I was going to write about our impromptu trip to Cochin and our long awaited trip to Pondicherry. The glorious time we had in these places, enjoying the company of J who was visiting India for some work assignments in Cochin.
Revisiting our old favorite places in Pondicherry. Reliving fond memories , eating at our old favorite regulars and doing a wee bit of shopping there.
There were a few more places we wanted to visit. I wanted the children to know their culture and their heritage, the history of the land they come from. And then something totally unexpected happened and all of our other travel plans came to a screeching halt!
On fourth May mid afternoon ,when we were returning from Pondicherry , going towards Thanjavur, a bus coming from the opposite end of the road, didnot see our little car coming in the curve of the road , overtook a bus in front, and collided head on into our car. By Gods great mercy , we all came out alive to tell the tale of the mishap without a single broken bone!Oh yes , there was blood ;lots of it and shattered glass everywhere. A disbelief that it really happened that followed, when the what really happened message, reached the brain. A bus load of kind strangers stopped to help us even as the bus that hit us fled the scene; and I couldn’t remember where we were coming from or going to!
Being stranded in the middle of nowhere , our car smashed up completely in the front, my severely bleeding mom , my stuck in the car and visibly upset dad,my hysterically crying nine year old, my unfazed fifteen year old ( who usually screams he’s bleeding to death on sight of a drop of blood!) offering words of encouragement and comfort to my parents, standing like a rock support by me, running around to gather our things , unaware of the fact that he himself had a deep cut on his leg that required four stitches,complete strangers who were nothing short of Angels in disguise rushing to help us , with not even one person trying to take advantage of the situation,the ride in the ambulance to an unknown hospital, the kind doctors, the exploitive hospital helpers, help from unknown quarters,my children sleeping on the hospital floor without a murmur or a sigh for the first time ever, my cousins rushing to my help early next morning ,after a coincidendal call one of them made to me, while I was waiting for my mom to finish her CT Scan. Taking over from me completely from there…are some of the things ,I know, are not going to get erased out of my mind in a haste.
This incident will also stay in my mind for ever as the one point where I realized that there was a role reversal happening .It was time to take over the charge of handling things. There was no one but us-my cousins and I
to handle things and we had to step up to the plate! and we did just that We’ve seen our parents take care of their parents and us and it somehow it never struck me, we will be there one day doing just that!
When I hear of stories of how entire families have died in accidents, how severely injured people were robbed by way side dacoits,( who I am told lay in wait for accidents to happen ) I shudder and thank God over and over again for protecting us through the mishap .Even though our car was completely crushed and is useless now, I cannot be grateful enough for having each of my family alive and well.