The saviour boat from the depths of the unknownWhen I was a child of five, I was coming home from town one day with my elder brother Chitta, who was already an adult. We were riding back in a small ferry which was somewhat like a shuttle boat travelling from our village to the town and back again. It held six or eight passengers, including Chitta and myself. The ride ordinarily took an hour and a half, as the river, the Karnaphuli, is one of the widest and wildest rivers in Bengal.
On this particular day, the river was in its wildest fury. After a heavy downpour of rain, a storm continued to rage. In addition to this misfortune, the boat had sprung a large leak and it immediately started to sink. It was sailing in the heart of the wide river, at least three miles from either shore.
The passengers were panic-stricken. They, as well as the boatman, did not fail to invoke the great spiritual Masters as well as the cosmic gods and goddesses for immediate help. Rama, Krishna, Kali and Durga were all invoked. Tears were rolling down the cheeks of my elder brother, for he knew that I could not swim. The boatman pitifully cried out for help, but the neighbouring boats paid no heed. They, too, were caught in the storm and were possibly facing a similar calamity.
Slowly, but inexorably, the boat was sinking, sinking, carrying the panicky passengers with it. The fateful moment was not far off.
Suddenly, to the wide surprise of the boatman and passengers, a boat sprang up, empty, from the depths of the waters, right in front of our sinking boat-scarcely ten feet away. In no time, the boatman caught hold of me and threw me into the empty boat. Then all the other passengers hurriedly jumped into the boat, one by one. I was embraced by each and every passenger. They felt that it was my fate that had caused their lives to be saved, too. That was the day I was fated to die, but God decreed otherwise.
When the storm of nature was totally over, two boatmen shouted from a distance, "We are coming to help you!" But help was not needed now.
When help was really sought after, it was not forthcoming from any human being. It came directly from God. And this kind of timely help we get only from God.