An Encounter With Death 

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Romana Rafiq

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Sooner or later, everyone faces death, but you do not have to wait until the end of your life to come to terms with it. Any encounter with death that affects you deeply offers a significant opportunity for spiritual growth.            

On 16 July 2017 I nearly met my maker via way of scooty accident, I decided to pen down the story of this horrible incident, it was a close bump on with the fear of death, but it gave me the courage to break the hassles, overcome bad thoughts and go with the flow of life.

How and why accidents happen is known to every other person, but what it taught me is something I want to bring in here. It has been very cathartic for me, I got to know myself as well as my friends and family a whole lot better, and saw how an experience like this can change one’s life forever.

It was a fine sunny day of work. I was on the way towards Tangmarg, a town in the outskirts of district Barmulla. I left in the morning. My mother packed tiffin for me. She accompanied me up to the end of our lane. She waved at me with good wishes “(Hess saan gasizye) have a safe journey”, with this I kicked off my scooty and left for the journey.

Before heading towards the destined spot I decided to fill the fuel in scooty and find some mechanic to have a general over-look so that I can reach safely at my destiny.”

I left Baramulla at 10:30am via Chandoosa Baba Reshi road. As soon as I left the place some bad intuitions were striking me within myself, the buzzing flashes I never knew, are waiting for me at some moment within the day, I better preferred to concentrate to ride up the hill through the soul soothing meadows, I stopped to relax my muscles and buzz my colleagues to know about the safety of route on two-wheelers. They affirmed, “Go ahead it’s quite smooth but at fewer places it’s not in good condition, try to keep the nerves and enjoy the ride.”

Going through the serpentine stretch I finally reached Tangmarg at 12:30 pm. I made a call to my friend to check about their spot. It was Droung (a picnic spot in Tangmarg). They were having lunch when we dropped in and joined them. My friends with one of my teachers stood up for zuhr prayers and I along with others kept us busy by clicking selfies.

After prayers we chose to trek up to reach our work place. We had a great and nostalgic time together. The night was to approach the town in couple of hours and I was to reach home within the day, so I hurried up to ride down the hill back to my home. At 6:00 pm exactly we left from Tangmarg and Waqas one of my friends wished me a safe journey with a broad smile on his face.

I might have covered just 6-7 kms. Those very bad emotions were no longer along with me now, and I was enjoying the ride. I was delighted and was still enjoying the moments with myself on the scooty just spent with my comrades, before I could dream deep into the memories, I landed somewhere else more nastiest way that I could have imagined, my scooty skid off the road and my head got banged with a big stone on the roadside, the scooty took about three whirls and stopped.

I Almost in a semi-conscious state, wiped off my dirt and blood ridden face, Once I stood up I found myself profusely bleeding and one of my denture was fractured and this turned out to be the most tragic thing coming all the ways to me. I somehow grabbed up my courage and tried to behave like a fine young lady, but I was also terrified to find no one around, to take me to the nearby dispensary, I meanwhile, took off my scarf and put that on my wound. Since I had multiple injuries blood was oozing out like water.

I managed to kick of my scooty again, but it wasn’t triggering any spark to the engine, it added to my worries, I kept it there and went to wash my face near a damaged water pipe. I washed my head, leg, hands as I was washing my parts the more blood was mingling with the stream that it created.

I draped the stool around my head and face and again tried to kick off my scooty fortunately in 2 or 3 hard kicks it started to give me some rest in my chest, I speeded it up unless I reached district hospital Baramulla. In the meantime all I know I called my mom at unknown place and told her about the incident and also learned that accept her no one was at home.

So I called up one of my cousins and told him reach hospital, the oozing blood was terribly disturbing me and I don’t know why I and how I dialled up for my friend but as usual he didn’t bother to call back but dropped back a message “I am in a meeting”, I told him I have met an accident please forward me the contact number of any dentist. And to my surprise I was getting too worried about the tooth than the first aid that I should have received immediately, But to my surprise I couldn’t get any reply then.

Later, he turned up after week’s time. As I was profusely bleeding before I could see my blood prints on the display of my cellphone, I started again my scooty unknowingly towards a wrong track, and it ended up in some other village which was like 40 kms away from Baramulla.

I was in no man’s land nothing to know which route to follow, I could find no tear on my cheeks that give an insight to a sumo driver of my apparent bravery and strength who instead might have taken me on his taxi, advised me to follow him on my very own scooty, I did the same and by 7:45pm I reached national highway near Choora.

It was still half an hour ride to hospital, and the fuel gauge of my scooty was blobbing, finally at 8:15pm I reached district hospital Baramulla. My mom along with other relatives was waiting impatiently outside the hospital gate. I only had a glimpse of my mom, she was crying bitterly.

Without wasting much of my time I was straightaway taken to OT for dressing and scans. They stitched my forehead for an hour, all my wounds were bandaged. At 9:30pm my dad reached hospital. On seeing me he could not justify his reactions but once I showed my fractured tooth he could prove the pain inside his heart, the heart aching melancholy is all I was witnessing.

 The thing which was annoying me, disturbing me and making restless was that I have never troubled my parents but this time it was a big blunder indeed!!

It was a narrow escape from death. I didn’t know how I grabbed that courage and reached back home. The accident was so brutal that I still get shivers through my body and my heart throbs like hell every time I recall it, But this encounter with death has tremendously changed me to real me! I am thankful to Almighty for everything bad then this that could have come giving me a second chance.

I believe “To the world you may be a billionaire but to the angel of death you are just another name on the list.” By which I learn nothing in this world can compete with death though this encounter with the fear of death showed me the real picture of life and I got to see the real faces of people who pretend to be very close to me, but are far away beyond the boundaries.

But for sure it taught me a lesson for life “being independent is the best freedom for a girl, maybe for getting married it will take me a lot of time or maybe I won’t take such step as I have lost the belief of being close to anyone.”   At last this accident showed me some real faces and I can survive free on my own, because I did it, because I can…

The author is a freelance journalist and can be reached at rafiqromana@gmail.com            

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