IN EXTREMIS

 

I was returning from my friend’s place. It was almost pitch dark – the road I was taking on my bike. My fists were fresh with bruises I attained by punching a wall the previous night. Above all, I was sleepy. I couldn’t control the bike and fell half-conscious to the ground letting the bike drag me with it for a few meters. I could see the sparks that came out when my bike silencer was getting scratched. It’s the only thing I ever remember from my stupid fall! I landed myself onto a road divider and was lucky that my head didn’t touch it.  As it was about to be  four in the morning, there were people around. I was helped by passersby and everyone exclaimed that I was ‘almost dead’. They made me get back to my feet, which was when I realized my right leg is crushed and lacerated almost everywhere. I knew the fall wasn’t an easy one to escape with. Some were cursing me for not wearing a helmet. But I had only one thing in my mind, which was to go home to my parents who are doctors. I got back on my bike, thanked everyone for their kind help and started the bike only to fall again just a few meters away from all of them. I was forcefully asked to stop by pulling my bike keys away. I called friends I was with during the night and they got me into the first hospital. My parents arrived about 10 minutes after they were informed. To face them was one of the most awkward situations. Later, I was moved to a hospital where my dad works. I was shuffled between rooms that read X-ray, CT scan etc. The last was OT, the ‘Operation Theatre’. I was asked to bend. I could sense a prick in my spine. After a couple of minutes, I felt I had only an upper body; the rest was senseless! I soon fell asleep with this weird feeling. I woke up in an ICU may be two hours later. My spine hurt for the next two days and it took me a complete day to sense my legs. I never hated hospitals as much as I did during this time. I could go home the next day.

At home, I had nothing to do other than reading and browsing as I was asked to stick to the bed. My walls started speaking with me. The corners of the walls were my best friends. My first walk to the balcony and experiencing rain is something I can never forget. My mother looked to me like an angel by my side for two complete weeks. I doubt she has slept even four hours a day. She would carry our sofa cushion and sleep by my side everyday. I would be greeted everyday with my father holding his torchlight and flashing at my wounds to check their healing.

Prior to this accident, I would never stay at home every day, but this fall made me to. I feel blessed to be born to my parents who love me so much.

Also, thanks to my tiny Nikon coolpix that stayed with me these housebound days next to my pillow. I hardly took any pictures, preoccupied with the wound and dreaming of me able to walk again.. The few I clicked are really close to me, right from the people who came to meet me to all the things that surrounded me, and my two angels, ‘Amma and Nanna’.

The time 3:45am has now become my biological alarm. I wake up every day in the morning at that time, exact time of the accident.