Skip to main content

The Fear that spoke



They say “Our fears are more numerous than our dangers, and we suffer more in our imagination than in reality.”  They say “Dangers bring fears and fears more dangers bring”. I understood what they meant by these, two months ago.
I was driving my car to home when I experienced something that, I believe, I will never forget, certainly not in this life. I was worn out by the day’s activities and I felt like I could drive no further. My eyes were too drowsy to be alert. “Only 30minutes more to reach my bed”, I consoled myself. It was 9:00pm that I left my office for home and the never-sleeping city of Mumbai seemed busier today with streets flooded with legion vehicles. Its then I realized that it was a Friday night, the most awaited night of the week, when we find relief in the fact that we do not have to wake up early morning the next day, the night we enjoy to the fullest.
Life has been hectic since the last couple of weeks for me due to my recent promotion at work and I have forgotten to enjoy life ever since. Even the idea of tomorrow’s holiday does not give me any pleasure as it reminds me of the pile of files, lying on the backseat of my car, I have to read at home. At this thought I heaved a sigh and turned my head to throw the files a look of abhorrence. I saw a couple on a scooter behind my car and they seemed to be in a rush. I turned my car a little to the left to show them my abdication from the road race so that they can move ahead.
While they travelled past my car I noticed that the person on the backseat of the scooter was a woman; but not an ordinary woman, she carried a life in her womb. The sight literally made me smile and gave me the thought of my husband asking me yesterday if I was ready for a baby, our first one. My smile faded right away as I realized my answer to that divine question was a loud and clear “No”, all because of my job, my career. Sometimes I wonder if having a bright career actually gives me satisfaction.
The couple moved some metres further from my car by now. I looked at the couple, they seemed bliss. The face of the lady seemed so innocuous that one could easily confuse her to be a baby. The tenderness of her touch on the person’s shoulder told me that he is her husband, the father of the bundle of joy within her womb. The serenity of her face told me that they might be just in a hurry to head home early and there’s no other emergency. I wondered if my slow and unwary driving made it longer, for me, to reach home. I have been being a careless driver, while returning home, since the day my encumbrance of responsibility increased at work.
 At this point, we reached a road crossing and the traffic light shone red, signaling us to stop our vehicles. I stopped the car’s engine straight away like I always do. My drowsiness wondered if sleeping a little on the steering wheel of the car would do me any harm. The part of me, which was awake, rejected this proposal on the spot.  I looked ahead to find two cars and that scooter in my queue. I could see that none of these vehicles had their engines stopped. I could sense wastefulness in the vicinity- either they were wasting fuel or I was wasting my time in stopping and restarting the vehicle. The scooter was in the forefront and all set to move ahead as soon as the signal turns green.
 I looked at the traffic light which was now yellow. I lazily started the engine of my car and after a second or two, the light turned green and what happened after that changed my manner of driving and my way of looking at life forever.
The driver of that scooter was in such haste that as soon as the light turned green, he pressed the accelerator and drove ahead. But the driver of the truck crossing our road had not been looking at the traffic light with kid gloves. I cried in fear that an accident is about to occur right now. The drivers of the other cars shouted waving their hands at the truck and the scooter, indicating them to stop. I was speechless with shock and so was the woman on that scooter. I shut my eyes in fear and so did someone else too. But the intensity of the fear of that someone was so high that she wailed a cry of fear so loud that it could break the sky. At once I opened my eyes only to see her lying on the road and people running towards her.
 It so happened that the drivers of the scooter and the truck had pressed their brakes in the nick of time, so that the front wheel of the scooter barely touched the bumper of the truck. But the fear of being killed, the fear of losing the baby, the fear of getting smashed by the gigantic vehicle, the fear of being tossed in the air by the force made the woman to jump from the backseat of the moving scooter.
 And now she lied, on the road, unconscious.
We sprinkled water on her face but in vain. A person wearing a red turban checked her pulse and shook his head looking at her husband’s face. Grimace on the latter’s face spoke that he was torn between hating himself for the incident and reacting at the incident, at what happened. I wished to tell him that it was not his fault, that it was her fear that let this to happen. But the cause of the fear was the negligence of both the drivers and that could not be enshrouded. And what I saw after that, told me that there’s no point giving judgments now, there’s no point analyzing the incident now, there’s no point telling what could have happened or what could have been prevented when the destruction has been done already, when two lives have left this earth leaving behind the poor thing crying on the road divider and kicking his scooter, when the road divider is telling him that his morbid life is now divided into two- angelic memories and an intolerable pain.
I stood there, in a trance, staring at that lonely helpless creature who was happy minutes ago and who now lies on the road wailing and trembling in pain soothed by one person standing near him and another person making calls from his phone for assistance while a car took the corpse to a nearby hospital; a bootless attempt, a false hope, a delusive solace…

