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A scary Wednesday night

A life-changing experience and some takeaways

Ah-ha... it’s time for brain curry. It was Wednesday evening when my friends Pavan and Deepanshu and I headed towards Yashwant Place in Chanakyapuri, Delhi for dinner at a restaurant called Al Kuresh. As described by Pavan, it was known for its brain curry. We were joined there by Pavan’s friend Akul.

But we were told by the waiter that brain curry was not available at that time. Therefore we had to be satisfied with the other Mughal delicacies that were on offer. It was indeed a very delicious dinner.

Then we booked a cab to go to our accommodations in Saket. Pavan and Akul sat in the back seat. Deepanshu asked me whether I wanted to sit at the back or front. I said no worries, I will sit at the front. So I sat at the front seat and the three of them in the back. I fastened the seat belt and our journey began. There was very little traffic and we were enjoying the smooth drive.

There was a blind turn while going from Lado Sarai to the Mehrauli-Badarpur road, almost 3 km from Saket. Our car was travelling at a speed of around 50 kmph. I was busy talking. Suddenly at the blind turn, I saw a small car at a speed of 100 kmph-plus coming right towards us out of nowhere. Within a fraction of a second we had a head-on collision.

It was almost like a bomb explosion. We all screamed before the collision. For a few seconds, I had a complete blackout. Then suddenly I heard a familiar voice, "get out of the car fast". It was Deepanshu. I opened my eyes, unbuckled the seat belt and tried to open the door. The door was jammed as the car was almost crushed. I pushed the door harder and finally it opened. I slid out and suddenly my eyes were blinded by a cloud of smoke. By the roadside I saw Pavan, Deepanshu and Akul standing. I went towards them and sat there on the footpath.

For some time I was not able to breathe properly. My whole body was aching. I was wondering whether my ribs were broken or I had suffered internal bleeding. Then I saw that both the cars were heavily damaged. The small car was almost crushed. I saw three or four man in that car. All were heavily bleeding, as if someone had poured a jug of blood over them. Luckily, nothing had happened to us except some bruises. I was still not sure what had happened to me, how badly I was injured, whether I was crushed on the dashboard. I asked them to carry me to hospital.

Then we rushed by an autorickshaw (we dared not to call a cab) to a nearby hospital. On the way, I was scared, not for my pain but by the thoughts about the accident. For the first time my mind and body were asking for some kind of emotion. Maybe sympathy, maybe some human touch, I don't know, but that feeling was different. There was pain in my arms, ribs, shoulder, stomach, spine, almost everywhere. I was not able to walk properly. Pavan was holding me. We went into the emergency room. The doctor checked me. I had a BP of 100/60 (below normal) and heart rate of 98 (very high). The doctor gave me some painkillers and other medicines. He told me to consult an orthopaedic doctor if the pain persists. He discharged me within half an hour. Deepanshu then booked an autorickshaw to Saket.

As we were going towards Saket we were all thinking about the accident. Every passing vehicle scared us. Everybody's face had horror writ large on it. Each of us had faced such a situation for the first time in our lives.

Now we started talking about different permutations and combinations. What if we were travelling by an autorickshaw instead of a car; what if I hadn't fastened the seat belt; what if the other vehicle was a truck instead of a small car; what if the car had caught fire? Any of these combinations might have proved fatal. I knew everybody was thanking God in their minds. We reached Saket. Somehow I climbed up four floors and reached my room. My roommate was scared as we had informed him about that accident over the phone. Seeing me in one piece, he heaved a sigh of relief.

Although my body is in pain, I know I will recover within a few weeks. Thinking about that accident I am still scared, but I also have a smile on my

face. I am scared because it was a near-death experience for me. I remember that just before the accident I thought I'll die. The speed of the car was scary and it virtually came out of nowhere.

I am grinning now because compared to other people’s experiences our problems are minor. Life is much bigger than all the nonsense we waste our time on. Now I am somewhat understanding it. We start to care about life only when we realise its value.

ak95330@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 7:17:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/a-scary-wednesday-night/article26162368.ece

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