Friday, November 20

A Haunting Episode

Sometimes there are certain incidents in your life that leave a permanent imprint on your mind. More often than not, they’re not very pleasant. It’s easy to forget something that made you smile, but difficult to forget something that sent a chill down your spine. I want to share one such incident in my life. It had happened a few years ago. It had scared the hell out of me and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over it.

It was a normal day. I had to go out for some class but realized at the eleventh hour that there was no petrol in my bike. Cursing myself for forgetting to refill the tank I went out on foot, since I’d get an auto only on the main road which was a few minutes’ walk from my place. I was already running late, this was the last thing I needed. I was pre-occupied with my own thoughts, I’d be late for the class and the professor would sarcastically comment that I’d overslept or I had more important things to do and the class was not my priority.

With these thoughts running in my mind I started crossing the road. I  was properly scanning the road for any traffic. I was in the middle of the road when I felt a violent whiff of air on my face. I was wondering what it was when I saw an auto speeding in one direction. The auto-driver was cursing me. Then I saw some people standing on the other side of the road also looking at me and shouting. For some time I didn’t understand what happened. I quietly crossed the rest of the distance and went to the other side.

It was then that reality dawned upon me. It was a one-way and I was checking for traffic in the wrong direction! The whiff of air that I felt was ‘se of the auto which had missed me by just a few millimeters. The driver had been honking all the time, the passers-by had tried to warn me, but I’d heard nothing!

For some time after that I felt that I couldn’t breathe. I couldn't stop thinking what would've happened of me had the auto as much as rubbed against me. But God probably had different plans for me than to take my life at such an unguarded moment. May be he wanted me to live the rest of my life with the haunted memories of that day and being thankful for what didn't happen.

I live in Mumbai which has very busy roads.I need someone to walk with me or I take an eternity to cross the road even now. Somehow after that episode I've lost that confidence. My husband calls me 'accident-prone' and takes extra care when I'm with him.

I must say, however, that I have a new-found respect for life after that. We take so many things in our life for granted that we fail to see the importance attached with each one of them. Had anything happened to me that time there are so many things I’d have missed. After I came home that day I hugged my mother and cried and apologized for not being the best daughter in the world, and promised that I’d try to be one.

I somehow wanted to get this out of my system. I'm sorry for the emotional atyachaar today........!
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