A leisure trip to bookshop usually lifts my gloom. Needless to say, it also lightens my wallet. Today’s trip was no different. I had just seen off my sister at station.
When your dear ones depart, a strange knot forms inside stomach. Suddenly nothing seems as good as it seemed a day ago. My theory is it is easier on the people who go, harder on the ones that remain behind. Therefore, my trip to bookshop.
After an hour armed with packages, I hailed an auto rickshaw to home. And then I remembered a friend had mentioned a party tonight. I called the friend to ask if party was still on.
While talking I noticed that the auto rickshaw driver bumped twice into a motorcycle and a car. I asked him to take it slow. I checked, he was not drunk. I am good at smelling it out. 5 years of practice in crowd-ridden buses of Delhi.
Me and my friend fixed the meeting details and I joked that he should wear a pink T-shirt so that I can make him out in the crowd. We hung up. That’s the last thing I remember. Last thing before the accident.
For few minutes, it appeared that the auto was braving a storm. It swerved and tumbled. I fell down from the seat, I tried to hold on to a railing. I missed, I screamed. And then it collided. All I could make out that I was sandwiched in the back, on the floor, between passenger seat and the driver seat. My back facing towards the outside of auto. I was slipping and falling outside while the auto skidded to the side of the road. It was then the auto collided.
And my back hit the divider on the road. I fell on my back, my legs in air and my shoe flew off, my body still sandwiched inside the auto. The auto had come to halt with the collision.
For few moments, I didn’t know what was happening. Several faces peered inside the auto. Perhaps trying to make sure there was life inside. Though I had realised I had survived, I was in daze. I wouldn’t look up at people. Ashamed that they might have seen me in embarrassing posture, my legs in air, and confused what to do now. I looked around for shoe, and my specs. I vaguely asked the confused crowd for my specs. I guess they were not sure if I was hurt or not. Then I started looking for them myself with my jangled nerves. I was half crying and sobbing. Strangely no tears would come.
A handsome guy (yes, I noticed) with Button Eyes, who had been driving a SUV, had stopped. He asked me if I was alright. Did I need water? He noticed I was still half sobbing. Says, Chill. Yeah, of course. I, oblivious of my surroundings, move to the side of traffic-laden road. I vaguely hear the driver say sorry to me. As if he had just stepped on my feet. Button Eyes asks me where I live. I question him back where was I. For life of me, I couldn’t recognise the road where I was. Button Eyes tells me where both the intersection of roads leads to. I quickly nod as if I understand all that he has told me. Scared that he might offer to drop or I will make myself look more foolish, I walked off in daze. I stood there at the signal for few minutes. Out of corner of my eye, I saw Button Eyes drive his car off.
Then, randomly asked a van driver which way was ‘X’, the place I live. Don’t know what he saw, he said he would drop me since he was going that way. I refused, I had enough of auto in a day, I crossed the road with bit difficulty since light had turned green while I was mid-way. And then I went home. Later, I realised I hadn’t paid the auto driver who had caused the accident. What are the norms about paying in such a situation?
I wanted to share this with someone. Not Family. They would panic. No point in alarming friends either. Moreover, you don’t call anyone and say, hey you know I just had an accident.
But I needed to tell someone that I had survived. Had not the auto collided with that divider, I might have broken my back with the fall. I just had few bruises on back and scratches on elbow. Someone who loves me has been really praying hard for me that I was saved. A close shave.
Also, now I see my sister’s accident a month ago in new light. She too had a close shave but had some serious fractures. And she couldn’t remember how she came under that vehicle. Though I won’t pester her about it, I worried. A doctor explained to me that in shock it happens that you don’t remember the moments before the accident. May be she will remember few months later. I now know what the doctor meant. I too have no recollection how my auto ended up on the opposite side of that road, how the accident started. Not that I care.
But I have a learnt a lesson. When a thing hiccups like the two earlier bumps auto driver made, it’s time to cut your losses and move on. I should have left that auto sooner, as my instincts said. Be it a relationship, friendship or stocks, listen to your instincts and cut your losses sooner. Sometimes it is not meant to get better. I am glad that I live to tell you that.
Now that this has been written, my nerves feel steady; I guess I should prepare to go the party. What the heck, I have earned it.
P.S: On an earthy note, my friend Prateek has been nominated for Indiblogger of the Month for the best Original Poetry category. Please see details here and vote for him. Prateek is also a regular on Blogadda #perkytweets for his humour.
Incidentally, two other poet bloggers, Sriharsha and Vishesh on my blogroll have also been nominated there, so please vote for them too. You can vote for 5 people at Indiblogger. Here is the Indiblogger link, please vote for my friends. May the best man win! 🙂