Lucky or fearless?

The night before the incident, there was chaos at home. My parents aren’t superstitious. But, people take irrational decisions when a loved one’s life is at stake.

There is a well known fortune teller in our neighbourhood in India. He has predicted the deaths of many people accurately before. This gave him credibility. The day before the incident, this person came in contact with my Dad. My dad enjoys the fascination of listening to what fortune tellers have to say. Generally, they tend to fascinate you with one or two facts which might be true to you and then says good things that will happen in the future. This meeting went differently.

He looked at my Dad and said “You have led a great life upto this point. You have a lot more to accomplish in your life. I want you to listen to me carefully. Tomorrow, if you go anywhere outside the premises of your house, you will die. Please stay indoors tomorrow and I hope you have a long and graceful life.”

Dad who took the whole thing as a joke asked ” And how will I die if I go out tomorrow?”

He answered ” It might be an accident of some sort. It could be a coconut falling on your head or a car accident. The point is just don’t go out tomorrow. It’s just one day”

Dad came back home and made the mistake of his life when he shared this with his beloved wife, my Mom. As soon as Mom heard it, the second mistake was made. She said ” Please don’t go anywhere tomorrow. I know these things are all generally false but why take a risk. Anyways, you are on vacation right?”

No one wants to take a risk like that when it comes to their loved ones. There is no doubt about that. Dad didn’t have anywhere to go the next day. He had a whole plan of staying indoors and fixing his bank statements and cleaning up the house. But, now that he heard someone say the word “Don’t” in an unreasonable context, he wanted to to do exactly the opposite.

Mom started making phone calls to relatives saying what happened. She always started with ” I know these things are not true, but, what if it’s an unlucky day for him?”. Everyone laughed at it but still hinted to tell him to stay indoors. No one wanted to be responsible in case something went wrong. No one wanted to bet on his luck.

The night before the incident, Dad told Mom “I am going to go for short road trip tomorrow. Nowhere specifically. Just meeting a friend.” The rest of the night was chaotic.

I wondered what would happen the next day. Although I didn’t step in to give my opinion. I did have one. I thought that if he did go out for a real reason, there was some logic to him acting rebellious. But, if he didn’t he was simply risking his life for no reason. But, I knew Dad must have his reasons and it was his call to make.

The next day morning, during breakfast, my Mom asked him again if he would reconsider. He didn’t say anything. He got into his car. Looked at us one last time. And I kept thinking about what might happen till I couldn’t hear the sound of his car in the distance anymore.

He was gone. Mom seemed sad. We expected him to be back by lunch. But he wasn’t back by then. Mom was panicking. She was very restless. Finally, at around 8 pm, he returned in one piece. He had a friend with him.

Both of them looked like they actually cheated death. His friend proudly said ” When he came to pick me up in the morning and told me what had happened, I was a little nervous. But I trusted him well enough to know that He is fearless. He would be outside till the evening if I gave him company or not. Nothing will stop him. So, I joined him on his trip.”

Nothing bad happened. My Mom looked relieved. I was too. The next day when we went to a relatives house, they said ” He is lucky to be alive.”

The incident happened more than 15 years back. The fortune teller passed away a few years ago. It seemed that everyone’s death he predicted were accurate. In fact, he predicted his own date of death. My Dad was an anomaly. But, I still have one question that intrigues me. Did he survive the day because he was lucky or was it because he was fearless?

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