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Get Well Soon: As Michael Scuhmacher battles his grievous ski injury, Malavika Sangghvi addresses the man and the meaning behind it all

Sunday, 5 January 2014 - 8:23am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Dear Michael,
I might as well have addressed this as ‘Dear God’, because this letter is as much to the bearded man who sits up in the clouds and watches over the lives of us wretched beings, as to you – a man who almost transcended human ability.

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, spinning billions of stories to amuse himself.

These stories are perfectly created with beginnings and middles and ends, and of course, mirror and perhaps push the boundaries of creative writing to its unimaginable limits.

Some are great tragedies, some comedies and some love stories. Some are schlock potboilers, some gothic horrors, some elegies, some pastorals some science fiction and some are magic realism.

Really, the more I witness the lives around me, the more I have come to regard the Supreme Being, the life giving force, the Cosmic Oneness as nothing more than a Shakespeare on steroids. This to me has explained many of life’s cosmic questions, all those unknowable unfathomable conundrums about why the good suffer, why there is great triumph and tragedy and all other inexplicable phenomena.

It is all — 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.

Which brings me to you, dear Schumacher, and your life-threatening and recent tragic skiing accident, which has shaken the world and thrown many around it in anguish for the unparalleled irony of it all.

You, a man who defied the demons of speed and human endeavour, riding the winds on some of the most dangerous vehicles that man has ever known. 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, to triumph, that it won you seven Formula One championships (in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004), 91 wins and a permanent seat in the pantheon of eternally worshipped human beings.

To be, thus, grievously injured in a skiing incident undertaken with your son? What kind of story is that crafty Supreme littérateur writing with your life this time I wonder? Because till now, with your Formula One driver records, including the winning of most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions and most races won in a single season, yours was a thumping blockbuster that put you right on top of the bestseller list.

With your involvement in numerous humanitarian charities throughout your life as UNESCO ambassador, your efforts to promote driving safety, your involvement in creating better helmets, engines, machines and particularly your donation to the victims of the tsunami, which is said to be larger than that of some countries... yours was an epic of human excellence.

With your triumph over the controversies in your career, especially with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez, yours was a Grecian fable. And with the many ways in which you transcended your humble bricklayer’s son beginnings, yours was self-help... how to.

So what kind of turn will the storyteller make your story take, dear Michael Schumacher?
For your sake as much for ours,  I pray it will be a rousing epic of triumph against all odds, with a happy ending! Get well soon!

Yours sincerely etc
Malavika Sangghvi




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