Comments

  1. Very eloquent and expressive. The scene actually played on my mind as I read it. And it's a good thing you did not go into the cliched preachy mode by fixating more on the urban dilemma of "job vs family". Stretching it too far could have made it boring. Now, its just perfect. Kudos

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Abhinav.. indeed that dilemma has become a cliche yet an inevitable thought in the lives of many..

    ReplyDelete
  3. i love ur use of appropriate vocabulary. it was a refreshing read :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Embracing the Late Twenties

I have been wanting to pen aturning-something post ever since I turned 21.
However, at 21, it was too early to write about the “profound wisdom” I had gained about the world.
At 22, it was cliché.
I was busy stuffing myself with cake all the subsequent years to suddenly wake up one day and find myself on the wrong side of 25 yet neither at the pinnacle of wisdom nor covered in the blanket of naivety. I reach an age after which I am probably going to keep chanting the phrase “age doesn’t matter” a lot to myself. But till then I heave a sigh as I pick up phone-calls from distant friends wishing me a happy birthday, and marvel at the fact how easily things change with age.
You grow up whether you want to or not- your new job and the new place ensures that you do.
You turn wiser and you laugh at the wisdom you thought you had gained when you were only 22 and a fan of Taylor Swift songs.
You also realize you know nothing today as compared to what you are about to see tomorrow.
Every day is a c…

When I Stopped Writing

People I usually meet in person first, often come back to me with this statement later – Oh, I didn’t know you write. Some acquaintances have often declared that I don’t look like someone who would write. I don’t ponder upon such words much but I am slightly bothered by the one I heard last week – “Why did you stop writing?”
I was taken aback. I never stopped writing. Who said I had? So I went back and looked at the source she was referring to- My blog. The last date said October 2017. It’s indeed been 5 months; maybe I did stop writing after all.
The last time I wrote something I was in Rourkela, a peaceful city in Western Odisha where life was as slow as it could get. I moved to the capital, Bhubaneswar in late November where every morning I would wake up late but still manage to write a short poem while rushing on my way to work. Within two months I found myself loaded with responsibilities that made my shoulders bend. I would wake up as early as 6 in the morning, I would dream of…

In the Pitstop of the Race...

I cannot stress on the fact enough that life has changed after working. Well, it should because what good is stagnancy anyway.
After a year of working, I find myself tired by the second half of the day. No wonder, every time I take a flight I doze off even before the flight takes off.
I remember, I was traveling on New Year ’s Day and the flight was delayed by multiple hours. That was the first time when I woke up from a nap on a flight and didn’t find myself on air or on a different city. I woke up and we were still at the take-off area. But I had a good nap anyway.
It was last week when I took an afternoon flight but couldn’t fall asleep for some reason. Like most journeys I was seated near the window, but unlike my previous journeys, this time I looked out of the window. We were just a couple of metres above of the clouds but the view was great. A blue horizon on a sea of clouds. I was lucky enough to spot a rainbow amidst the cirrus; the hues getting clearer with each passing s…