Friday, September 16, 2011

Of signs and tempting fate

God's exclamation mark! Will my day be funny?!

I am a believer of signs. Well, somewhat. The other day when sitting by the window, I was brooding over how supremely grey and monotonous a Monday morning feels, a flock of geese flew right across the patch of sky that I call my own. Arranged in their typical symmetrical V, they darted across like a beautiful feathery arrow. Just a flash, yet it did take some bite away from my sombre mood, thus leaving me dazed and in another world for a moment or two. That was a sign to me. That life is certainly much more than Monday morning blues, and that this too shall pass and make way for the weekend soon. Another frequent occurrence that is a sure cure for sore eyes and frayed nerves is the curious bunny who makes regular rounds of our yard. So potent are these beautiful distractions, or 'divine interventions' as one friend calls it, that the hovering worries feel half conquered by the time I rearrange my head to brave them. Haven't you felt like that on similar occasions?

Then there are moments that I call tempting the fate. When like a temptress I chase and flirt with fate for a flicker of a moment, when I feel immensely invincible. I play little bets with myself, both serious and ridiculous at once. Short-lived and punctuated with impatience, they go something like this - if the tea gets done by 3.15 pm, then the call won't come; or, if the neighbour's cat is still sitting by the hedge when I stare out of the window next, then something good will happen; or, if I reach the signal before it turns green then....
While on this topic, I am reminded of two French movies that I watched recently (yes, all a part of my bourgeoning Francophilia!). The Girl on the Bridge, through the relationship between a middle aged knife thrower and his zesty young target, explores the fragile link between luck and togetherness. Luck is an absent concept and therefore the human urge to build it through signs, love and life. In A Very Long Engagement one comes across such nonchalant bets with oneself by a young woman who is in search of her missing fiance during the World War I. At once hopeful and miserable, she trades with time, place and situations that would lead her to him.

Before I digress further, is gambling with fate more or less a woman thing? As far as I know, men generally don't entertain such follies. At least the ones I know, don't. We women do it all the time in our heads, this eerie permutation and combination of situations and their possible outcomes. Or am I the only one out here?


  1. everybody has their own set of belief and we need it to give us that unknown when we go to temple we look up to see if a flower falls when we prayed...nice article...

  2. signs. oh i am a firm believer of them too.

    read the alchemist by paulo coelho.

  3. Anonymous, thank you for that much needed vote of confidence!

    jkd, the more the merrier! :-) And yes, 'The Alchemist' certainly is the book to turn to for such dealings - the subtle connection between one's dreams and signs.

  4. Hello Suman. Very nice post. I am very anxious and i also play bets with myself ! Celine

  5. Celine, thank you. I am glad I am not alone!


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