' number but no longer subscribes to superstitions surrounding 13.
"As a kid I was very superstitious about these things. If I was number 13 in a queue, I used to either move back or step forward. But now I've become a positive person. Why should I make a number a block in my mind?" said Neetu.
Not only is 13 considered unlucky by most numerologists, Friday the 13th too has evil connotations in the Western world. That superstition has come from the Bible, where Judas was the 13th member at the table on the last supper, and betrayed Jesus on Friday the 13th.
But Indian astrologers pooh-pooh the concept.
According to well-known numerologist Sanjay B. Jumaani, 13 is unlucky as per numerology and tarot card reading.
"We never recommend this date for anything auspicious like marriage or starting a new business because this number holds disaster," he said.
"But Friday the 13th is a Western concept. In fact, it gives me an opportunity to laugh at the westerners because they always say that Indians are superstitious.
"A lot of them don't go out for dinners or do important work on Friday the 13th. But I don't restrict my clients from doing any work on a Friday that falls on 13th," added Jumaani, whose star clientele includes Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi as well as TV tycoon Ekta Kapoor.
In 2009, there are three months when 13th falls on a Friday - February, March and November.
But Delhi-based astrologer Ajay Bhambi doesn't feel that 13 is unlucky.
"If one adds the one and three of 13, it will result in number four, which is not a bad number," he explained.