Surviving Miracles

“Seeing, hearing and feeling are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.”
Walt Whitman

Eight people survive, one without a scratch. Reports call it a miraculous escape. Was it? Do miracles happen and, if so, then why to only a chosen few?

The plane crash at Mangalore airport is just one such instance where 160 people died, most charred beyond recognition. The girl who survived the earthquake in China, the only one among her classmates – what good had she done? She slept in and was saved. Bodies retrieved from debris in Haiti. People saved in floods. Droughts. Some. Only some.

There will be more stories about those who did not take that flight. There will be talk about premonition.

I don’t know if he really said it, but this quote has been attributed to Tom Hanks:

From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It's not a miracle; we just decided to go.

Engine failure. Pilot goof-up. Bad weather. Short runway. These don’t make good stories. Are we to assume then that survival is a miracle and such miracles are based on random selection?

The dead will be numbers. One of the most heart-wrenching case is of a family of 16 that perished; they were visiting home to attend the grandmother’s funeral. What games fate plays.

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On a different note is our interest in finding a meaning if something looks different from the norm. We often have people posing with pictures of fruits and vegetables that look like some deity or a holy relic. It immediately makes them feel fortunate. In some ways, I understand that need to appear blessed.

Yesterday, as I brought out the apple, it felt different to the touch. I held it up and sure enough it wasn't an apple shape. I sniffed at it – a dog-like habit I have – then ran my fingers over it to make sure that its body bulged. Placed on the table it was obvious that it was not normal.

I began to imagine some major miracle happening. My problem is I am not sure what holy aspect I want to promote. The Ganesha has a belly, but this protrusion was at the side. It had no contusions. No special colour. It did not even look remotely seraphic. It was just a crooked apple, possibly the closest thing to the fruity version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or maybe a dangerous character with a gun in his pocket.

The knife sliced through and when it opened there were no two equal halves. One was considerably larger. I took the smaller one and bit into it. It was juicy and smelled like a forgotten temptation.

That is miraculous enough. I worship every desire for it is about hope and possibility.


  1. The ability to twiddle our fingers or look in whatever direction -- all that we take for granted -- can vanish in a moment, so the time to count all those little blessings is now and always. All the minor disappointments life throws at us is nothing in comparison to the gift of being able to participate in the real world without any handicaps except what we create for ourselves in our minds.

  2. Some of us can transform those handicaps into a golf course :)


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