It was already nightfall, and I was returning home pushing my bicycle along, walking. I was coming back after a few games of cricket or tennis, I do not exactly remember. I used to play both during those days. I was giving side to a vehicle that overtook another vehicle, both coming from the opposite side, when I tripped over a narrowing of the road and fell to a depth of about 10 feet. That area of the road was not as broad as the road in general which had a small bridge that had no railings. I tripped and landed 10 feet below and my head banging against a boulder as I fell face down.
I felt pain and shock, my body became still, and I can hear the sound of vehicles plying overhead through the road. I was down under about the side of the road, prone, and though my mind was conscious since I can hear vehicles plying, I was not able to move a limb. Any attempt to move the body was met with extreme pain and agony. Helplessness. I was dreadful.
After some time, I was able to stand up and I realized that I had blood drawn from the gash on the forehead. I stood up, took my bicycle from that waterless-canal and climbed higher onto the road. My shirt was wet with blood oozing down from the forehead.
Then a few people started to gather. One man helped me with the rim of the bicycle which had turned to one side. While he was straightening the front-tire by putting it in-between his legs, another person asked me what had happened. I started to talk, but my speech started to slur.
Like I had just eaten something extremely cold, like an ice-cream. I was in my late teenage years, and everyone started saying that I was drunk and fell into the ditch inebriated. It was a common man’s gathering. At least some people were trying to make everyone believe, including me, that they believed that I was drunk.
Some people asked me to go to the hospital. I politely said no. I did not have a habit of going to the hospital. I took my bicycle and proceeded to my house. I had to push the bicycle for sometime because my body was shivering and arms were feeling numb. Even before I reached my house, I started to feel that everything was normal and my mind started to drift toward mundane things. In my house I dressed up the wound applying Burnol. I was fine soon.
In hindsight, there are a few lessons that I learned from the incident. First is that a teenager can take a blow like that. Currently, I can’t fancy taking the bicycle from the ditch, climbing higher, and going back home. I still would love to do that, but I am unsure if I would dare it. Going to the hospital is a safer bet.
Second lesson is that no one would know the magnitude of an incident while it happens and when you are too close. In 2004, during the Indian-Ocean-tsunami more than 200,000 people died. A massive earthquake in the seabed had triggered tsunami-waves across the Indian Ocean. If I were in the seafront during the Tsunami and had escaped undead, my personal experience would not have been too much different.
Our body and mind have a mechanism built-in to deal with emergencies, and what matters is the outcome that whether you survived or not. When the big picture arrives and when you sit back and look it from another perspective, any comparison vis-à-vis the magnitude of the things that had happened serves only academic interest.