"Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else." (Author: Lawrence Block)
Time is the best healer and it cannot be any truer than in my case. A couple of years back, a car trip landed us in a one of our worst predicaments. Scarred for life and on the verge of debilitation, the road ahead looked bumpy & unsure. It so happened, that my hubby’s friend was getting married near Cochin and a trip was pertinent. Adventurous last minute planning were the norms those days despite a hyper 2 year old. Deciding to drive all the way from Goa to Kerala, due to lack of rail tickets & leave, hubby dearest was coerced into hiring a driver. We were supposed to start by 4 in the evening but ended up hitting the highway by 7 :30 PM. Being a good samaritan that hubby always is, the driver was asked to catch some pretty winks for a few hours, so that he can drive the rest of the stretch fresh & invigorated. The driver, a local lad slept blissfully till almost 2 AM the next morning by which time the kid was also fast asleep in my lap. After a simpering hot tea and getting refreshed, the driver’s seat saw a change and the journey continued uneventful till 2.30 AM. Mind you, the driver was kept regaled with songs from the stereo. Around 2.30 AM we decided to court sleep and that spelt disaster. A few minutes in to our sleep. I was jolted awake by a loud thump. Chaos & mayhem reigned all over as all I could make out was immense darkness, shards of glass everywhere and a free flowing red liquid from my nose and from my hubby’s forehead.
At this point everything became a blur as I fell in & out of consciousness, and I could just about hear my hubby calling out desperately to my daughter who had mysteriously vanished from my lap. After a few tension fraught moments, we could hear her yelping from outside the car. Having established that she was ok and my hubby calming her down & ordering her to stay put, he calmed me down as well. In the meanwwhile a few people whom we later established as truck drivers sleeping across the road came rushing to help us. Gently but firmly, they shifted us from the mess to terra firma and also moved us to the road that was 10 feet above us. Miraculously, an auto appeared out of nowhere and whisked us to a 24 hour critical care centre located hardly 200m away (another miracle).
My hubby took charge as with god's grace he had not lost consciousness and was fully aware of what was happening around him. The night shift doctor wove his magic immediately by stitching our respective gashes and putting us on further tests to rule out brain injury. A few days in the critical care saw us celebrate our wedding anniversary while recuperating and there was another minor surgery to my nose . Hubby dearest suffered even more as he had a few torn ligaments in his back which laid him off work,vehicles and day-to-day activities. He was bed-bound for 2 to 3 months and those were the moments when you asked yourself the why me/us question?
We later found out that our driver had dozed off due to which the car veered to the opposite side of the road, hit a road marker, did a 180 degree turnaround and crashed 10 ft down in to a valley sort of thing where rain water used to flow. Being the mid of may there was no water accumulation and it was like a mini forest !
A good 6 years has passed and the fateful road trip no more evokes bad memories, rather it is a reminder of all the blessings and is definitely a few lessons learnt. My daughter escaped unhurt save for a few scratches and the driver went absolutely injury-free. We still look back to those days and send a silent thanks to all the people who helped us in our time of crisis.Besides, it reinstated my faith on humanity as the immediate help around such an unearthly hour was nothing short of a miracle.
Linking it to Mahindra XUV- 500 Incredible Stories