THE NIGHT IS MY HAVEN, MY SANCTUARY; IT CRADLES MY MUSE, MY VIGOR, MY SANGUINITY.
WHEN THEE AFTER DUSK COMETH LOOKING FOR ME, I REFLECT UPON THEE THAT'D COMETH ONTO ME.

The Fellowship

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Scars from the past ...

Anu seems to have recently chronicled a few accidents she was involved in; and to my freaky surprise, one of the accidents happens to be eerily similar. Ever since, I've wanted to do a post commemorating a couple of accidents that left behind some bodily memorabilia. Before i start, let me just preface the episodes to follow by saying that i grew up like most normal boys, with a penchant for speed, thrill and risk taking... and also, a boy always gotta do what he gotta do...

Sope, look deep into the 32-bit color screen that you have and imagine that we have a black-n-white helix spiraling into the unknown and merging into a peppered dark sky and slowly but gradually the focus shifts to life set in a sepia tone.... and ta-daaaaa.... you've just traversed through time in a very doordarshan-istic style and rolled back 6 years on your calendar...

Episode 1: Shaken, not stirred.
On one not-so-beautiful summer afternoon, it so happens that i am in a hurry to get home to meet my uncle who just arrived from a very foriegn land called the United States of America... So far, I'd made it to Tarnaka all the way from college, already having travelled 25+ km... Just one last bus and 2.5 km more to get home... Having been through all the dhakka-mukki in the sweltering summer heat, i decided to take a gamble and board a running bus at the cross-section instead of waiting at the bus stand which was insanely crowded... I get to the cross-section and just as I position myself about 20 m from it, i see an approaching bus. It was unusually empty for that time of the day !!! After double-checking the number on the bus, i just take it that it is a "God-send" and I go for it... I start running, get to the speed of the bus as the back entrance of the bus is just beside me and then it's one last easy jump onto the bus... Perfect boarding, and why not ??? I had 6 -7 years of experience doing it... I occupy a window seat, and just as i take off my college bagpack, i notice that everybody is staring at me, and that the conductor was a lady. One more look around and i knew i was on the wrong bus; I was on a ladies-only bus. I'd heard horror stories of men being beaten for having boarded such buses and i was embarassed as it is.... soooo, i mumbled something like "oh! sorry" and dashed for the exit even as the conductor was explaining that i could get off at the next stop. The bus was still catching speed and i felt like i could get off... I made the jump, with perfect landing mechanics and it was all good. ALMOST. The tail end of my bag's shoulder strap got caught somewhere on the bus and i literally got yanked by the shoulder and was dragged for a good 10 feet or so... Luckily, the strap gave way and i landed on my back cushoned by my backpack but i couldnt avoid a thud to my head... I've been an eda ever since... I went home in torn jeans with a ragged backpack, somewhat bruised, somewhat shaken and somewhat thankful that the white Ambassador car behind breaked just short of my legs....

Episode 2: Sculpting secrets.
Shifting to darker sepia tones, enough to chip and chisel another year-or-so off of the calendar, this incident happened just after my engineering entrance examination. My friend and I decided to visit another friend who'd just shifted from Hyderabad to Guntur... Our trip was great fun and so was the ride back... We'd get off the train at every station, get something to eat or spend time at the book stall or talk to the beggars (which was a favorite group activity) or just look around and get back onboard just as the train got rolling... Just as Sec'bad station was around the corner, we guys decided to get off the train running... Getting off closer to the first exit would make it easier to get to the bus-station; besides, we guys got off moving buses every day and this was no different. ACTUALLY NOT. The differences are
  1. The train is usually moving faster than you think it is.
  2. The platform was on the train's right side, thus necessitating an awkward right foot landing. (The bus' exit is usually on the left side and thus the norm is usually a left foot landing).
  3. The platforms apparently do not provide the same traction that the roads provide, and
  4. We guys were carrying huge 30 lb bagpacks...
Anyway, I was the first to take the jump. First, it seemed like the land had given way the instant i hit the platform and second, the momentum made me fall foward and then the land appreared out of nowhere... On the whole i landed on my behind and did an ass-skate for a good 20 feet at the very least... It was the best ass grinding experience ever, and is the secret behind my shapely heinie. The only scary part was that i was dangerously close to the tracks and could have either easily slipped into the gap between the platform and the train or have been hit by the trains steps... However, i escaped with a lot of scratches, bruises and a red hot arse, PUN VERY INTENDED. My friend did the smart thing and got off further down the platform after the train slowed down and came back trotting to check on me.

Episode 3: Dead man walking.
Tearing a bigger hole into the space-time continuum, let's leap another 18 odd months into the past... Those were my days in junior college (11th/12th grade)... Those were my long hair days... Those were the "you look a lot like the singer Shaan" compliment(???) days... and that was precisely the reason i was growing my hair... I liked Shaan and i did like this tanha dil look... Those were also the 2-years of hell a.k.a IIT grind, which i chose to put myself through... Days started as early as 5 am and ended no earlier than 1 am, weekends or holidays being no exception... 5 mins of doing nothing was a big change and made big difference to the regimen... Regular classes, tutorials, study, assignments, tests and travel took up atleast 18 hours of the day...

