Turning back the pages of life, to a memory that brought us back from the demon’s eye and dropped us into God’s lap. I hardly remember an ounce of the incident, as I was just 2 years old. The only image that I can sketch is from my mom and dad’s eyes and their deeply rooted wounds.
Like every other family, mine was equally excited about the upcoming Diwali vacation. It was a trip to a holy destination, a well-known religious place of all Jains “Palitana”. And my sister had been more happy about it because it was my first holiday with everyone. A trip with the little one that gave them a special reason to cherish. But, none of us was aware of the forthcoming darkness that Diwali was about to bring.
Faces glued with delight and sparkles of the festive season, 5 of us: my dearest Nani, mom, dad, sister and tiny me, we started our awaited trip. Oh..I missed out the main person, our driver who supposedly was the lead of our journey, a journey which took a disastrous U-turn after 5 hours.
Till the time we had our lunch the journey had been a smooth one, waves of laughter were being shared and tiny me was being cuddled. Post lunch, everyone was about to doze off, tiny me was already asleep in my daddy’s lap seated on the front seat. And just before our lives revolved my dad placed me back seat, in my mom’s lap.
The clock ticked 3:00 pm, everyone was asleep and the lead person “Our Driver”, who wasn’t supposed to sleep, even he drowsed. Our car which was moving at a speed of 100, hit the tree roadside and the car shredded into 2 parts, the front glass crackled into pieces and damaged my dad’s entire face. My mom and Nani were hit by the front seats and everyone in the car was unconscious except my sister. Her bravery and smartness that day saved every one of us. She started screaming out “Help..! Help..!” as much as she could and by God’s grace, a passing car stopped by, for our help.
The generous person who stopped by was MLA of the district. He picked my sister out of the car and started looking out for everyone else in the car. When he looked at my father, he felt that he was no more and so he just dumped him in the trunk of his car. He hurriedly pulled everyone and rushed to the nearest hospital. Throughout the journey, he was worried about how many would survive the crash, along with my dad he had thought that even my mom or Nani’s life would end. Apart from everyone else in the car, the only lucky person to survive without any bruises was “ME”. The change from front seat to back seat was the fate that God had planned for me.
The days had been tough and the most dreadful ones. While my family member from our hometown reached the hospital which almost took them a day, we had seen Humanity taking a birth in that hospital. My dad, mom and Nani were a victim of major injuries and were under observation for the entire time. They were in a situation where it was hard to recognize them by their face or voice. And all the while when I and my sister were all alone, the natives of that little town took care of us. Not only did they handle us but they made sure my family had enough food and necessities to survive. By the time, my family reached we already had a little family who looked after us. By God’s grace and prayers chanted for my family, all of us survived the disaster and recovered within months.
Today when I hear this story for like nth time, my soul still trembles. What if I had been in the front seat? What if my sister too had been unconscious? What if the MLA would not have cared to stop? What if every one of us had been a victim of devil’s plan? What if God had not been kind to us? What if in the hospital no one had looked after me and my sister? And on and on, thoughts which might not be that meaningful to everyone but that’s what has made my family fall in love with our treasured life. Tear’s bowl down my eyes when I think of how grateful God had been to my family. The scars and wounds still appear fresh on my mom and dad’s face but the storm has made our belief in God and Humanity strong enough to love our life more and more.