Accidental learning

I kept thinking of how to start this off. After all it’s the worst disturbed I’ve been in my life. I don’t know how much writing about it is going to help me, but I’ve got to try it, it might just help me sleep after three nights of constant throwing up and insomnia. My dark circles have reached my cheek bones now!

Ever thought that when someone bangs into your car from the back it’s actually your fault? You could say I don’t know how ‘it’ works. Oh! But trust me, not just this, I’ve now learnt how everything works (with extra emphasis on everything).

After a long (and when I say ‘long’ it’s not just an expression of thought, it was a nightmare) day at work and the most uncomfortable time of the month for a lady, I was finally heading back home tired, where all I could think of was my cosy pyjamas and hot soup.

The road, a couple of 100 mts away till my gate, is the worst for any 4-wheel driver to pass through and it’s been so since the ever-so-convenient flyover was constructed. It’s where every driver feels like he/she has suddenly switched from the ac car to a bullock cart. So you can imagine the speed I drive at or should I say crawl in on that patch of road.

So anyway, while I was crawling, a three-year-old suddenly sights her mother across the road and decides to run across and very excitedly she did so, but she didn’t reach her mother, in fact she met with the back door of my moving vehicle. Yes! An accident. I braked as quickly as I could and got out of my vehicle. Mind you, my body was shivering like as if I saw a python in my car.

When the mother was running with the little one in her arms towards me, all I could think of was—did she die? Well thankfully she didn’t and it was only a broken limb. I guess if she had, I would be writing this in prison.

The madness after the accident can’t be described in words, but I’m trying. My car and I were encircled by at least 300 hundred people and at that moment the only thing I could think of was to lock my car and have the keys in my hand and thanks to the lady who thought her daughter died, we had a few more visitors. After a good 30 minutes did I manage to get the lady to trust me and let me take her daughter to the nearest doc (who BTW even I consulted when I broke my leg). In the meanwhile, before I could manage to break down I rang up a friend who practically fled to the location.

The doc told me very clearly that it’s only a fracture and nothing else and suggested a second opinion from the nearest hospital. The girl, her mother and their relative were in my car and my friend was on the driver’s seat and where was I? Sitting beside him shivering like the python was now on my shoulder.

At the second hospital we are told that the girl needs to be operated to fit in blades and a few other things which didn’t make any sense to me. In the meanwhile, a couple of my other friends (who mind you–highly influential) turn up while I was trying and recuperating. For a second opinion to the second opinion we now needed to visit a known doc with the girl’s reports (which should not have taken us more than 20 minutes under normal state of affairs). But when you’re dealing with uneducated roadside stall owners and one of their seven kids it might take you a good four hours!

By the time we managed to convince them and reached the doc, turns out nothing can be done there as it was past 11 in the night. Well… after all the opinions and consultations did we finally get her admitted at 12 to hospital #4.

What took them so long to get convinced that we were not going to run away and we were just looking to get her to a good hospital in the middle of the night? What kind of assurance were they looking for from the four of us with three vehicles? Did it all in a flash of a second switch from the girl to the money they could get hold of from us?

After getting her admitted did my friend drop me home and I went up thinking I need some sleep and rest, after all I was still in the most painful day of the month. But turns out my grey cells had something else in store for me. Slept at 2, up at 4! And till I could manage to push myself out of the bed all I could think of was—‘what if’ the girl died under my car?

Walking around the house like a zombie I managed to get myself to take a shower, get ready and head back to the hospital with my friend as early as 8 in the morning. On our arrival, we learn that the deposit (10k) that I made nine hours ago has been used up over night for a three-year-old. Not knowing how to react to this in my zombiness we make another payment twice the previous amount for the cast and other check-ups.

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I think the story begins now–when I get a call from the (you got it) the COPS. I was asked to go to the police chowki near my house with the vehicle involved in the accident. But what shook my bones was where on god-damn-earth did the cop get my number from? Who gave him my vehicle number? Why was this all of a sudden a police case now when I’m paying the girl’s hospital charges?

Questioning all of this we head to the chowki and the ghastly experience was only beginning as I entered a police station for the first time in my life (surprising because I was a civic reporter for a long time). The kind of gundas and basti people I came across got my stomach churning like someone had just kicked me on my belly. “I didn’t want to go to jail” is all I kept murmuring to my friends. I was then asked to empty my car and hand over the keys to the cop. Thought I was going to throw up on his feet. Where’s he taking my car? I don’t even remember where the spare key is! My lovely teddys at the back of the car! All gone!

Where are all your “contacts” when you need them? Why was there a case filed against me when I was paying a bomb for something that wasn’t my fault? If a case was what was awaiting me then why not let the court tell me how much to shell out?

Sitting in front of the cop at his desk with my tears waiting for someone to say GO I signed on my case papers. And then it struck me! If the cop wanted to file the case he would have done it last night and not 12 hours after it. He too was only interested in the money. But did the threatening help? Well… It sure did, I was shitting bricks!

He then got a statement from the girl’s mother and then me and tore off the case papers with my signature in front of us handed over my keys and left me zonked!

So exactly why did we pay him off? Why did the father of the girl file a case against me? Why was it me who was to be blamed? Was it because I own a car? Was it because I don’t live on the streets? Was it because I had back up and the girl’s family didn’t? Was this ruckus going to get my licence suspended? For a person like me who ensures that I didn’t use my phone in petrol bumps and rode only with my seat belt on and always stood by traffic rules, this my dear, was too much to grasp.

My friends and I ensured that we paid all the girl’s medical bills and got her home safe while she is recovering with a cast on her leg.

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