Miraculous escape

Have you ever been in an automobile accident?

It was during the Min ’80s. I drove a Royal Enfield 350cc bike at high speed and covered long distances regularly for work. On one such trip, I was returning from JabaLealput to Satna and had stopped over for lunch at Katni. I must have covered about 50 km on a Single lane Road (not very well maintained) but was touching 100kmph easily.

From a distance of about a Kilometer, I saw a narrow bridge and as I got closer I realized it was over a dry river and made at a height of 40″+ from the ground. As I came closer, I found that two stray Bullocks had fought with each other and to catch their breath perhaps – they were standing on either side of the bridge facing the dry river on both sides, leaving about 3-3 feet width for me to cross at high speed. There was no point using the Horn as it would have frightened them and turn to face me or attack me instead of each other.

The days were enjoyable. I was recently married. My fertilizer company made us take good care of the vehicle which had to travel mostly in village roads. We were also well equipped with Steel Toe safety shoes, leather gloves, a Wonderfully expensive export quality Leather Bomber jacket, Helmet and Visor Plus Riding glasses. The safety equipment actually had come in very handy on occasion – as sometimes my speed would make me accident-prone.

So what happened next was too sudden. Hearing he noise of my Bike the fighting bulls seemed getting more agitated and both of them jumped simultaneously, just as I was ccrossing the bridge from the gap left by them. The impact was so severe that I just jumped out of the bike and fell into the dry river that was 40 ft below. My eyes were closed and as I was about 20 Km away from a small town MAIHAR where there was a famous Sharda Devi Temple ( I was a regular visitor and had to climb over 1000 steep steps for Darshan). I was in my mind, praying to the Goddess – and feeling generally happy that I am dying and reaching the Goddess’s abode. Then came the impact and I fell on my left hand and realised that I have a fracture (later after XRay etc. it proved that the hairline fracture was below the Snuffbox) . My Helmet was lying about 10 feet away and fortunately there was no bleeding except Blue marks on feet due to impact with stones in the dry river. Time was about 6 pm and my Analogue winding watch had broken. Slowly I got up and climbed on the bridge with the help of a tree stick I broke and used to climb the steep rise to the bridge. I wanted to shoo the bulls away and made noises with the stick and both of them ran away. To my shock and surprise, My vehicle was On the Stand and the left wheel was running – the engine was humming. Apparently, the stand got lose on impact and as I got thrown up – it seems to have taken a turn in a small gap in the road and was standing.

Driving the vehicle was a problem as the Clutch lever was broken, both mirrors were broken, fortunately again, the Headlight was Ok and with one hand I drove the 20km and began searching for any mechanic. From the distance I saw the lights of Goddess Sharda Devi’s temple and I still brought together my hands and prayed. There was no mechanic available. The option was to drive or keep the vehicle somewhere and travel by but to Satna which was 39 km away.

I decided to drive. Drove very very slowly as the left hand was to be kept in jacket pocket – it was painful and the clutch lever I had tied to right side which also had the front brake. I reached home around 10 pm. Woke up my neighbor doctor friends and they took me to the hospital – got Xray and plaster done.

It was a miraculous save and I realised that there were many such instances in my adventurous career where my life was saved. But now that I was married, I began to be extra careful and brought down speeds to the road limits and avoided evening rravel on village roads.


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