Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lucky, very lucky

There have been times when I used to crib about my luck, that exams would always have questions from the chapters I hadn't studied, that I would always get the toughest expts in practical exams, that Murphy would rule supreme, so on and so forth. But now no more. After my miraculous escape yesterday and the incredible luck that I had, I dont think I shall ever make a sound about being "unlucky". Ok, I get it that I am not making sense, so, let me tell the story from the start.

Woke up with a bad cold yesterday. It being saturday, it was lab meeting day. But since I wasn't presenting, it was enough if I reached by 2:30 PM. Left home by 1:45. Should reach comfortably, I thought, especially since there isn't much traffic in the afternoons. The 12 km ride to IISc started off as usual, nothing new, some guys cutting you across, you cutting off some others, some signals, the usual roads, nothing different. Then, after crossing Majestic, on the sloping road, in the shadow of the overhead railway tracks, lay the Hole. The Pothole to put all other Potholes to shame. A small, 6 - 8 inch deep, innocuous looking thing. It was so placed that I could see it only when I was nearly over it. And I could not swerve fast enough to avoid it. In went the scooty and the front wheel got jammed in it. The scooty catapulted, throwing me on to the road. Then, the vehicle fell on to my body and rolled over me to the other side. I remember weird thoughts running through my head - "shit! Just bought a new mobile, might get damaged in the fall", " how damaged is the vehicle?", "Am I holding up the traffic?", "Will get late going to campus today" etc etc. A motorcyclist stopped and helped me get up, a maruti alto stopped a few metres away and the driver got out and rushed. As I got up I figured out I was fine, just a few scratches and nothing more, remember thinking that it was really good that I always wore a helmet. Then, when people tried to move the scooty they realised that the front wheel fork bend had got bent, and the front wheel was jammed and not moving. The motorcyclist and the car driver together tried kicking the wheel and trying to get it move. Though I wondered once if they would cause more harm than good, I decided to just leave the matter to people with more idea about vehicles.

Called the Bean. Said he'd turn up there. By then, the people helping me had flagged down a luggage auto and had haggled over the price with him. He agreed for 80 rs to take it to the nearest garage. These guys then lifted the scooty into the auto and the motor bike wala ofered to follow the auto and drop me off at the garage. Off we went to a garage near Nataraj theatre. Prakash, the motor cycle guy, asked me if I had money to pay the auto, else he could do that and also waited till the garage guys diagnosed the problem. He told me that he worked for marketing for SBI credit cards. When I thanked him for helping, his only reply was "If I had had an accident, someone else would have helped. It is ok" I was really touched.

The garage workers told me that the shaft had broken, had to be welded, also, it had been bent and had to be straightened. Also, some mis alignment had happened and had to be set right. Trivial.

The real impact of the accident hit me when Prakash said, "The scooty can be repaired but thank God, you are alright. The manner in which you fell made me feel that you might have broken your backbone or your hip." True. The possibilities are frightening - brain damage, neck fracture, spinal damage, hip fracture - any of these could have made me paraplegic, or even a vegetable. A state worse to death. Scares me to the core to think of it. Don't know if it is God's grace, or the protective cocoon of Love that envelopes me, or sheer luck that I came out safe and unscathed.

Have never before felt this thankful to be Alive. Or, as the Bean put it, Alive and Kicking. In the literal sense of the phrase.