HOW COME THE CHINESE SAYING “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR BECAUSE YOU MIGHT HAVE IT” only comes true when negative things are asked for ? I have asked for several positive things, I don’t recall having them. At least not easily. But the moment negative things are “wished”, you have it! How come?

How do I know? I will prove it to you.

About 35 years ago, as a high school student, I was returning from a weekend trip to school. I saw a student wearing a Plaster of Paris (POP) cast on his right arm. The POP Cast is usually worn support broken bones mend, repair, heal and straighten back to normal.

I observed that this student got a lot of sympathizers and friends. A lot of people felt sorry for him. He got a lot of attention and some people even endorsed the cast by writing on it. Nice things like “get well soon”, “sorry about your broken arm”, “let me kiss the pain away”, “hugs and kisses”, “I love you, big hug”. Name it. All kinds of goodwill and get well messages were all inscribed on his white elbow casted arm.

He wore a string around his neck to support the arm. It seemed everyone wanted to help him. It seemed he got so much attention no one else in the room mattered. He was getting so much hugs and kisses and got a few of us jealous and envious. Even the girls we were trying to impress back then in school ignored us and went to hug this broken one arm Long John Silver guy. We were perhaps 13 or 14 years of age at the time.

Then came the wish… “I wonder what it feels like to wear this POP! I would like to wear it some day to see how it feels”. This is the one the Chinese gods heard. All the wishes to come tops in my class and clear all the prices. All the wishes to come cum laude, was not heard. All the wishes to have the prettiest girls in school was ignored by these Chinese gods that hears and grants wishes?. Just this one negative wish, I didn’t have to wait too long for the parcel to be delivered.

It was our inter house sports games, a few weeks thence. I was very active in sports. I ran the 100m and 200m dashes. The middle distances of 400m and 800m and 4x100m and 4x400m relays. I also did a lot of field events like Tripple Jump and high jump. Indeed I was the intermediate class record holder in so many of these events and I wanted to keep my records, as I was now on my way out of school as a graduate.

I didn’t know the Chinese gods were following me around during the inter house sports to grant this one bad wish. I successfully finished most of the events and it was time for the high jump. The competition was fierce. So many good high jumpers. We were all daggers drawn on who would be the best high jumper for the senior boys. The height was now 1.85 meters. A few of the first jumpers had missed it. I missed the first jump also.

I decided to change my jumping style to “western roll”. This was a very effective jumping style for high heights. One needed to jump very high and almost bend the body double to scale the bar. It was my turn again. So I went as far back as I could to gather momentum and good speed to approach the bar. I didn’t know the Chinese gods were still lurking around. I couldn’t see them. I ran very fast. The speed was a lot. I had gathered so much force and momentum when I leapt into the air at a diagonal angle towards the bar. I cleared the bar but my little finger slightly touched the bar. I was watching the bar come off Now exposed to land!

I didn’t realize that my diagonal jump had taken me completely off the range of the foams, arranged for the high jumpers. I was more than 2 meters off the ground with no foam in sight. I panicked and didn’t know how to land. The only support I could put together to an emergency landing was my two hands. I landed so awkwardly on the right wrist and I heard a loud snap. I was on the floor for what seemed like forever. I had lost some consciousness. I recall my wrist started swelling almost immediately. Some senior boys came to my aid and tried to bandage the wrist.

We all hoped it was a sprain. But the excruciating pain that came from that fall was so severe it kept me awake all night. I tried ice cubes. I tried hot water press. Nothing worked. I couldn’t sleep. I tried all night. I was excused to go home the following day, to carry out an x-ray to confirm the status of the hurt wrist.

I waded though the pain all weekend waiting for Monday morning to go to the military hospital that handed medical cases from our school. The Indian Doctor that attended to me was very good. No. Not a Chinese doctor. The Chinese gods may have granted its answer to wishes, or we were about to find out.

The x-ray report was not good. It showed that my ulnar bone was broken. It was severed from the joint and had some tiny fragments flying around inside which was cursing me a lot of discomfort. The pain was so unbearable and my wrist was almost the size of my lap all red swollen and painful. I couldn’t lift the wrist up.

The Indian doctor gave some injections to calm the pain down a bit. I was given a list of medical items I needed to buy for the Plaster of Paris (POP) to be casted on my right wrist. At about 3.00pm my right wrist up to my elbow and beyond was all white casted in POP. I doubt that I had experienced any pain like that all my life.

Before the POP Cast was applied, my wrist needed to be set in such a way that the broken bone would return back to shape and size and to heal. My wrist had to be pressed down with all that swellings to wear the POP. I screamed uncontrollably but no help came. More pain relieving medication afterwards.

I was told I wouldn’t be able to write for over 3 months!. I tried to explain that this was my Examination period in a few weeks and that I couldn’t take any exemption from examinations as it was our “Mock” examinations preparatory for our school certificate examinations. I cried and pleaded with the doctor that I wanted to be able to write in a couple of weeks. The doctor explained that if I didn’t allow the wrist to heal properly I could have some level of deformity in the right wrist. I insisted. The doctor placed a pen between my fore finger and my thumb, while wrapping the POP just to see how possible it would have been for me to write as I insisted.

It was when I was walking into school at about 4.00pm, that these Chinese gods reminded me at the exact same spot I had seen the other student wearing the POP, they remained me of these exact words: “I wonder what it feels like to wear this POP! I would like to wear it some day to see how it feels”. It all came back like a flood. I remembered exactly what I said, how I said it and the wish. This was to confirm that I had wished for this and my wishes had just been granted and delivered to me just as I had wished it.!!

I need not say I also got the same level of sympathy, care affection and love from friends. Perhaps more because virtually everyone at the inter house sports saw when I had hurt myself. I got a lot of autographs signed on the cast. It sort of made me forget the pain a little bit. But I ripped off the cast barely two weeks afterwards because the school refused to give me more writing hours for my exams.

I competed like every other student but with broken wrist. I passed all my exams in flying colors. But I could have done better. I remember this vividly because it was same time I was going to the unorthodox medication to straighten my wrist than I heard over the radio that famous singer Marvin Gaye had been shot dead by his father, after a heated argument. This would have been April 1984. I also recall one of Marvin Gaye’s songs that was talking about his father and punishing him with brutality.

Were the Chinese gods also listening to the lyrics of that Marvin Gaye’s song and granted his wish? We would never know. It seems to me the good wishes asked for if granted, cannot be compared to the negative granted ones. We should just stop any form of negative wishing, just so they don’t get granted.

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