While most people were celebrating an auspicious start to a new year last week, I was celebrating a whole new chance at life!
They say that when you do something ten thousand times, you get really good at it. That day I had crossed 8,800 km on my less than a year old Honda and I thought to myself that by the time of my wedding which is coming up in a month’s time, I would have covered a good 10k! But life doesn’t necessarily have to follow plan A, does it?
I would have driven on the NH66 from Manipal to Mangalore and back over 50 times in the past 10 months and it was undoubtedly one of the best parts of my weekly routine.
But last Wednesday called in for a series of events that changed so many things at so many levels for me and my close ones for once and for all.
I was driving at a time and speed I was used to but that evening I somehow missed one of the medians and went straight onto it. My car toppled over and we took a 360 degree spin. By we, I’m referring to my Honda and me. We always made a good team and kept each other company on most of my longer trips.
Now when you’re in a life and death situation like the one I was in, I realized that you experience a plethora of emotions. Initially, when the car went over the median, I went, ” Oh shit, my car! “. While it flipped over, I felt trapped and alone – I didn’t want to live the rest of my life as a vegetable if I did have any left and so I panicked beyond comprehension and then suddenly a moment came where some kind of a calmness took over me. A kind that I had never experienced before. There was no panic, no anxiety, no pain afterwards. I thought my little mission here was over and I was ready to go. But if that were the case, I wouldn’t be writing this today.
God works in mysterious ways! And miracles most definitely do happen. To me,this week and to you, sooner or later but they do happen. And when it happens to you, you’ll be just as amused and startled as I’m today.
To my good fortune, my car toppled over onto the same side of the road and landed back on all four wheels without hurting anybody present around. The entire roof had caved in till just a few inches away from my head, the windshield completely smashed but not broken, the driver side window shattered fully and the side mirror on that side flew in through the window and was lying on the left side seat and the airbags inflated and deflated at the end of all of it. There were about fifty odd people around my car who opened the door for me. I unbuckled and ran out for a few feet, stopped and turned back to see my little chap completely unrecognizable. I couldn’t help but cry. Nobody could believe that one could walk out of that vehicle without a single bruise on the body.
In those few moments I lost so many things – besides my car and phone and everything else in the car, I lost a big part of my confidence with it. Driving has always been a happy chore for me and I enjoyed every second of my life I spent driving. From Pondicherry and Coorg to Kerala and back, Bekal – Mangalore….short drives to Malpe and Mattu… all of it has been an exhilarating experience.
Once I was calm, I got a phone from one of them and called Honda Roadside Assistance to come tow my heroic Honda away. I watched her being taken away. I had a gut feeling that it would be the last time I’d see her. She had gone through much more than what could be fixed and so I had to write her off. I loved my car and she most definitely loved me back till the very last moment. It almost looked like there was a cocoon around me that saved me that evening.
If you’d call it bad luck, I’d call myself the luckiest unlucky person. A week later, when I reflect on it, I only feel blessed in so many different ways. The fear has gotten the better half of me and I will not be able to cross Padubidri for a long time without a shudder down my spine. Suddenly Mangalore seemed inaccessible and distant to me but I got a family ever so loving that they made recovery seem so much easier to me from where I started exactly a week ago, a fiancé who came immediately to the spot where the incident occurred, took me away, took me to the hospital just to double ensure that I was okay, traveled beside me till I got home and dropped me to my parents and made me Nutella sandwiches for the bus journey! If that isn’t love, what is? A brother and sister, halfway across the globe going out of their way to make me feel alright in every possible way. My sister says maybe it’s time for me to pick up new skills now. Friends and teachers who helped me out with all the formalities and to cope up over the next couple of days.
I still find going to sleep a task and get a bad dream or two now and then. It’s definitely not been an easy way out. It will take time, and time alone can heal but I’ve been given a new life with a renewed spirit, so all I can do is give back a little to the world, one smile at a time in return to what the universe has given me. Cheers!
P.s :- Always always wear your seat-belt while driving! Trust me when I say they work.
About the Author: The author is pursuing her Post graduation in dentistry at Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal. She’s appreciating life a little more each day.