Muffled voices, echo from somewhere far and a feeling of being lifted, Rahul saw sparkling white glow descending and illuminating everything around. What could that be, he wondered. He was all in white and was being transported to someplace else. It was a celestial feeling!
Sunday morning was full of activity as usual. Rahul made the rounds to the kitchen & flower garden; repaired the Iron Gate that needed a fix, brought the car out from the garage and gave it a wash. After a sumptuous breakfast he decided to take Tuli & Ron, his two children for the weekend shopping. Weather was cool.
Rahul was posted as an officer in Public works Department in the North East of India. One needs a lot of nerve to drive through hilly terrain. It was a 20 minutes drive to another hill, towards the cemetery. The daily market was way down, around 200 stone steps downhill. You feel an eerie as you descend down the rugged steps -a rather creepy with mossy old buildings on both sides. Once you reach the market place you will find an open space where you get to see temporary sheds. Pork, mutton, beef and even deer meat etc. are hung in the shops. The locals’ main food is meat. Rarely will you get green vegetables. Being a Bengali, Rahul was always on the lookout for fishes. He was not always lucky. So the alternative was eggs & chicken other than vegetables.
Once his shopping was done, he drove to a book stall where he mostly frequent while coming back from his work place. That day was also not different. An avid reader, he dropped by and brought newspapers and some magazines. He had a huge collection of novels which he thought useless at one point of time and there were no takers unfortunately. So he gave them for free to shops that sell grocery. They found them useful to make paper bags. His collection is a continuous one till to this day.
Before he finally decided to drive back home he stopped by to buy some candies for his kids. Several thoughts were coming to his mind as he was moving home ward and within a split second he didn’t know where he was. Everything had gone black. His car suddenly jerked violently, losing control and came spinning more than 100 feet down and got entangled to a tree midway! All the residents nearby rushed to the spot and soon after, the police arrived and pulled Rahul and the kids and hurried them to the nearby hospital. He was unconscious and bleeding profusely from his forehead. His terrified kids were lucky with just few scratches here and there. News already spread to all his friends and colleagues.
The telephone screamed and a police was at the other end. Rahul’s wife received it and without giving a thought to change, rushed to the hospital. The very word “accident” sounds fatal, especially when any car mishap occurs in hilly regions.
The wrenching pain all over his body woke him from the reverie! He was blood soaked. He looked around to find himself in a room with a doctor and two nurses! His tearful wife beside him looked panicky. She hugged him and said everything will be alright.“Where are the kids –our son & daughter?,” exclaimed Rahul. “Do not panic Mr. Bose, they are doing absolutely fine”, said one of the attending nurse. With a pat on his wife’s hand he smiled, trying to recollect what went wrong.
Everything seemed to have changed. Rahul looked thinner and dull once he was done with the attending doctor. The car stuck up on a tree saved his life said many of his friends. It was indeed a challenging job to bring out all of them from a hanging dismantled car. The rescue operation took more than one hour. The steering wheel broke and a part of it struck Rahul’s forehead. He bled profusely and that might have made him look weak. Rahul, his wife and the two kids huddled at each other before one of his friends drove them to their home. Praise the Lord!
n.b.: incident took place in the year 1980
image : google