“To live and die or to die and live again….the question that haunts me always.”
I was wrapping up my work for the day and was telling myself that I have to sleep early tonight and not to be on Twitter for long. I had to go to the ATM in the morning before I go to office. Since last 3 days I kept searching for an ATM with some cash in it, but to no avail. I had used up all the cash I had and needed to withdraw for the toll payment at least. I slept around midnight setting my alarm for 7:00 AM and then I set couple more just as a backups for 7:15 AM and 7:30 AM. And I knew I would snooze all three and go back to sleep, yet had to set them.
Next morning when the alarm started to ring, I kept snoozing it multiple times as I didn’t want to wake up from my dream. Then I suddenly woke up scolding myself as the clock struck 8:00 O’Clock. I got ready in a hurry and left home by 9:00 AM after several scolds from Amma that every day is the same drama. As I was rushing towards the city, I had to cross the lonely stretch of 7 km from my home to enter the city limits.
As I rode, I saw the bike ahead of me who was pretty much in the same speed as me. I was trying to overtake but was not able to as that person wasn’t giving me the way. After we crossed the Shani Temple, that bike increased the speed and I let that person go ahead. As we were approaching the curve ahead, I saw a truck from the opposite side that was speeding while turning towards the village. The bike ahead of me was trying to get through the curve before the truck could turn. But unfortunately as I was seeing the truck hit the bike on the right side and sped away. Immediately the person on the bike fell and wasn’t moving at all. I stopped and so did other drivers around to go check on that person. But no movement, the person was in a pool of blood. I had tears rolling down my cheeks already and I was shivering. It was the first accident I saw happen right in front of my eyes. I was in a shock!
I couldn’t believe that the person alive a few seconds ago was no more. I started thinking of the family who might be waiting for that person to return. I thought to myself, if I had over taken that bike near the temple, it could have been me lying there now. I had chills thinking about it. I couldn’t do much there and couldn’t stand looking at the mayhem in the middle of the road. So I left with tears still in my eyes. I barely could ride my bike but I had to. I was hoping that an ambulance would rush soon to the accident spot. I was cursing the truck driver who didn’t even bother to stop and check on the person he hit. With these thoughts I finally reached the ATM, withdrew the money I needed and was thinking if I should go to office or return home and may be work from home. My mental state after that accident was very disturbed. I decided to go back home.
It was more than an hour since that accident had happened and I was hoping the scene to be cleared by the time I was crossing it on my way back home. As I approached that curve, I saw the crowd still there. I stopped again this time scolding the ambulance services loudly as to why can’t they get in time. I mustered up the courage to go near and see why they have not cleared it still. I heard the ambulance approach as I went near the accident place. The crowd was talking and murmuring about the person and I could hear that it was a girl not too old, probably headed to the office. I saw the bike that was in the middle of the road and she next to it in a pool of blood with her face down, curled up like a baby. I saw that people had removed her backpack and kept it near the bike. The ambulance arrived and people made way for them. I stood there wanting to look at that girl. I was crying for her, her family and loved ones who had no clue about it. As they put her on the stretcher, I saw her blue duppatta fly in the air, the blue and white salwar on her looked pretty. Her curly hair dipped in the blood was no longer dancing to the windy weather. Amidst all this, I found some smile on her face which seemed weird to me.
The face seemed very familiar and as they came near, I felt the jolt. I saw myself on the stretcher. “How is this even possible?” My soul was watching my body being taken to the hospital. As I saw them searching my purse to find the name and address, and I didn’t see the currency notes I had withdrawn just a while back. It was empty like my life.
I wanted to cry out loud. I wanted to shout that my home was near by where my Amma was home unaware of the mishap. I wanted to say that I had not finished living my life just yet….I needed another chance. A chance to correct, to change, to say sorry, to love, to smile and to be what I can be.
“The curve had witnessed my last few minutes of pain, cries, dreams flying away and my breath leaving my body.”
Amma was frantically shaking me hearing me speak loudly and I woke up with tears still on my cheeks hands shivering I was unsure what had happened. “Was it all a dream?” Amma told me I was crying and screaming in my sleep and probably because of a nightmare. She was scolding me that I should sleep in on time at night thinking of the god so I don’t get such nightmares rather than waste time on social media. She told me to get ready and moved into the kitchen to finish cooking the breakfast.
As I sat on my bed still wondering about my nightmare, I saw my blue duppatta underneath the white and blue salwar on the shelf that I had kept out last night for today. I kept blinking at the dress for a long time. “Should I go out or not?” I kept asking myself as I tried to get out of the bed.
“Risking my life and throwing it away are two different things.”
PS: This is inspired from a real incident (accident) that I had witnessed on Kanakapura main road soon after I had moved in to my new home. The accident has stayed in my memory as it is even today. Every time I cross the curve, I fear I might die there same way as that person some day.