Finding God

Tire puncture

The monsoon was in full form in Delhi a month ago, and the roads were covered in filthy water and slush. In my experience, and by Murphy’s law, your car is most likely to get punctured in situations when you least want it to happen – such as during heavy rainfall while stuck on flooded streets. And so, a nagging voice at the back of my mind kept telling me for days, “Get the tires checked. Get the tires checked.”

One day, after leaving work, I gave in to my intuition, and drove into a nearby petrol pump to get the tires checked, even though the car was driving fine. It turned out I had a puncture – a three-inch nail stuck in the tire, no less. It was so tightly fit and perhaps so recent that the tire hadn’t lost any air pressure yet, so I wouldn’t have known for another few kilometres. I got it fixed instantly, sending up waves of gratitude to God for saving me in the nick of time.

For the next month, I went about convinced that I lived a bonafide charmed life.

Today, then, I got a rude shock when I noticed that the same tire was totally flat again. I was alone in the local market, it was already dark, and I had to drive myself (very) slowly to the nearby petrol station. All the way, I fought with God in my head: “You gave up on me. You let me down. You didn’t warn me this time.”

I reached the petrol pump and got out of the car to let them fix it. It was a long, thick nail again. While waiting, I noticed a ‘pollution control’ kiosk there – and it was still open despite the late hour. Since I don’t use this pump often, I had never paid attention to it before. “Hmm, now that I’m here, let me check if my pollution-under-control (PUC) certificate needs renewal,” I thought, and reached out to my dashboard to check it. To my shock, it had expired in March this year and I hadn’t realised.

As soon as the tire was fixed, I got the pollution checked and new certificate issued. While the boy was working on it, a voice in my head went, “And you thought I’d given up on you, huh?”

God gave me a tire puncture because I needed my PUC certificate renewed.

Abashed, I said sorry in my head for giving up on God.

On my drive home, I began to count all the other metaphorical tire punctures, slowdowns, hiccups, difficulties, problems and impossible challenges I have been facing lately, and said a silent ‘thank you’ for them all. Who knows what miracles are taking place underneath while I worry over surface details.

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