A Series Of Fortunate Events

They say when it rains it pours. Till this point, I was never a believer of fate, never superstitious or believed in the power of an almighty. I thought I was spiritual to some extent but with 2020, spirituality seemed like an obsolete concept.

To get to the series of fortunate events, one must go back to a series of unfortunate events, albeit staggering over many months. After successfully landing myself a job in the middle of 2020– two spurious incidences relating to money and my bank account woke me up from this permanent “financial” slumber. I immediately blocked my account, subsequently blocking my cards, UPI etc. After the 2-day block period, the bank decided to unblock my account. Unfortunately, the one mode of money transfer that I felt I used the most, never got unblocked — My Unified Payments Interface aka UPI.

The ordeal with my bank and the hassle of wading through a typical bureaucratic corporate setup thus began. This happened in September 2020. I must admit that from September till Feb 2021, I was able to save up on some considerable cash. But there was always this itch at the centre of my back — you know the itch you can never reach and the itch that keeps coming back — that itch of not being able to do something I was used to doing, a mere transaction that was easy and hassle-free.

Over the past 6 months, I have shamelessly tarnished my pristine social media image by spamming the bank with messages, accusations and whatnots. I have sent emails to customer cares, called people, visited more than 3 bank branches, tried to name & shame, tried to instigate the oh so famous “cancel culture” that we millennials gloat about. I must admit, these are not my proudest moments. Whatever happened to dignified protests?

Parallelly, I took some really important life decisions. I bought a really expensive road bike & started training on it. My road bike, however, had its own set of problems to take up in my itch space. The pedals got loose, the hanger got bent after a not so nasty fall, & the shifters were acting weird. So much for spending half my kidney!

I decided to take a brief hiatus from this mess — and went back home. My problems had taken a temporary pause. There was a nice ice pack over this virulent itch! But that is the case with itches, ice packs don’t cure them! Scratching the itch cures the itch! I ended my hiatus & invited all the problems back into my life. This time with a slight sense of confidence. I gave my cycle to the mechanic as soon as I came back & seemingly got things “fixed” and rid of all the problems.

Amidst this internal hullabaloo that had been a slow burner for many months (which at the outset doesn’t seem much), I came across an interesting Instagram reel. Yes, as a proud millennial, I consume most of the life-changing news from social media. The lady in the video gave a quick instruction about meditation and told the viewers “If you are having a low day, follow this & then ask the universe, if you are on my side, show me a sign that I will not miss”

As naive millennials go (and I clearly rank on the top of this list) I decided to follow the lady’s instruction. Deep breath. Meditate. Bla Bla Bla. “Universe, show me that you’re on my side”. Surprisingly what followed was a series of extremely fortunate events that, I am sure, is a sign.

  • Sign 1: Fight for em’ Tights

Someone sent me a message, shortly before I went spiritual, about these new cycling tights that were being introduced in the market and one lucky winner would get them. It was all about your friends nominating you, & writing a bunch of nice things about you (gratification halleluiah). I sent this message to my women friends — and what followed was a storm of extremely tear-jerking, heartwarming, gushing literature of how I deserved those tights. I still read some of it and try to contain these bouts of emotional cries. Yes, I thought, this looks like a sign that the universe is on my side. My gals, within a heartbeat, could email some random company about how nice I am? Who does that these days? We all live in spam culture. No one wants their email address to be the next spam target! Lo and behold, I not only had my faith in friendships sealed for life, I also won those tights!

  • Sign 2: Bravery for Brevet

Brevets are long-distance cycling events that range from 200km and can go up to 1000s of kilometres. I signed up for a 200 brevet, despite never having attempted a single 200 ride in my lifetime. I can write an entire blog on how I conquered this 200 BRM, made friends and fought internal battles — for what almost seemed like life or death. But I shall spare the details for another day. Long story short, despite the pitfalls and some literal pitfalls, I successfully finished my 200 cycle event (that too in my newly won tights). And with absolutely no problems with my beautiful roadie.

  • Sign 3: Shores & Banks

The diameter of this itch seemed to have shrunk over the week. But the root problem still existed. I needed to uproot the problem. I was tired of the same tirade. I was tired of the same autogenerated trite responses from the bank. I drafted a long essay about my life and my journey as a human being with this particular bank. With a quick google search, I found the email address of the Managing Director and some other employees. I copied them in this long rant of an email, mumbled a small prayer, and sent it. Within 3 hours of sending that email — I received 5 calls from the top executives of this bank. Within 24hrs my problem was resolved. Voila! I was back to using U-P-I.

It is funny for something to go this right and this amazingly well, there has to be something that went wrong before. Fortunate events cant be that fortunate if you haven’t tasted unfortunate events before. You are all the more grateful, your life becomes richer with these bouts of incidences. Making you more refined a human being.

Whether I have moved back to the spiritual ways of things, who knows? I am maybe waiting for another miracle to happen? Or maybe just another Instagram reel to jolt me in this direction.

As for the itch. It never completely goes away now, does it? But it is how you choose to look at it, that makes all the difference. After all, it is just a stupid itch! Go get a backscratcher.

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