Presence of mind Presence of mind is required in case of an emergency. The ability to think clearly and act quickly and intelligently in an emergency is really commendable. Presence of mind can be elusive. It does not occur entirely by skill or effort. The manifest of presence of mind depends on one’s intuition. Here I want to share with you a situation where I lacked presence of mind and a teenager’s presence of mind solved the problem. This happened when my youngest son was about 3 or 4 year old. We were staying in a first floor of an apartment. One afternoon the children were playing running up and down. Suddenly one of the children came and told me that my son’s head was caught in between the banister. I ran out and he started crying and said, “Mom, I can’t pull out my head. It’s hurting.” I tried to squeeze his head and pull out, but it was not so easy. :bonkIn the mean while the teenager at the ground floor came with a suggestion. :idea He said, “Aunty, you try pushing his body for he is so skinny in stead of trying to push his head. I will catch hold of him from the steps.” It was really a good idea. I pushed his body and the boy caught hold of him from the other side down the steps. Thus his presence of mind solved the problem. Personal attachment shuts down the brain for most of the people in an emergency. They are not in a position to think clearly. My DH had used his presence of mind in an emergency and saved himself from ruffians. In the year 1972 in the month of December Telco Workers Union called for a strike. The strike continued for a long time. Supervisory staff was forced to attend duty and was warned that if they absented they would be subject to disciplinary action and might be even discharged. So my hubby had to attend duty. The supervisory staff was subject to great risk as workers obstructed them at the gate and pelted stones at their vehicles. During the strike riding on vehicle was risky and so my hubby used to go by taxi. One day while returning from duty striking workers were waiting outside the gate and they started chasing him. He ran for his life and found another group waiting at the next turning. He saw one standing with his legs wide apart and hands stretched out to stop him. My DH just bent and went through his spread out legs within a split of a second. The crowd did not expect this and then they started chasing him again. He ran and found the door open in a house and ran inside and bolted the door from inside. He went and hid himself under a cot. :hide: After a few minutes some people came and knocked at the door. The lady of the house was washing clothes at the back yard and she came and opened the door. When they asked her whether any one entered the house, she replied in the negative as she herself was not aware of a man hiding in her front hall under the cot. When she returned my hubby came out of his hiding place and to his surprise, he found that she was a known south Indian lady. The lady also was surprised to see him, but as my hubby was known to all Tamilians she kept her cool. Then my hubby had narrated to her all that had happened. He took shelter there until he came to know that the road was clear for him to leave. He thanked the lady and returned home. Really this was a hair- raising experience for him. As he was swift footed and could run like a hare he was able to save himself from the dangerous onslaught. I have to tell you an incident where I used my presence of mind. We had main door with auto locking system at our house. Once our tenant who used to keep the outside grill gate locked came out and was sitting in the veranda. Due to strong wind the main door was forced shut and it got locked. The lady was stuck up in the veranda. She could neither come out nor go in side. Then she called out to us. She told us that the keys were in side and she got stuck up. Then we asked her where she had kept the keys. She told that she had kept the keys on the center table in the hall. Then an idea struck me. We had long bamboo attached with sickle (thoradu) and I thought that we could get a magnet stuck up to the thoradu and using it could get the keys. My DH said it was a good idea and we executed the idea. We succeeded in getting the bunch of keys and freed the self imprisoned lady. This idea of mine was successful in retrieving the keys twice again. Please share your experience when you had to use your presence of mind.