Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Divine Intervention

Leh-- 1982. I was to receive a senior officer at Leh airfield and accompany him to the Formation Headquarters for an important meeting. I instructed the driver, first thing in the morning, to keep the 'Jonga' (Army version of an SUV) ready. I rang up the local ATC (Air Traffic Controller) to check the ETA of the Aircraft. I was told that since there was bad whether at the originating airfield, there would be some delay in the arrival of the flight from its normal time. Therefore, instead of going and waiting at the Airport which was about fifteen to twenty minutes drive from our unit, I decided to go to the office first and wait there. The office was walking distance from our Mess where I was staying. As I was walking to the office, I heard some ringing in the air. It was the sound of an AN --12, the Indian Air force transport plane. I looked towards the sky. Though I could not see the aircraft, I knew that it was fast approaching.

My sharp sense of hearing was one thing that I could really boast of and the credit goes to a magazine which i had read way back during my school days. It had carried an article that described as to how one could improve one's five senses. Out of the five, I had tried on the sense of hearing first, the method of which was the easiest. (As per the instructions given in the magazine, while lying down on the bed at night, one should first listen to the sounds in the immediate vicinity without concentrating on the origin of the sounds, subsequently widen the radius of the concentric circles and then listen to the sounds emanating from farther and farther). Having practised that for some period of time, I could feel that my sense of hearing had improved to a great extent and I flaunted the same quite often by telling about a faint or a distant sound which I had heard but others had not.

Although, that day, this ability of mine had helped me to hear the sound of the coming Aircraft early but the notice period was not good enough that I would reach the Airport well before the landing of the same. However, since the 'Jonga' was readily available in front of the office with the driver waiting there, I started right away.

As we made an exit from the unit area and joined the main road, I could see the aircraft right above our heads. My driver looked at me. I nodded, and he pressed the gas pedal harder. The road ran parallel along the Indus river which flew in the opposite direction. The aircraft had started gliding over the river. It had already over taken us and would land in a few seconds. The visiting officer would look for me at the tarmac itself after disembarking. My absence there would cause embarrassment to him as well, as to me and my unit. It was my fault to have decided to wait in the office instead of going and waiting at the airport itself. I had no option but to close my eyes and recite the prayer which I do every morning.

The aircraft had crossed through the two low lying hills at the edge of the runway, which the pilots called India Gate which actually formed a sort of gateway to the runway for the incoming aircrafts. It was about to make its touch down, when its engines suddenly started accelerating. I looked towards my right where the runway was visible from the road. The aircraft had flown past the runway, picking up height again. It went into its orbit and after making a full circle over the town, it landed after good about ten minutes. By that time I was at the tarmac, ready to receive the visitor.

Later I found out that as the aircraft was about to land, an ambulance had suddenly come on the runway, forcing the pilot to abort landing.

Was it the ambulance ?

I call it the Divine Intervention attributed to my prayers ?

This post also forms part of series on my life journey. To read all the posts in this series, please click here.


Indyeah said...

Was it the ambulance ? I call it the Divine Intervention attributed to my prayers ?

someone up there sure listened to your prayers Sir:)

I also have no clue about the sharpening of the five senses that you have written about..most interesting...

PS-the word Jonga brought back many memories:))))

LazyKing said...

Yes, someone is always watching and always listenning..
Very interesting and unusual journey

Balvinder Singh said...

Abhilasha, yes true prayers never go unanswered. Sharpening of my sense of hearing really worked for me.
Yes, mention of some words bring back nostalgia.

Lazy king, thanks, some one up there always comes to the help in dire circumstances.

I have been lucky to have gone through all that. Thanks

BK Chowla said...

Balvinder,my experience says that what you think and desire having positive attitude comes to your rescue.

Balvinder Singh said...

Mr. Chowla, you are absolutely right.

Renu said...

The clue about sharpening of your senses...is worth trying.

I always believe that God always answers our prayers, no matter what we think.

Balvinder Singh said...

Renu, yes you can try the method of sharpening the senses. It worked for me.

I remember your post about God watching all of us from top and i had posted a picture of God's eye in the sky with reference to your post. If someone wants to see thet hidden eye the link is here :-


Mampi said...

You know what, I have that heightened sense of smell, I have not trained myself on it, somehow I feel my nose is better equipped to pick up smells from around.
but this practice on hearing? WOW!!

Balvinder Singh said...

Mampi, i know you girls have a sharp nose. You know Jeet also has a very sharp sense of smell which is my envy because i lost the same some time back due to sinus problem, though i have regained it partially and that too to my advantage because i can sense only pleasant odours. I have written about it earlier here:


shail said...

Saved by the skin of your teeth from embarrassment. Yeah looks like divine intervention! :)
This is the first I am hearing about the sharpening of the five senses. Will you please write more about it?? How do you go about shaprening the other senses too??

Balvinder Singh said...

Shail, yes i was saved from great embarrassment by someone sitting up there listening to my prayers.

Regarding sharpening of other senses, the mothod is similar to this one by practicing the feeling of different tastes, different smells, and touch of different objects on our body parts even the faint ones without concentrating on their source. Even the sight could be improved by looking at the objects farther and farther without straining the eyes.

tim said...

wow!!! that is really a good one!!

Balvinder Singh said...

Thanks , Tim. I visited your blog. Nice one. will come there for more. keep blogging.

J P Joshi said...

Divine intervention....thank God. You took me on a ride alongwith you on the lone road to Leh... many happy memories of that seemingly hostile place. Thank you for helping me access forgotten landscapes. I have also written about our first landing at Leh today.

tim said...

OK. thank you so much!!!! hope you are ok! can you add me as your friend?

Balvinder Singh said...

Your first landing at Leh !!

JP, i had the previledge of watching your fighter aircrafts thundering in the Ladakh skies in 1984, much to our excitement and delight.

(i did not know at that moment-- when internet was unheard of-- that i will be interacting on blog with one of the pilots of those aircrafts, twenty five years later)

The arrival of your fighter aircrafts also gave us a sense of reassuarance since our troops had been deployed at Siachen glacier. This was a very bold and proactive step taken by the Indian Army. Had we not done that, we would have faced Kargil like situation in that area many years before it happened in Kargil.

And yes, "happy memories of that seemingly hostile place". Thanks for bringing back more of them.

Balvinder Singh said...

Tim, thanks, yes i will add you as my friend.

Anonymous said...

I believe when we really want something or pray from our heart we get it!! This was divine intervention indeed... loved your way of writing too, I had my heart in mouth wondering what was going to happen next...!!
Love reading this series of yours!!

Anonymous said...

And it is fascinating how you can improve your hearing! I remember a Sanskrit teacher in school taught us how to improve our will power, and as a kid I practised it too, I think that did help me! I wish all these were a part of our school curriculum :)

Balvinder Singh said...

IHM, yes SOMEONE up there bails you out from sticky situations. The trick is praying from the heart.

I wish u could share the method of improving will power here or in your blog. That will be interesting.


Yogesh said...


Have added to my blog


the write-up & all the photographs of the Kolkata Bloggers Meet 2009.

Do take some time to visit and do not forget to put down your inputs for the same.

Regards & Love,
Yours ever in blogging,

Yogesh Goel

abhi said...

I really love your post.I will read the older ones when I get time.



Balvinder Singh said...

Thanks Abhi, you have a lovely blog sharing all those details and your thoughts. keep in touch.

Balvinder Singh said...

Yogesh, thanks, will visit your blog for all the stuff that you have there. Thanks for sharing.