Bet Fest

Gambling on the Bachchan Baby

At a cards party recently, I happened to be listening in on a conversation of a seasoned gambler. This gentleman plays poker, has visited casinos all over the world, bets on cricket and is bored stiff by Teen Patti, the preferred game of Delhiites during Diwali. So he's decided to punt on Aishwariya Rai Bachchan's pregnancy and gave us his carefully thought out analysis and the logic behind his Rs 4 lakh bet. Many of us find the concept of betting on an unborn child distasteful, and more than a little weird. But these are the minor pitfalls of celebrityhood and I'm sure the Bachchans are immune enough to take speculation like this in good humour.

With my extremely limited knowledge of betting and bookies, what I understood was this: On this pregnancy the safest bet to place is on a boy, but you make the least money if you win. The odds are on a girl, where you can easily make double of what you bet. Inexplicable? My friend's explanation is this: The Bachchans' would want a boy for the family legacy to continue. They are superstitious and would have consulted geneology charts and planned the pregnancy accordingly. I should add that this assumption is based on no concrete information, just perception. (A rather telling comment on what regular folk think of the Bachchan's mindset.) I argued, in this particular matter, what you want isn't always what you get. But my friend contradicted me immediately, saying it's entirely possible and reminded me of a particular clinic in Bangkok that specialises in gender selection pregnancies, a very popular destination for Indian families who want boys. He also announced that all the bets are off if there are twins, (something like cricket, when all bets are off if there's a tie). Apart from the sex of the Bachchan baby, there are separate bets on a Caesarean-section or normal delivery, where the odds are in favour of a normal. It appears that bookies think of filmstars as too posh to push, and normal deliveries are for lesser mortals. I asked my friend what if it's a normal delivery with an epidural? He seems a little unsure.

... contd.

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