Faith in numbers

Paul has been named so by his devout Christian parents after Jesus’ favorite apostle and his most ardent believer. But apart from the name, there was nothing even remotely religious about Paul. In fact, so much so that he even stopped believing in the concept of God and religion and lost all faith in even religious agnostic things like fate and destiny after he lost both his parents in a fatal car crash when he was only 16 yrs old.

Given that he was prodigious at math right from a very young age, he tended to rely in the comfort of the wonderful world of numbers. He instinctively understood and correlated all of his life with math. Here everything was a clear case of cause and effect, just like numbers were.

His math teacher always told him “2 and 2 always add up to 4, and similarly everything in life has a clear cause and a clear effect, it’s just that we have to put in the effort to understand the variables and draw up the equations carefully.” Paul had understood, admired and lived by this credo ever since he first heard it when he was 6 yrs old, but all of his faith in the cause and effect relationship was shaken by the loss of his parents. He couldn’t quite comprehend why his parents had to die the way they did.

His dad was not a rash driver, his mom was not the type of person who would disturb and distract her dad by incessantly talking to him. Then why did they have to die the way they did? Why did have to be their car which was pushed off the narrow mountain road by the drunk driver of the trailer truck? Why not any other car?

Even probabilistically speaking, the chances of a fatal accident occurring on this particular expressway were only 1 in 9,325. Paul had calculated this using the statistics gleaned from the Motor Vehicles Department website. Not knowing how to deal with the tragedy, he tried finding ways to figure out the causes for it to have happened in the first place the only way he knew how, by resorting to his world of numbers.

Despite his best efforts to do so, neither could he figure out the reasons for the accident nor could he reconcile himself to the fact that he was all alone in the world. He therefore decided to take the most drastic step of all, kill himself.

Given his height, weight and Body Mass Index, he correctly calculated the amount of cocaine it would take for him to overdose on and ultimately die. He managed to procure the cocaine from a geeky friend of his who used to help him out with his computer assignments. The stage was set, and he decided that he would end his life tonight.

He prepped the syringe with the required amount of the drug and set it on the table by the side of his bed. Although he had decided to take his life, it wasn’t quite as easy as he thought it would be. He lay down on the bed, closed his eyes and took deep breaths trying to calm himself down and be convinced that this was the only choice he now had. He kept hearing a constant buzzing in his ears, but dismissed it as the effects of his nervousness.

Ten minutes passed by and he was finally ready. When he got up, the pillow fell off the bed and it was then he noticed his phone below it. He then realized that the buzzing sound in his ears was that of the phone ringing in the vibrating mode. He was amazed when he saw the phone. 38 missed calls in 10 mins! He wondered what was going on.

After all, he didn’t even have any friends who he considered close enough to call him. The only people who called him on his mobile phone were both dead anyway.

And then the phone rang again.


This was the number that flashed on his screen. And any math aficionado worth his salt would immediately notice that this was the famous Fibonacci sequence. His hands shivering, Paul answered the phone.

My son, are you sure you want to do this? Is taking your life the only solution to your distressed state of mind? Think again, your gifts have not been granted so that you give up on me so soon, my son” a soothing voice on the other end spoke.

Paul was immediately jolted back to his senses. He then realized that he had been asleep all this while and it had been a dream. More than a dream, it had been a revelation. He immediately got up and checked his phone below the pillow. It was on the vibration mode, but there were no missed calls, no call logs from any number at all.

Paul was born, again, and this time he was a believer!!!


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian bloggers by Blogadda.

The prompt this week was to include the phrase 38 missed calls in 10 mins! He wondered what was going on which is the reason why it has been specifically highlighted in the post.

The intention of this post is not to promote any particular religion or faith but is just a fictional post attempting to explore the psyche of a person who is about to commit suicide. It also explores the metaphysical possibility of divine intervention in such situations, that’s all. It was never my intention to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments with this post.


This post has been picked by Blogadda as one of the WoW picks of the weekend.


34 thoughts on “Faith in numbers

    • @Diwakar, when you say ‘transformation’ are you referring to the character in the post, or the author himself? 😀

  1. Jam please accept my salutations. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant take. As far as the previous comment thread goes I think it is a wonderful transformation for both paul and the author.

    • @Paddy, welcome back, good to have you back here, I missed you man!!! Start writing again soon, Write Tribe is planning another Festival of Words in early or mid December, so get ready for that 🙂

  2. What a beautiful way to instill faith and confidence in the orphaned boy. as usual Jairam the eye-opener is too good.

  3. Beautiful post. I do believe in divine intervention. Not from stories but from personal experience. I believe in god and not in rituals. I also believe that god does…directly or thro fellow humans, deliver a slap to our faces when we do deserve a wake up call. I am a firm believer of the term ‘anbe sivam’ which means ‘love is god’. We need to look beyond ourselves to find answers to our own life.i guess thats more easy to say than do. I guess faith that god has our back should be hope and for the purpose of giving us the confidence to act; and not blind faith that he will take care of everything, we can sit and wait. ..all the best for the wow 🙂 I am still sitting at the drawing board…

      • No no…despite is not not the word for me..I seem to have not been able to put forth my point clearly. Anbe sivam is merely a term. Sivam is one of the zillion names of god. Religion is a way of life, rules and rituals that I dont believe segregates people but governs the way we live. 🙂 sorry…to keep replying..but I love a good discussion 🙂

      • @Preethi, even I personally am a big follower of “love is God” which is what “Anbe Sivam” literally means, absolutely no question about that. My reply was only to highlight the fact that despite being relatively religion agnostic, ie, not being a staunch follower of God or religion as a concept, you ended up liking the post and commented on that, and that to me was extremely ‘generous’ (if I may use that word) on your part,that’s all 🙂

        And I don’t mind you replying as I also love a good discussion, no two ways about that 😀

  4. Aha. I see “another Paul” has made his appearance 🙂 Great twist and brilliantly written (not adding “as usual” this time around. IT’s kind of a given). And the Fibonacci series…classic ! Definite WOW badge for this one

    • @Rickie, yes, I wasn’t quite comfortable putting up this post as it was ‘completely off the beaten track‘ for me, but then went ahead and did it anyway, hope it turned out well!!!

    • @Yamini, Bruce Nolan from “Bruce Almighty” ?? 😀 Well, to be very honest I didn’t even remember that and the other “Evan Almighty” movies at all. If I had, I probably would have written a more humorous post 😀

  5. The story was really good! Your twist in the tale was nice. I am not much of a believer but in times of distress, often good thoughts and warm wishes reach us!

    • @Rachna, am glad that you liked the story despite your personal beliefs, that to me was the tricky part as not too many people are religious enough to understand and appreciate the story itself 🙂

  6. I liked the bit about the Fibonachi sequence. I love numbers too especially patterns around them. There are times when we do not know why something seems to be happening to us. But ultimately everything in life has a purpose. I believe in that!

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