Thursday, September 07, 2006

Of mishaps and muffs

I was on my way back from heaven-colored happiness. Memories of ice-cold water, beatific smiles, high rides on lowlands and a faint cackle of laughter with pals seemed to do a little jig in my dreamy brain. It smelled of sweet aroma -- emanating -- from the effervescent fields of Punjab. Eighteen till I die, Bryan Adams crooned from inside my car’s music system. I shut my eyes tight. For a moment the whole world seemed touched by God’s little finger. I was excited. Enthusiastic about my own dream. Excitement is like a forest fire - you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away.

My cousin was on the wheel. All of a sudden, I could hear the screeching of breaks being applied. The car skidded for some distance. The dream met a loud interlude. An accident. I could see we were slammed up against a monstrous truck. My car was hugely damaged. Both of us my cousin – and – me were safe. A split second decision saved us the day. Had he not braked quick enough, I’d have been a memory myself. I still have nightmares. After a long time, I thanked heavens. How selfish humans are? God must smirk.

More than a week after the mishap, I sit and contemplate. The famed French monarch Napoleon Bonaparte once said that there is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed. I think it was in my fate-book to survive. Yet the crude jolt tickles me. I don’t want to infer any arcane meanings from the experience. One little lesson learnt is perhaps to never make haste. Rashness is like a storm, which only breaks, and wrecks things. Nimbleness -- on the other hand -- is a full, fair wind, blowing with speed to the heaven.

My Kashmir sojourn posts will follow soon. I am just trying to compose myself. I’m down but not-out. I have lived to tell you more tales.

See you, soon.