In December 2004, my wife and I visited India for the first time. During that trip, most of which was in Punjab, I noticed that almost everyone wore bangles. I asked my host, Ron Mundi, about this and he told me that Sikhs wore the kara for religious reasons. He also mentioned that he attributed his recent good luck to the kara.
Several days later we travelled to Amritsar to visit the Golden Temple. While there, I purchased a simple, copper bangle and wore it on my right wrist. It was my intention to wear it for a while and then take it off when I returned to Canada several weeks later.
On December 24, 2004, my wife and I flew from Delhi to Krabi, Thailand. On December 25, we spent the day snorkelling offshore on an island in the Andaman Sea. On December 26, my wife and I discussed our plans for that day. We considered another day of snorkelling or a trip to PhiPhi Island by ferry. For some reason, I mentioned that we might rent a scooter and explore the interiors of Thailand. This was an unusual suggestion as I had not driven a scooter for over 40 years.
But that day, December 26, we did rent the scooter and spent the day exploring Krabi. During our absence from the beach, the tsunami hit and caused widespread devastation and death. Upon returning to our beach hotel, we found that tourists who had been snorkelling offshore or were on PhiPhi Island had died.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, my wife and I have tried to understand and come to terms with our good fortune. And as we try to understand, we remember the kara that I bought at the Golden Temple. I am not a superstitious man, but
I believe that the power of the bangle saved us that day and so, not only do I continue to wear it, I have never taken it off my wrist in nearly three years.