Evolution of 7
Ancient Hindus wrote 7 like an inverted modern-day J. The Arabs then made the longer line diagonal rather than straight. To distinguish it from the numerical 1 a short horizontal line is sometimes added to the centre of the digit but it is almost never used in computer fonts.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The fairy tale from the 1812 collection of the Brothers Grimm, made into a Disney film in 1937, is about a princess escaping from her cruel stepmother and how she runs into a house of seven dwarfs, each with a name that mirrors his nature — Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey and their leader Doc.
Saat Bhai Champa
The folk tale first published by Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumdar in his Thakumar Jhuli is about seven boys and a girl who are born to a queen. The other queens get jealous and replace the new-borns with crippy crawlies. Planted in a neglected corner of the garden, the babies blossom into champa plants. It is only when their mother, deserted by the king, is called to pluck the flowers that they transform back into human form. The tale spawned Bengali films on both sides of the border as well as a popular song sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
...is an arc of seven colours that appears in the sky when the sun shines on to droplets of moisture in the atmosphere. The colours of the rainbow are violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. The colours, identified by Sir Isaac Newton, are commonly remembered by the mnemonic vibgyor.
At the Olympics
A perfect 10, seven times over. That was Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci’s score in the 1976 Olympic Games at Montreal. It was also the first time a gymnast would score 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event. Fourteen-year-old Nadia’s first 10 came for her routine on the uneven bars, but since the scoreboard was not equipped to display two digits before the decimal point, the score-keepers were forced to display 1.00 instead.
Seven Wonders of the World
This refers to seven remarkable constructions. In the ancient world, the wonders were the Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The New seven wonders are the Taj Mahal (picture left), the Great Wall of China, Petra (an archiological city in Jordan), Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, Machu Picchu of Peru, Chichen Itza of Mexico and the Colosseum of Italy. Giza is the honourary inclusion as it is the only surviving one from the ancient set.
Seven horses of the Sun
Surya is depicted in mythology as riding a chariot with seven horses. The Sun Temple in Konark too is in the shape of a gigantic chariot which is pulled by seven horses, representing the seven colours of the prism.
Pick of seven in films...
The name is Bond, James Bond. And the code is 007. The world’s most famous secret agent is a creation of writer Ian Fleming. After his cameo in the London Olympic 2012 inauguration, wait for more of Daniel Craig when the next Bond film Skyfall releases on October 26, 2012.
The first of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films is a 1954 classic about a village that hires seven samurais to fight bandits who return after the harvest to steal their crops. It is regarded as one of the influences behind the Hindi film Sholay, specifically through a Western adaptation called The Magnificent Seven.
The Seven-Year Itch
The 1955 film is immortalised by a scene in which Marilyn Monroe stands on a subway grate as her white dress is blown above her knees by a passing train (picture left).
The Sound of Music
The memoir of Maria von Trapp, titled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, first adapted into a Broadway musical in 1959, gave the world the evergreen film The Sound of Music six years later. The governess Maria’s charges are the seven children of the von Trapp family who use their musical talent at the end to flee Nazi Germany.
This was the debut film of Amitabh Bachchan, who played a poet captured by Portugal as a prisoner of war. The film portrays the heroic story of seven Indians who attempt to liberate Goa from Portuguese colonial rule.
Satte Pe Satta
The 1982 film, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, was adapted from the 1954 Hollywood musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
The word saptapadi may mean the seven steps that a newly-wed couple takes around the holy fire but for generations of cine-goers in Bengal, it stands for undying romance and evergreen melody, thanks to that landmark film about the star-crossed lovers Krishnendu and Rina Brown in pre-Independence India. The chemistry of Uttam Kumar-Suchitra Sen on screen was heightened by the voices of Hemanta Mukherjee and Sandhya Mukherjee.
....and in music
This is a 2008 hit song by American teenage sensation Miley Cyrus (picture left) in which she sings about the seven things she hates about her former lover.
Seventh son of a seventh son
It’s the title of the seventh album by British rock band Iron Maiden, released in 1988. It features a song of the same name, describing the son as having magical healing powers, as per folklore.
Seven Ages of Man
A famous speech, recited by the melancholy Jacques in William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It, describes the seven ages of man as that of an infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon (a spindly frame in spectacles), and second childhood (oblivious to everything).
The seven greatest sages in Hinduism are Vasistha, Bharadvaja, Jamadagni, Gautama, Atri, Visvamitra and Agastya, collectively called Saptarishi. The term also refers to a celestial group of seven stars named so after the sages.
Seven Deadly Sins
This refers to a list of vices that have been in use since the early Christian times. The sins are said to be wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
Harper Seven is the year-old daughter of Victoria and David Beckham. Born on July 10, 2011, she was named Harper after Harper Lee, the author of Victoria’s favourite book To Kill A Mockingbird, and Seven as it was David’s jersey number for Manchester United and England.
It is a seven-day agricultural festival of the Jews. It is celebrated in their seventh month with the seven species that are listed in the Hebrew Bible as being special products of Israel — wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranates, olive and date. They also symbolically welcome seven shepherds during the festival: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David.