SECOND CHANCE

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The date November 2nd 2015, I’ll never forget this day. This day changed everything, my perspective about the world, my views on relationships, everything. I started my college in 2015 June in Bangalore. Because of the new found unbound freedom a couple of friends and me were enjoying our unrestricted life to the zenith. Every weekends we would leave on Saturday morning and come back home by Monday morning in order to attend college. Since we lived outside in a rented house we did not have to face the curfew of hostel life, that made us take long trips and journeys without any problems.

Months passed by and it became end of October and the climate got pretty chill, So my best friend Neha and me decided to take a long journey from Bangalore to Hampi on October 31st and return by November 2nd. My dad was easy-going, like whenever I asked him for money he gave it to me without asking why. So, I asked him for money and we were all set for our journey. My dad rarely calls me on phone but on October 29 my dad calls me up at night and says “Son, please don’t drive bikes now, the traffic is harsh these days. Take public transport if you need to go somewhere. Also Amma [My Grandma] called me up and asked me to inform you that not to go far away from home for a few days.” He was not aware of the trip I’ve planned. I had a second thought for a moment, but the image of two days on a bike with my best friend made me drop the idea of telling my dad about this. My dad doesn’t let me drive bikes, even from my hometown the only thing he asked me not to do was not to get on bikes. And I replied to my dad that I’ll not be going anywhere and that I’ll be in my room itself.

And it was October 31st morning, we packed tents, clothes, supplies and everything. We both were hyped about the trip. I didn’t have a bike so I took one from my friend and we left our place by 7:55 am. By 8 am my dad calls me again,I was in the middle of the road driving, I park the bike to the side and pick up the call. And the conversation goes like this.

Dad: Umm.. I just felt like calling you. Are you fine?

Me: Yeah dad. I’m fine.

Dad: Are you busy? Going somewhere?

Me: Nah, i just woke up. I’m tired. I’ll call you in the evening.

Dad: Oh sorry. Take care. Be safe.

And we continue with our journey. It was a 7 hour ride from my place to Hampi. But since we took a lot of pitstops, It took more than 10 hours to reach our destination. We spent a day and two nights over there. My dad calls me up twice during these days but since I was too pre-occupied to pick up calls, I ignored them. It was November 2nd morning. It was time for us to leave back home. So we started our journey by 10 am and after 8 hours of bike ride and two pitstops we reached Bangalore by 7:30 pm. We were around 40km to home. It started raining all of a sudden. But we were enjoying the rain. Neha was talking to me from the backseat and I couldn’t hear her properly through the helmet, So I removed my helmet. And I was talking to her with with my head turned side ways, instead of looking straight. And all of a sudden she screams “Look Out”, and I turn in front to see a huge boulder of rock in the middle of the road. Since we were going at 85kmph and the road was slippery brakes didn’t do much good, and evading would make the bike tumble and go under the truck which was right next to us. Within a split second, our bike collides to the rock at high speed and I hear the sound of metal crushing. I get thrown off the bike 15m high and I land on my face without helmet. I could hear the bones in my face getting cracked into pieces. I tried getting up but only to fall down and pass out.

I wake up on the side of the road after 2 minutes, I couldn’t move my face or talk, but struggle towards my bike and to check on Neha, and I see her her lying by the side of the road with the whole skin gone from her arms. She also had
passed out. By then people started gathering and an ambulance came within minutes . We both were taken inside the ambulance, there was a mirror and I saw my face in it. My face was horribly distorted. My cheek bones were crushed inside, half of my lips torn, a dent near my temple and whole face covered with blood. My head felt dizzy after that and I passed into shock. When I woke, I was in some small hospital or some charity clinic, and it was November 4th. The nurse comes to me and asks me whether I could speak and I nodded, and then she asks for mine and my friend’s name. I tried to speak but I couldn’t move my facial muscles. I barely moved my arms to feel my face and come to know that it’s covered with bandages. I tried to reach my wallet from my pants and it was missing. Seeing my action the nurse said “There’s no wallet. You were admitted here without any luggage.” My wallet had my ID’s, money, credit cards everything. I was stuck in a remote hospital with no money and no Id with me. But I had my phone in my pocket, but it was cracked. She opened my phone and put my sim another phone. The sim only had a single contact, and it was was my dad’s. The authorities called my dad and informed him about the accident. Since the pain was unbearable I was put under sedation. I woke up next morning in an ICU in some other hospital and my dad sitting beside me rubbing my head. I couldn’t look at him after what I’ve done. But he smiled and said “It’s fine. Everything’s gonna be fine”. And you I stuttered the name Neha and he said “She’s fine. But she broke her leg and lost some skin off her hands. Other than that she’s totally fine. She’ll be out of hospital by weekend ”. And when I pointed towards me and he said “ Even you’re fine. Just some couple broken bones and skin abrasions. That’s it”. But from his watery eyes I could say that was not it. Since I was too tired to pry him with more questions and since both of us were not in an emotional situation for more of this conversation, I kept quiet. I stayed in ICU for two more days after which they took me for a head surgery. And another two weeks in ICU after surgery. So, I was discharged from hospital on January 12th. At home I rushed to my room and closed the door and checked myself in the mirror. I found almost all the scars had healed but my entire personality and attitude changed when I was home. Then slowly I came to know about the stuff that happened in the hospital, after my dad got the call from the hospital he took the first flight and rushed to the hospital. He shifted me from that hospital I was in to one of the best hospitals in Bangalore. And my MRI scan showed multiple cranial damage and I was taken to three head surgeries. And my whole face was reconstructed by plastic surgery. By the end of all treatment the bill came to 62 lakhs. My dad had to spend all his savings on my treatment. But he didn’t say anything hurtful towards me, actually he never mentioned this after we came back from hospital. It’s been 2 and half years after that incident. But the impact it caused on my life has still not worn off. I believe that I needed that accident to understand what everything meant to me. Now before I make any decision regarding my life I ask the consent of my dad. I’m lucky for the second chance that I’m given.

Dennis Kuruvilla

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