Divine Interventions

“The air hostess put too much hot water in my noodles—it’s a soup!”  

“Argh, she was so cocky!”  

“Charging a bomb for crappy food, pfft!” 

“What about the legroom, huh? We’re packed like sardines!”  

“The upgraded seats are available at a special price,” the stewardess announced, interrupting the passengers’ low-pitched whine.  

“Extra price, Ugh!”  

“Such a shitty flight! I wish something could make it better!” another passenger mewled.  

“Rough weather ahead,” the pilot’s gruff voice cut across the din. “Please keep the seat belts fastened.”  

Suddenly, lightning flashed across. Dense clouds towered as black cliffs, shunting the sun. The crosswinds tossed the plane back and forth like a tennis ball. 

The flight became bumpy as it threaded through pelting rains.  

“We’re facing a technical issue. Keep the seat belts fastened,” the pilot declared as the passengers juddered in their seats.  

The jolts became fiercer and faster. A meal trolley crashed into the creaking cabin walls, and its contents clattered to the ground.  

Thump! Bang! Several overhead storage bins flung open—the luggage fell with wild abandon.  

Wrapped tight in storm clouds and lashing winds, the plane rocked. Deafening sucking noises echoed.  

Disorientation and panic took over. Passengers whimpered as the aircraft plunged into headwinds and nosed into a sharp, heart- stopping descent. An intense orange glare blinded them. 

A man wept in the front seat, overwhelmed by the feeling of falling and falling fast.  

However, the plane soon stopped wobbling.  

Relief washed over the passengers as the seatbelt sign pinged off.  

“We’ve come out on the other end of the storm,” the flight attendant announced in a honeyed voice. “For the rest of the journey, all meals are on the house.”   

A wide smile lit the passengers’ faces as the crew served them the complimentary drinks, meals, and snacks.  

A child gazed at the duvet of fluffy clouds gilded by sunshine peeking through the windows. He grinned when the air hostess poured just the right amount of water into his instant noodles.  

No one complained anymore. No one whined. The legroom seemed enough now, and the air hostesses more polite. People reclined in what appeared like an upgraded seat.  

It was difficult to say whether the turnaround was because of the crew’s benevolence or trauma-triggered renewed appreciation for everything. Or did the Gods fulfil one of the passenger’s wishes? Things had indeed changed for the better.  

 “I thought it was over! Technical issues mean engine failure!” a passenger sighed to his mate.  

His statement couldn’t be more correct. In fact, the engine had failed, and the pilot had lost control. 

Still, the plane was steady and flew without hitches.  

It was because the Guardians of the realms, mounted on his celestial vehicle Paundraka, had piloted the plane through the thunder.  

He held a noose around the plane’s nose. The mighty black buffalo, Paundraka, bellowed as the Guardian steered the aircraft through the unbounded tangerine skies.  

Of course, the incident littered the newspapers. Fatal plane crash; no one survived—the headlines said.  


Author’s note:   

In Hinduism, Lord Yama, the god of death, is considered the lokapala or the Guardian of the realms. He rides a mighty buffalo named Paundraka. 


Picture Credit: Shing/Unsplash

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