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The Death Tag

Alright, I slack from posting anything real, but there’s her and quite frankly, I have nightmares about her whacking the crap out of me if I don’t do my pending tag. So, I might actually be back with a Death-Tag, only, I’ll actually be dead!

I am supposed to be talking about a near-death experience. (Un)fortunately, I have nothing too dramatic to talk about. So I’m going to talk about the accident I was in last year.

It happened about June last year. My professor had assigned something to me at the last minute and I had to get to lab on a Sunday. Satish was being very nice to me and agreed to drop me off because of the crappy bus system on a Sunday during summer break. We started from home and we decided to connect the new iRiver FM transmitter that I had bought as a gift for him. I was playing around with it, trying to figure out the controls and trying to connect it to the MP3 player. We turned on Suydam St and before I knew what was happening, I felt this humongous crashing impact, I heard a “crack!” sound and I saw the glass shattering. I saw the airbag deploy, it was a beautiful pista-green color and the fumes coming from it were strangely smoky. I sat there, dazed, strapped to my seat. My brain was telling me to get out before the fumes killed me, but I felt unable to move.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that Satish might be injured too. I looked at him and he was getting out of the car, I saw blood in his mouth as he was speaking to me, trying to make sure I was ok. He pulled me out of the car and I started crying. I do not know why, all I knew was that my playing with the FM transmitter was somehow connected to the fact that he was left without a car. I looked at the impact, which was on the passenger side because of having crashed into a parked SUV. All I could think of were the innumerable times we had all ridden in his car, gone shopping, gone to Long Island to attend the A R Rehman show, the look on his face when he first bought the car, his disbelieving incredulity when I made him go to the temple and get a puja done… and now the look of utter despair on his face because I, stupid me gave him the FM transmitter which played a big role in him being distracted enough to lose control of the car.

I sat there, where – I do not know and cried into the arms of a wonderful African American lady, who comforted me and kept telling me how it wasn’t my fault and it felt even worse because I knew, really, it was all my fault. It was then that I got a full look at the damage. And that was the moment when my entire life passed before my eyes, I knew that if I had survived a crash like that, God must like me a little. I said a silent prayer then and reinforced my belief in a supreme being in control of things.

The ambulance was here, the sound was giving me a pounding headache. People had gathered around and I saw cops. The paramedics got out of the ambulance and started checking me up. It was then that I realized that I was injured. I felt a burning sensation, all over my hands and face. My cheekbone was hurt and paining. My right knee had hit the glove compartment and had swollen to an enormous size. One of the paramedics strapped an extremely uncomfortable cast around my neck to prevent any neck injury. I was then wheeled into the ambulance and for the very first time in my life I traveled in a position that wasn’t upright.

I will not go into any recounts of my lying-in-the-hospital-thinking-about-the-error-of-my-ways stories, but it is suffice to say that I was made to go through a bunch of tests and pronounced shaken up but A-ok. I was given very strong painkillers and sent home. At this juncture, I must mention that I am blessed with the best friends ever. Satish, Gayatree, Guru, Ze Bee, Sankar, Rohit, Teda, Pooja, Harsh.. were all at the hospital and with me and that made such a big difference. Seeing Gayatree cry that day probably made me realize how much these people love me and how much I love them in turn. Even though Pallavi and Vikas weren’t at the hospital, just seeing them at home made it all so much easier.

I have never seen Satish cry, but I think he came as close to crying as he could that day. He really misses his car. I’m sorry.


Comments on: "The Death Tag" (14)

  1. That was such a touching tale.. accidents do happen and as long as no one was seriously hurt.. its okay πŸ™‚

  2. good one! and u actually didn’t have to make this up. wow!
    btw, maybe u shud buy satish a new car to make up for the past negligence… wot say? πŸ˜‰

  3. alice-in-wonder said:


  4. Sometimes, there are no words.

    I take issue with the fact that you deem yourself responsible – I have driven enough to know that I should not let myself get distracted. No matter what.

    More close to home, there have been a crapload of times I’ve tried to post about what happened. Somehow, I never seem to have enough to say what happened that day. So, for somehow giving me a form of catharsis… all I can say is thanks.


  5. […] that, galadriel’s post is beautiful, and touching in ways i can’t really […]

  6. This is very scary. And you proclaim “I have nothing too dramatic to talk about. “

  7. This is really factual – all that I could guess when we got the news was that Satish did distract himself while driving. He never gave so much details. But as you have rightly written, GOD has been very kind to you both. So let us put this past behind us and look forward. All the best. Incidentally a very well written anecdote, I must congratulate you.

  8. @Preethi: Yes, well, it was my first. πŸ™‚
    @rayshma: Isn’t it bad enough that I spent a fortune in medical expenses?!
    @alice: πŸ™‚ whatcha gonna do?
    @SEV: It doesn’t matter who was responsible, that was not the intent of my post. What matters is we have managed to stay safe through it and not too much damage was done. And if writing about it has purgatory effects, then I’m glad I did.
    @Vati: It was tough indeed writing about it and it took me over 8 months to actually be able to. Now that I have, it feels much better. Thank you.

  9. !!!
    I thought you said you had nothing dramatic to talk about! Golly, if this doesn’t qualify as dramatic, I wonder what does. If you ever send me a message starting with “Something dramatic happened yesterday…” I’ll be too scared to read the rest of it.
    Secondly, I really don’t see how it was your fault. I’m sure Satish agrees. These things just happen.
    I’m glad you both were okay. Hurray for modern car safety systems.

  10. @Prashanth: Alright, I’ve edited it! Yes, the airbag totally did it for me that day.

  11. alice-in-wonder said:

    Well, the ‘damn!’ was because i had no idea it was that bad, which was dumb of me, given that the car had to be scrapped.

    I am just glad you both are ok after that…

  12. Ouch — that must’ave hurt. Glad to know that you’re in one piece, even if this is old news.
    I have had my share of traveling in ambulances lying strapped to a stretcher here in the US: I know what it feels like. This was a very touching post, I’ll admit.

  13. @alice: well, to be honest, it wasn’t too bad. cars are designed with crumple zones so they always look worse than they are. but we were certainly shaken up.
    @Sudipta: yes, by God’s grace, all is well. so what’s your story?

  14. […] that, galadriel’s post is beautiful, and touching in ways i can’t really […]

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