Saturday, 29 August 2015
The Scooter Accident
It was during one of the times, when there was strenuous exercise and training going on in anticipation of the impending operations, everybody in the unit was a forced bachelor and once in a while, we gather on the top of flat concrete roof to relax over a drinks and some ‘changpa’ (Something that is taken along with the drinks).
The liver was fried almost crisp and the fragrance oozed by it made my mouth water. We arranged plastic chairs around a table to enjoy the evening, grandly. Just when we are about to get settled one of our friends want to go to Lodarai to attend some emergency. I volunteered to reach him there on a scooter of my friend Teepee. The place was only about six kilometers away and if I speed up, I would be back within a few minutes, most importantly, before the mouth watering fried liver is finished.
Due to heavy rain in the past summer the bridge over the river on the way to Lodarai was washed away. There was detour over the dry river bed and we followed that detour and reached him safely. One the way back I was alone and it was easier drive fast, besides the yummy fried liver and the drinks pre occupied my mind and I completely forgot about the broken bridge and the detour that need to be taken. The darkness and the headlight of a car coming from the opposite direction blinded me partially and gave me the illusion of a clear way ahead on a straight road of the plains.
When I realized about the missing bridge and the detour that I must take, I was too close to the vertical fall and my speed was above sixty kilometer per hour, even the air brake or nuclear brake, if there is such thing, would not be able to stop me from falling. I let go and took the plunge along with the scooter.
Slide show of my whole life flashed across my eyes in super-fast-forward mode, interrupted only by the fried liver and drinks laid on the table ready to be consumed. I fell on the jagged remains of the concrete around fifteen feet below. When I came back to senses, I was lying on the ground with the scooter on top of me, turned turtle, but not touching my body as it was stopped by the haphazard design formed by the crumpled remains of the bridge. I got out from below the scooter and checked for the serviceability of my limbs. All fine. Except for some scratches here and there and piercing pain from my missing finger, rest are all fine.
The people from the car, that blinded me by its headlight came to my rescue and pulled the scooter out, on the road. When I kicked I felt a sharp pain near the ankle but the scooter fired up to its life. I rode the twisted scooter back at a turtle pace, not bothering about the fried liver and the drinks anymore.
When we went back to see the accident site the next day, it was quite surprising for us that I survived the fall with all those remains of iron rods protruding out of the broken concrete slabs, which once, borne the weight of the vehicles traveling over it. My friends jocularly named the bridge after my name but it failed to hold on beyond our stay there as we packed up after couple of months to go to Dewathang.
Had there been a hazard marking or fence, it would have been a different story. I am just grateful to the God, for letting me go unscathed to continue on the journey of life. If your time is not up even ‘Panjees’ (jagged sharp poles used as obstacles) would avoid piercing your body but I m not going to try that again anytime soon. Even now, I shudder thinking of that incident, however, it made me more careful driver – chicken hearted driver – one will not be lucky the second time.