HEARTBEATS – Do you believe in miracles?

If you are a rationalist, you will say that there is nothing called miracle in this universe, because science dictates that nothing can be created without a cause, in other words, all sensible people will agree that logically nothing can come into existence without a cause. However, there are many things beyond science, beyond all explanations, and beyond any identifiable cause, like the egg and chicken, which came first, human life form, how has it come into existence, and so on. We may call it vegetation, evolution or whatever, but the fact remains that there are things which have come into existence without a cause, the first cause, I mean, and we always keep on wondering about the miraculous hands of the creator. In the ultimate analysis, having received no clear cut answer to many questions especially about the first cause, giving rise to the variety and complexity of life in the universe, it will be a prudent conclusion to assume that nature itself is a fullest form of miracle.

While the life forms in the universe are nothing less than a miracle, it is more miraculous to see that life exists in the world on the basis of love, sacrifice, and mutual support systems that have naturally been formed, without anybody having played any role in their creation. There are living beings who survive on vegetarianism, there are living beings who survive on the lives of other living beings, or there are living beings who sacrifice their lives for the existence of other living beings, and most wonderfully, while most of the living beings are self reliant and can take care of themselves, human beings who are superior in nature, but totally non-self reliant and cannot survive on their own. They have to depend on others for anything and everything in life, for example, from the moment you get up in the morning till you go to bed, whatever things you consume, your tooth brush, paste, soap, clothes, your bed, sheets, and so on, any thing and everything are made by someone else. Just imagine.

There are elephants which are vegetarians but very fat, there are other animals which are nonvegetarians but slim and trim, there are wild animals which are physically very powerful but no mental talents, at the same time there are human beings physically very weak but mentally strong. Can you imagine what would have happened if a lion is bestowed with mental talents, or humans are bestowed with physical power, how chaotic our life would have been? However, no such miscalculations ever happened at the hands of the creator. If this is not miracle, what else is?

Yet another kind of miracle we experience in life is the mutual support systems available in the society, in which knowingly or unknowingly we support and add value to each other. Some people make so much of changes in the lives of others in a positive manner, of course, that often it lifts the other person from the bottom or clears the road blocks he is facing. All of us must have experienced such miracles in our lives, sometime or the other, though our egoistic self esteem may have refrained from expressing gratitude towards such supporters. Wise people have, therefore said that we must be grateful to people who have helped us survive, helped us move on or come back on our tracks. Their contributions can never be overestimated.

All of us have been recipients of helps from such personalities in life, who have made themselves available to us, one way or the other, people who have given a direction our life, and gone out of their way and helped us survive in life. I have several classic examples of such personalities. The first one is my uncle, my mother’s brother, who looked after all of us three brothers and three sisters, who were almost orphans in the hands of a penniless father and uneducated mother. My uncle who was working in Mumbai, made tremendous personal efforts, got a house constructed and made us move in to our own house, brought me and my brother to Mumbai, got us into jobs, gave us shelter to stay with him, and made us survive in life. Unfortunately we have been, throughout our life, unconcerned about the positive contributions he has made. It’s human nature, may be.

Life went on in Mumbai, my self attending college during night and office during the day, and my friend Ashok Paranjape is another magnanimous personality, whose contributions in my life is immensely valuable, and I have yet to find enough words to thank him. When I was in Inter Arts, my father fell sick due to old age, and I had to rush to native place, taking leave of absence from college, and unfortunately within a few days after reaching native place, my father left for heavenly abode, which constrained me to overstay for about 20 more days before I could really return to Mumbai. In those days letters by post was the only means of communication, which generally takes four days transit time, and therefore I couldn’t keep my friend posted about the developments. Though I was aware that the due date for filling up the exam form was getting over, since there was no way to communicate with my friend, and I couldn’t avoid my overstay, I had to console myself that it will end my ambition for pursuing higher studies, as I had to give more weightage for the performance of last rights of my father. I realized that we are all subject to the onslaught of fate, against which none can do anything really. Perforce I decided to accept the impact of fate, of course, with a heavy heart, and I can’t probably explain how sad I was.

With a heavy heart of having ended my long drawn ambition of higher studies, I returned to Mumbai. I had to console myself that everyone in life can’t fulfill his ambition in life and we are all subject to something called destiny. As soon as I landed in Mumbai, I had the most happiest news from my friend that he had taken liberty of filling up the exam form signing on my behalf, and he had completed the enrollment formalities, and my name was in the list. Really I have to admit that I still have not been able to find enough words to thank him for what he has done for me. He had brought me back to life, he has put me back on tracks. Most surprising, most miraculous, and most wonderful fact is that my friend has done it totally unsolicited, never demanded of him, by me or anybody else. If this is not miracle what else is?

Within two months of reaching Mumbai, somewhere in December 1966, I could land into a job, though I was 17 years old. The officer Mr. Y P Rao liked me so much that he decided to ignore my being under-age, and advised me that “everyone will ask you what is your age, and you must say that you are 18, because employing anyone under 18 is a crime”. He was so right because seeing a teenager without moustache coming to office with a Tiffin box in hand, everyone in the train, in the office, used to ask me the same question, what is your ag? Even today I keep on thanking Mr. Y P Rao, in my mind for the favour he has shown to me, giving a break in my life, going out of his way, unsolicited, and unconditionally. According to me nothing else is as miraculous as this.

The job at Khadi Commission was over at the end of third month, as it was a temporary vacancy, and I was jobless and fairly new to Mumbai, causing considerable embarrassment and frustration. I had a colleague Mr. Radhakrishnan Nairx who voluntarily took me to the office of The Times of India, gave an advertisement in the Situations Wanted column, on my behalf, and within days I was back on a job again. Again the help of Mr. Radhakrishnan was so important to me due to which I was able to again stand up. There are so many such people you face in the walk of life, and according to me, the expression of love, support, and willingness to help you, unconditionally shown by them, are nothing short of miracle.

–xxx–

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