An interesting phenomenon – there are those who think of serendipity as a “happy accident” and others who see it as “destiny calling”. What’s not in question is that it exists. Think of the science world where Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin came about purely by accident. Returning from a 2 week holiday Fleming noticed that one of his petri dishes had developed mould. The mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself leading to the discovery of penicillin.
In the religious world, baby Ganesha had his head chopped off while standing guard for his mother Parvati. His father, Lord Shiva, after a case of mistaken identity, swung his “trishula” leading to the accidental but momentous birth of Lord Ganesha.
In the fictional world, the 2001 rom-com by the name Serendipity follows the story of a couple who write down their telephone numbers in a book and on a dollar bill and decide if the items make their way back to each other, then they are destined to be together. For those that haven’t watched it they do make their way back and there is a happy ending. But that’s fiction I hear you say?
Then let me bring to you a story much more real, much closer to home.
Meet Narendra and Savita. It’s the year 1954. Both still in their teenage years. Both living in Kenya but in totally different cities, neither knowing of the existence of the other. One of their favourite pastimes was to indulge in reading a very popular Gujarati children’s magazine called Ramakadu. Apart from interesting articles and games, the magazine had a section for readers contributions.
One evening Savita picked up her pen and scribbled an article entitled “Bahadur Stree” about brave women. Coincidentally around the same time Narendra felt inspired enough to also send in a contribution to the magazine and wrote about a quiet, peaceful wetland in the town of Kikuyu in Kenya that he had recently visited. Now I don’t know how many contributions this magazine had to sift through every day and how they decided which ones would be published. But it just so happened that both Narendra and Savita’s articles were published in the same magazine in the same edition!!
And this is a big deal why?
Because my dear reader, just less than 10 years later Narendra and Savita were walking around a holy fire bound by a red cloth, pledging their lives to each other. They were married for 55 blissful years and were, to many of us, the ultimate example of what a marriage should be like.
So it’s up to you what you see serendipity as.
To me serendipity is when something beautiful happens to you when you weren’t even looking.
To me serendipity is Narendra and Savita, sitting hundreds of miles apart, with an invisible red cloth pulling them together with every passing day.
And if you’re asking yourself why I am using their story as an example, it’s because Narendra and Savita are better known to me as “Papa” and “Mummy”.
Shraddha had been trying to get the original articles from the Ramakdu magazine for a while. Bear in mind this is an edition published 65 years ago. We decided to go ahead with this post without the articles because we didn’t hope to find them.
Shraddha had come to visit us last month and on the day she was leaving, literally an hour before leaving for the airport she received a message from Golibar Mohseen, Golibar Publications who is also the weekly editor of Chakram Chandan, India. Yes he had been digging into the archives and came through with the original articles! So fortunate that Shraddha was here in person to show the articles to Mummy to her surprise and delight 🙂
We are sure Papa is smiling away and remembering how mummy used to narrate this story to his amusement ♥♥♥
Golibar Mohseen, thank you so much!
(After reading the original post several people had asked for the original articles. Well, here they are!)