Amma’s Long Jump

By S. Pankanti

Those of who know my amma are well familiar with her physical abilities: she had sadly decades of chronic severe arthritic problems in both her knees. Her continuous working habits wore her knees, knee-caps included, beyond any hope of recovery and remediation. Her both knees had taken the characteristic bow shape which physicians immediately recognized her severe condition of beyond any hope of easy medication; she consumed her daily dose of painkillers and limped along with a happy countenance despite medical problems of various magnitudes.

She packed her day (and night) with devotional deeds and passed her time with Baba’s name on her lips as her schedule permitted.

When smooth marbled architects are marveled around the world and its charm and décor is being discussed, I am sure, we are happy to ignore and dismiss the hazards it poses for an aging arthritic inhabitant with bare grip on the granite ground. For undertaking repairs and remodeling, my family had moved from an independent house to my sister’s upper floor. The marbled limited space was cluttered and congested and was doubly dangerous and perhaps needed no more additional tricks for tripping.

One day, inevitably amma tripped near a threshold rather with a strong momentum and she was catapulted a couple feet. The projected panorama of ensuing crash landing, much dreaded hospital visits and long recovery must have flashed across her mind in that momentous flight and a helpless cry of “Baba!” escaped her livid lips, partly as a habit and partly out of desperate exasperation. Baba must have heard her cry for help in His infinite Grace – because she landed like a petal on a flower bed. When she recalls the incident now at a bare request, her eyes shine and twinkle in a recall of divine glory and of His touch and with moistened eyes she will say: “Baba instantaneously appeared there and cradled me in His hands and gently placed me on the floor”.

PS: Amma recently underwent double knee replacement surgery and she felt Baba was there during her surgery. With His Grace, she is recovering well.

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