The Mystical Mr. B: Part Three
The Mystical Mr. B: Part Three4 mins 199 4 mins 199
This is a story about Mr. Balasubramaniam and his magic necklace. We have already seen how Mr. B met a sadhu from Varanasi fifteen years ago in Coimbatore and how the sadhu took a fancy to him and visited his house. While departing, the sadhu had given Mr. B his address and invited him to his ashram in Varanasi. We also saw how Mr. B, after miraculously curing Mr.s Chakravarty with copper wires, narrated his fascinating tale of how he got the magic necklace from the sadhu when he visited him in Varanasi.
Mr. B’s friends were interested in knowing more of his magical powers and his earlier ‘miracles’. One day, Mr. B continued with his story before the expectant and excited audience of elders.
The magic of the necklace was unknown to the simple soul that Mr. B was. He never believed in magic, nor did he feel the need to use or test the properties of the mercury beads. He had put away the gift from the sadhu in a trunk, and soon everyone forgot about it. After retirement from active service, the family shifted from Coimbatore to a village where Mr. B had an ancestral house. They put his son and daughter in a hostel so they could continue with their studies. The husband and wife soon settled down to the calm and peace of the tiny village.
One day, as Mr. B was strolling through the lush paddy fields in the village, he heard a commotion not far away. When he reached the spot, he found a band of villagers surrounding a young boy lying on the ground. The boy was lying still, but the woman bent on him was wailing loudly. A poisonous snake had bitten her son, and the venom was spreading through his body. The nearest hospital was ten miles away and there was no doctor available in the village. The boy would surely die.
Mr. B stood watching this tragic scene, feeling sympathy and helplessness surging in him. There was nothing he could do to help the boy, he knew of no remedy.
It was then that he remembered the mercury bead necklace. He rushed home, opened the trunk and took out the necklace. He wished he could use the necklace to rid the poison from the boy’s body, but did not know how to use it. All the sadhu had said to him while giving the necklace was “wear it when you feel the need for my guidance”.
Praying to the unknown and unseen Gods, Mr. B rushed back to the fields where the boy was still lying with his mother wailing over him. He put on the necklace and closed his eyes. He wished he could utter some mantra, some magical words that would activate the necklace; but there was nothing to say, no mantra to be spoken. He therefore just shut his eyes and let things happen.
A strange voice spoke to Mr. B.
“Good, that you have at last remembered me. We have to hurry. Ask the villagers to bring a betel leaf and some raw tobacco. Give it to the boy and he will live.”
Mr. B waited for more instructions, but nothing came. The voice had spoken what it had to speak. He knew it was a ridiculous plan to force a dying boy to eat betel leaf laced with tobacco, but there was no harm in trying. Anyway, there was no other solution available.
The villagers were puzzled, but they could see that he was not joking. Also, villagers believe in things that they do not understand. Soon a betel leaf laced with raw tobacco was forced into the boy’s mouth and water was injected so that it would pass down his throat.
After half an hour of anxious wait, the boy seemed to regain his senses. He woke up, looking normal, with no trace of any poison in his system. This was Mr. B’s first miracle. Soon, the news spread about a saint with magical powers to heal living in the village. Mr. B was relieved to see the boy alive but feared what was to happen next. With this one miracle, he was transformed from a retired, aging elder to a miracle man. His life was going to change.
The friends of Mr. B applauded when he finished his narration. There were a lot of high-fives, chest-thumping, and back-slapping. When the merriment died down, my father spoke to Mr. B.
“Bala, what you narrated is unbelievable, but true. We have witnessed the miracle first hand. Your family should be proud of you. Yet you ask us not to talk about this to anyone and fear that you will be asked to leave your son’s house if he came to know of this. Why?”
“That my friends,” sighed Mr. B, “is another story, for another day.”
We will meet again with Part 4 with another story narrated by Mr. B.