I still remember the name of the little baby boy – Manikandan. The one with the bell around his neck. Another name of Lord Ayyappa.

      One night a month old baby boy was admitted to our intensive care unit with continuous fits, referred to as “seizures” medically. The parents were heading back to their home after completing treatment, for about a week, at a top hospital in Chennai. The baby had been treated for some infection and on their way back, he started to convulse. As luck would have it, this happened just 2 kilometers from our hospital and the parents rushed him to the emergency room.

      When we saw him, the little one was lying on the hospital bed. The bed seemed way too big for him. He was not conscious. But what was striking was that his skin was entirely covered with reddish, scaly patches and he was as limp as a rag doll. We started treatment for the fits and other supportive measures but he continued to convulse. With each convulsion the risk of damage to the baby’s brain increased.

      In my entire career, I had not encountered a case like this one. In desperation, I decided to turn to our universal savior – Google! Turned out that the little boy had a rare disorder – an enzyme deficiency that caused him to be deficient in a particular vitamin. Though the vitamin, biotin, was cheap it was not easily available. The next day we had to scour all the medical shops in town and finally zoomed in on one that had adequate stocks.

      We started treatment with a healthy dose of skepticism for the vitamin could only be given orally. We too believed in the instant power of injections 😊.

      Incredibly, the fits stopped within 12 hours, the skin lesions cleared up in 24 to 48 hours, the little baby became alert and his usual cute, happy self. He started feeding on his mother’s milk like his life depended on it (which was actually true!) and his parents were enormously relieved.

      At discharge we gave the parents a card indicating the name of the disease and the need for lifelong supplementation of the vitamin.

      The follow up visits were full of wonder and joy for us, the treating team. The baby boy grew up to be an adorable, healthy and normal infant. Of course, he had to take the vitamin daily for the rest of his life.

      Introspecting on the case at that time, I saw a series of random occurrences, or so I thought. The baby started fitting a few kilometers from our hospital. We were saved by Google and managed to stumble upon a rare diagnosis. Serendipitously, the cure was a vitamin. And the slight difficulty in procuring the medicine notwithstanding, the baby miraculously recovered.

      Was this really a series of coincidences? Probably not.

      I know better now.

      The are no coincidences in life as Grand Master Oogway says in the film Kung Fu Panda. Only the perfect and divine synchronicity of the universe. 

      I realized what we had witnessed that night had been the divine play of God and all of us were truly blessed to have been the instrument of the divine.


      Picture credit: Behance

      My pranams at the lotus feet of Gurudev 🙏.