Anywhoo, while that was a digression, it provides some necessary background to the singlemost scariest of accidentsi was ever involved in. Once again, on a not-so-beautiful summer afternoon set in darker sepia tones this time, i happen to be waiting at the bus-stop at Narayanguda. An old friend from my under-14 cricket league days appeared (as a "God-send") on his new Hero-Puch and offered to drop me home... We were on the Jamai Osmania University road going towards Tarnaka. Those days, this was the single lane University bypass road. A bus overladen way beyond suggested occupancy pushed us off the road onto the unpaved bumpy sidepath which as it is was a little lower than the road level. K tried to get back onto the road as soon as the bus overtook us but because of the level difference, the tire couldnt climb the step, the handle bar twisted and the vehicle skid.... The Hero-puch skid towards a deep ditch nearby, so K and I had to jump. The Puch landed in the ditch, K ended on the sidepath cushioned by my legs, and i ended flat on the ground, chest and head on the road and the lower body on the sidepath...

Just as i got back to my senses and realised that i was fortunate enough to not have broken any of my 206 bones, i heard a loud blaring horn and screeching tyres; a truck seemed to be on course to squash my head to pulp... With K still on my legs, there was nothing much i could do with a frozen mind and a badly hurting body. I tried to roll, truned my face away and closed my eyes... The screeching sound got louder and somewhere in me, my funny bone tickled and i thought: Soooo this is DOPPLER EFFECT... Then, there was the smell of a burning tyre followed by silence and what felt like a pat on my head... I opened my eyes only to be staring at a truck (lorry) stationed just behind me with a little part of my hair still stuck under the truck's tyre... I was set free by K and eased onto my feet... A whole lot of people seemed to have gathered and only when i saw their expression as witness to a dead-man-walking incident, i realised how short a one-way cruise it could have been to the netherworld.... While most traces of the accident have vanished with time, a 2" x 3" scar on the side of my rib cage still gives me the chills... Oh! btw, the new Hero-puch had to be sold to the junk yard for whatever little money it's metal was worth...

That my friends was the very first time i deceived death and its scheming ways... I've had to do it a few other times... What death doesnt know is that i am willing to die... but only on one particular day of the year... Until the dark-hooded demon figures that out, i shall continue to live... so long...

so long...

10 comments:

Fosix said...

good lord... this is a long post... i think i'll take a day off from work and read it... :D

Crouching Tigress said...

Wow sounded like plots of sidey Bollywood movies! Just kiddin :p. Also, touch wood and hopefully you are less accident prone in the future.
Btw, the all ladies bus thing was hilarious. I didnt know such buses existed though.

Seashells said...

@ fosix
Why do you think i posted it just before the long weekend ?

@ searchinformrmojorising
Maybe i should make one then ? As for the ladies only bus, they did exist in Hyderabad... I haven't seen one in recent times though...

Anu Russell said...

hey the ladies bus i guess still exists in T.Nadu...it is a good concept for the women to be free from men in the crowded busses...

First off...Great blog...Very funny...ya such accidents are always funny as an after thought now that we are alive and safe and unharmed but for a few scars...

Second off...your hair pulling accident...golly so similar...shoot...i cannot imagine...Ya...you were right...it is even scary...two people different place, different time, but almost similar accident...hahaha!

I am glad you are okay and hope we both are free of these for a very long time...

And the reason I always say Drive Safe to all my friends who drive is because I lost a friend to an accident...I do not want to loose another...rememeber you asked me about this...

Seashells said...

@ anu
Seeee.... I told ya... spooky spooky accident... Anyway, now that i'm done with the post, will you get that albatross off my neck...

Swathi said...

so i discovered today that u r from Hyd (shud i say same pinch ?? ;)

n those accidents! 'am glad i am not witness to any of it - 'coz i freek out at the sight of any accident..

Fosix said...

\:D/ wuhoo \:D/ i finally finsihed reading this post....

you should have given the ladies on the bus a "hey, how you doin?" look before jumping off...

"hot ass" huh ?? how i see the reason for your large female fan base :P
and by "large", i meant "quantity", not "size" :D :P

damn, i had a puch too... one sweet machine !!

Seashells said...

@ swathi
Naah... if we ever cross paths, let's pinch :P .... btw, i did know that u r from Hyd...

@ fosix
LOL... None of the ladies on that bus were really worth the charm...

Puchs were kick ass.. just an upgrade from mofa... remember mofa ?? :))

Neha said...

phew... i was reading the first two and thinking gosh how terrible and then u said the scariest.. my god!! i jus todnt noe wat to say! i jus hope u never ever have any accident in life anymore!

Seashells said...

@ neha
touch wood :)