A nightmare and an accident

On 16th April 2024, Tuesday, a Bengali newspaper from Kolkata published some excerpts from an interview with Salman Rushdie that he gave to a British TV channel. Here are some quotes from there:

Rushdie said that he had a nightmare a few days before the event that took place at a university in New York. He saw someone attacking him. He stated, when I woke up the next day, my first thought was: I will inform the entrepreneurs that I will not be able to participate in the event. But then I also thought that since 1989, the fatwa was hanging over my head. So, such dreams are not unusual. I went to that event thinking about those who bought tickets and came to listen to me.

8th February 2014 was a Saturday. That evening, my wife was changing her clothes in a room before offering her evening prayer, a daily ritual in a Hindu family. In that situation, she fell on the dry floor of that room and broke the bones of her left arm and left leg. Several days before this accident, I had a very disturbing nightmare for several nights in a row in my sleep, as if something unusual was going to happen. After an operation, the broken limbs of my wife were back to normal, but she did not live long after the accident. She died in the early morning of 16th October of that year.

Salman Rushdie is a serious non-believer, an atheist. But if he had taken his nightmare a little more seriously, he might have avoided this surprise attack on him.

In that interview, Rushdie states that since 1989, a fatwa has been hanging over his head. So, it is not unusual to have such a dream like this. As per him, such dreams are not unusual. But here our question will be: has he seen such a dream many times before? If yes, it is usual to see the same dream this time also. But if it is the case that he had never seen such a dream on any earlier occasion, but only this time for the first time, then he must have thought: why did he see it this time? In that case, he should have been more careful and could also have warned the entrepreneurs so that they could prevent any attempted attack on him at the very beginning. It was due to his taking the nightmare so lightly that such a big attack on his life could take place at all and here we have some lessons to learn from this incident in his life.

It could also be the case that he thought that if his nightmares were made public, then he would be laughed at all over the world. He who all through his life had been up in arms against all sorts of primitive superstitions and blind faith of people was frightened by one slight nightmare! That is why he kept the whole thing under wraps, and the entrepreneurs could not provide any extra security for him. In the future, before we start satirizing people's superstitions, we must remember that he lost his right eye and became completely numb on his right side simply because he could not disclose his nightmares to anybody for fear of public ridicule.

I conclude with this: Not all superstitions are superstitions. Rushdie took his nightmare very lightly. Its consequences are now known to all.

Addendum: Rushdie was once threatened with death. At that time, he was forced to live under very tight security for many years. His wife could not stay in such tight security and finally left him panting. After seeing the nightmare, didn't he remember those horrible days of his life even once? So why did he take the nightmare so lightly? He could have told the undertakers that he had had a nightmare, but he would go anyway, only that there would have to be tighter security for him. But he didn't tell the entrepreneurs anything; maybe he thought that once the matter became known, everybody would start making fun of him. That, in the end, he was also afraid of a little ill omen like superstitious people!

Alas, man! How much do you know about this world and life? Based on what you have known, you think you know everything. So, there is no end to your pride. One day you will have to pay the price of this pride.