Remona Aly
Thursday 09 April 2020 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

Modern-day Miracles and Mum’s Dhal

Modern day miracles and Mum’s dhal
Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

I saw a news story last week that said a pair of healthy twins were born in India to proud parents who, wanting to remember this time forever, decided to name them Covid and Corona. Despite their questionable names, those babies were their parent’s miracles in a time when we’re all in need of them.

 For other couples, they find it a miracle that they’ve gone this entire time not knowing their partner’s work side is totally different to the one they normally see. One woman tweeted saying it took quarantine to find out this: “Turns out my husband can actually small talk, just not with anyone we know in non-work life.” Another tweet from a husband hearing his wife in online meetings with subordinates, said, “it dawned on me that she uses personnel management techniques on me all the time.”

As a Muslim, I’ve been raised with two main gears. One is to be practical and prepared at all times – as demonstrated by my mother who like most Asian mums always has a three-month supply of dhal in the pantry, crisis or not. 

And the other is believing in miracles. These range from the wondrous to the everyday. Like Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I’m very much the latter. 

I know it feels like we need a miracle to get out of this pandemic. Living in a starkly different reality isn’t easy for any one of us. But it’s in people that I see the miraculous taking place, even if they don’t see it themselves. I know single working mums who struggle with home-schooling and deadlines, yet still they conquer each day like they’ve moved a mountain. I see friends battle mental health issues, yet still have the courage to step out of bed each morning like they’re walking on water.

 They are my modern-day miracles. They give me the strength and self-belief to say, I’m ready, whatever happens. While I think of the words of the Sufi Muslim poet Rumi, who said, “Never lose hope, my dear heart, miracles dwell in the invisible” I’ll carry on being inspired by the hidden wonders, and of course, feast on my mum’s endless supply of dhal.