Woman of Letters: Salut, brave Michael Schumacher!

Sunday, 22 June 2014 - 6:25am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

As Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher emerges from a coma, Malavika Sangghvi writes him a letter

Dear Michael,

Of course you haven't read the letter I wrote to you earlier. Written on these pages six months ago, shortly after your grievous skiing accident following which you'd slipped in to a coma, I along with the rest of the world had beseeched you to open your eyes.

In that letter I had spelt out my anguish and wonder at life and the strange and unimaginable turns it could take, more hair raising and blood curdling than the spins and whirls on your legendary race tracks.
'For a long time now, I have regarded all of life as a dazzling array of cosmic novels, written by that great storyteller who sits in the sky.' I'd written. 'We are all characters in stories, some of us in short delicate ones written in the style of an O Henry, others in grandiose sweeping classics written by Tolstoy, and a few in Sidney Sheldon-like bestsellers.' I'd said.

'What kind of story is that crafty Supreme litterateur writing with your life this time I wonder?' I'd asked, echoing the sentiment of the world which had paused in its mundane, banal revolution, to contemplate the profound irony of your fate: a man who'd broken records on the most celebrated race tracks, only to be laid low on a family skiing holiday!

'You, who could have died so many times in your long and brilliant career taking the most unimaginable risks, fired by such an inconceivable will to win, to succeed, that it won you seven Formula One championships.' I'd said, wondering what ending your story would take.

'For your sake as much for ours, I pray it will be a rousing epic of triumph against all odds, with a happy ending!'

And now, Michael, the unthinkable and dearly wished for has happened: defying all conventional wisdom, your story appears to be edging towards a happy finale.You have opened your eyes, emerged from your coma, and though the prognosis of the team of medical experts cautions that you will remain an invalid all your life and dependent on others' help, and that it will be something of a miracle if you manage 'to sit up unaided within the next three months and operate an electric wheelchair within six months', a silent cosmic hallelujah has been sent up by the world.

Because, truth be told, Michael, there's not been much to cheer about in the world we live in recently: the usual senseless wars, the blood-curdling rapes, the mindless killings of innocents, the routine and systematic plundering of the planet and its resources, the horrific cruelty towards the weak. It's been a litany of of misfortune. We are in desperate dearth of miracles.

Amidst this, the story of a man who has fought against his imminent exclusion from the circle of life and used his legendary prowess to reach up to the very sky and wrestle the pencil away from the Great Storyteller, to write his own story, is a matter of great inspiration for us all. Your emergence from coma may be a small step from the medical perspective, but what it teaches us is that no misfortune or circumstances can deter or defeat the human spirit.

That with courage and determination, we can change the very script of our lives.

Indeed, for those of us looking for inspiration and hope, your recovery is a story that comes as a benediction. Salut, brave Schumacher! On the tracks, as in your life, you remain indomitable and inspirational!
Yours sincerely etc,

Malavika Sangghvi can be contacted at malavikasmumbai@gmail.com

Jump to comments

Recommended Content