In all my years of flying, that was a first. Before taking off, a Muslim prayer appeared on the Malaysian Airlines screen. And then I watched Marilyn Monroe in “How to Marry a Millionaire.”
Well, why not? We are all here by the grace and mercy of spiritual forces. I have my own ritual prayers that I quietly intone each flight, perhaps to the dismay of an observant seatmate. I begin with the Buddhist chant “The Dharani to Remove Disaster” and then finish with a generic little prayer I made up: “O Great spirit, as we enter into your realm, we commit our bodies to your care and ask for your guidance and protection. Amen.” The Muslim prayer on the screen was also tailor-made for the occasion, asking Allah to bless the take-off and landing. If you think about the incredible act of hurling through space inside tubes of metal, all prayers are more than justified.
And just for the record, Marilyn Monroe is quite the comedic actress.