Let’s talk about a time when things could have turned out much worse, but they didn't. When the universe stepped in and staged a rescue; when you truly felt like the stars smiled upon you and the law of probability stacked the odds in your favor.
Sometimes, the crisscross path of our life, will take us close to the edge of something dangerous or something unfortunate, and while we teeter and peer into the darkness, poised to free fall into the unthinkably frightening void, the cosmos pulls us back, and leads us to safety, and the life that we know. This is a tale of something like that.
I was about 5 years old when I went on a trip to a nearby city that was about 5 hours away from my home. I was with my relatives, and there were probably ten of us, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents – the whole deal. My parents stayed back as my Mum’s due date was right around the corner. So, there, I was on the trip – having a blast, and frolicking like the proverbial free child that I was. One day, on the road, there was a sight to behold, so I stood there, fixated, excited, star struck and thrilled. I gawked my eyes out at the beautiful creatures that held me in a trance: a deer, and a rhinoceros stood in a park in gigantic cages. I was so happy, it meant the world to me to keep staring at these creatures as if I expected them to look at me, (wink at me?), and acknowledge my presence. I guess I was having my own little adventure.
When I had my fill, and finally looked around, they were gone. I was all alone, and it didn't take me even a second to comprehend the stark reality and the staggering implications staring me in my face. I tore through the streets, frightened and nervous, screeching my uncle’s name into a busy street, crammed with people and cars. I don’t know if I cried, I can’t remember, but I know I was a riot. I propelled myself as fast as I could in unknown directions as if running fast enough would help me catch up with them. I have no idea how long I ran through the roads, a scared little cub.
Looking back, I don’t think I was aware of the kind of monsters and predators that lurked in the shadows, waiting to destroy an innocent life – a grim reality of our world. I am sure my parents must have warned me to death to clasp on tightly to my relatives, to cling to them no matter what, but a child’s mind is such that it can override a warning like that for something as ordinary as beasts in a cage. So what exactly triggered the classic flight or fight mode, and sent me hurtling through the streets? Instinct? The raw terror of a mind finding itself in a land of strangers? How does a kid know she is in danger?
I was saved by these gentlemen squatting by the side of the road; they were construction workers taking a break from fixing the road. Illiterate and extremely poor – underprivileged and deprived, cast out by the world that said – each man for himself. And, yet they could find it in their heart to help a kid born into a better life than them and their families. Men like them are the very definition of humanity. They took me to a police station, and left without seeking any benefit or reward. I will always be grateful to these unsung heroes who saved my life.
I am sure I passed tons of people on the road that saw a child dashing and yelling through the streets, and yet walked off as if this wasn't a situation they could fix. I shudder when I think about them. There are monsters that growl and attack, and then there are monsters that prey, and contribute to the mayhem in their own silent ways.
At the police station, they gave me water, and some sweet treats, and asked me for my home phone number. I calmed down, drank and ate, and babbled incoherently and inarticulately my grandmother’s phone number into their startled face. I don’t know what happened next, and how exactly my relatives found their way back to me, but after a while, maybe an hour later - there they were in the police station, and I was reunited with the life I belonged to. I cannot and do not want to imagine the life of a child that goes missing and is never found.
I was lost and found. Thank you, cosmos.
How about you guys? What kind of plight and rescue has shaped your life?