“Bhaiyya. Thoda jaldi chalo”.
It’s the third time in last 5 minutes I’ve made this statement.
It was really creepy the way he turn his head a little and nods at me.
The look on his face. His eyes. ‘Uuh’. Chills down my spine.Thankfully this time instead of scary look, he had accelerated a bit.
I am already late by 10 minutes and phone assures me that my destination 2 more kilometers.
God!! This meeting. I’ve postponed and postponed it. Yet it is inevitable. I know it. I have to do this sooner or later. I could’ve taken it last friday. Relaxed and clear mind. But today? Of all days today!! Tea spilled on my shirt and left a nice stain. More brown on my shoes. Thanks to this lovely rain. Soaked head to toe.
And now this traffic is bugging me too. All I can see is reddish tinge over a dark blanket. Oh God! How many vehicles are stuck here. Oh great, GREEN now. Finally some movement.
No No No…Not yet. Please God. Not now.
Are you kidding me? On the line??
“Bhaiyyaa! Koi policewala nahi he. Chalo chalo. Late ho raha he.”
Thankfully he understood.
Look front you moron. You are driving.
Oh no. no no no….
Everything happening at once.
Everything happening in slow motion.
I can see chrome on black, a pair of LED headlamps. Is that a Benz?
Now comes the impact.
My body being jerked and thrown away. Flying.
Pieces of glass floating.
The face inside the car. A horrified look.
Is this the last thing I am going to see before I die??
A man in his 50s, with a french beard and a horrified look.?
Why isn’t my life running in rewind?
Am I dead already?
I can’t feel anything.
Am I being lifted?
Am I floating on clouds?
Is this what dying feels like?
Slow free fall onto the clouds?
Somebody is calling me!
The Angel is calling my name.
I can’t see her.
I am here Angel. No words are coming out of mouth.
I am here.
Is that the Sun?
Is this heaven or hell?
Angel, I’m here.
Oh this horrible headache.
I don’t want to die now!!!
I’ve still got headache! I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache, I’d be all cross and wouldn’t enjoy it!
Oh great! I’m quoting Douglas Adams now!
Is that mean I’m dead already?
How long has it been?
10 minutes? An hour? A day? An year?
Whatever happened to the meeting I am supposed to attend?
Oh God! Meeting. The CRASH!!
My eyes opened suddenly. Everything foggy white.
Am I still around clouds.
Wait. Flurry action of eyelids cleared the view.
That’s a wall. White wall.
Wait a minute. I’m lying down? That’s the ceiling.
I’m on a hospital bed.
My head is still groggy and heavy. Can’t move it much.
To my right, two empty beds and a full body cast at the far end.
Damn! Its too difficult to turn my head. Whoa. My head is swimming.
Another empty bed on my left.
Cool. Some fruits for me.
Somebody visited me.
Whoa. More swimming. I feel like I’m doing somersaults repeatedly.
Yup, I passed out. Yay, I’m alive.
How long has it been since my last consciousness bout?
How long since the accident?
My head seems better. Still heavy. Yet lot lot better.
The full body cast on far right is still there. He got company too. Couple of guys.
Bed on my left is still empty.
Fruits are gone.
A book is here.
Can’t read the title. Just some big yellow book. With a bookmark hanging in the middle.
Somebody waiting for me here.
A blanket on the chair.
Somebody waited all night here.
Who might that be?
Who knows that I am here. And wherever that ‘here’ is!
Do my parents know.
Wait even I dunno what happened to me.
Hands. Right’s fine. Couple of plasters. Check
Left is busted. Big ugly cast below the elbow. Check
Legs. Again right seems fine. Could lift it too. Left’s got a cast. All pins and needles below the knee. Check
Head still hurts. Okay. A small bandage.
Overall I seem OK.
Someone is coming. Footsteps approaching. Where is the damn door.
‘Click. Tuck. Pschh’
It is my angel. She became immobile the moment our eyes met. She clutched her mouth and tears started rolling. My sweet angel. Don’t cry.
Only a single word escaped my mouth. Angel. That made the tap go full on.
She rushed to my side. A faint smile appeared on her went one come on mine. A twinkle in the eye and a smile on her lips. Heaven indeed.
“I am really really sorry baby. I should’ve postponed the dinner meeting like you said”, words flowing from her mouth is music to my ears.
“I am a fool. Its all my fault. Why did I insist you meet my father that very day. Why did I compel you so much.”, she continued.
I found enough strength to say “Its not your fault baby. Don’t worry. I will be fine. No. Now that you are here, I am fine already.”.
‘Click. Tuck. Pschh’
Something caught my eye.
Face at the door. Man in his 50s, with a french beard and a worried look.
“I shouldn’t have made daddy drive fast. I made him drive fast. Its all my …..”
World melting around me. Only thing I see ‘Man in his 50s, french beard and a satisfied smile’. So we meet. My dreaded meeting looks like a success. At a cost.
Meeting concluded and the deal was struck when I replied with a forgiving smile.