Still gathering my thoughts, which are scattered...find out why...

December 3, 2010

Yesterday, I had the incredible experience of feeling that I was going to die in the next few seconds.

I’d decided to take the Lalbagh Express back to Bangalore, and had come out on to the road; KM was bargaining with an auto as there wasn’t enough time for me to take a bus to the station. I was crossing the road, when a scooterist shot out from a side gate, and ploughed into me with no warning at all, from behind.

I ….really!….went sailing in the air, and I want to document how clear my thoughts were…I felt my glasses flying off, and wondered if they would break or not…and then, came the certainty that I was going to die. There was no fear; no panic. I was fully conscious, fully lucid…and I am still unable to say whether I was sad, or happy, or what….none of the above, just a consciousness filled with the awareness that I was about to die. (Not “leave my body” or anything like that, though.)

As it happened…an incredible fluke made me land, not on my head, but on my right side…and I don’t know if it has to do with my generally good health, or it was yet another coincidence…I got away without any fractures, just some deep cuts and scratches, contusions, and bone-deep aching limbs.

I was able to sit up in a few minutes, with the crowd around helping me retrieve my (another miracle!) unbroken glasses, my MLC, my laptop bag….I could rationally assess my injuries, and carry on to make the train journey back home. Yes, last night was quite uncomfortable, and today, after spending hardly ten minutes at the wedding that I came back to attend, I realized I could not sit any more, and quietly came home. I was then knocked out for a couple of hours.

I am trying to organize my scattered thoughts, and relive those fleeting seconds.

Do ALL people who feel they are about to die, have a similar phase of lucid nothing-but-consciousness? Had I suffered very painful injuries and then died, would I have still had that kind of calm consciousness? Mine was not an out-of-body experience that is reported by many who have returned from the brink of death. My mind was very much in my body.

I do know, however, that I felt NO regrets, no sadness….and to me that’s very precious. It means that I am, at heart, a good person, and can leave this life without thinking of how I’ve wronged someone or hurt someone’s feelings…a clear conscience is a wonderful thing to have.

It’s so funny…the bodily pain is bearable but unpleasant, but the peace of mind freshly born out of such a jarring experience is so nice….how can they go together?

I refused to fight with the scooterist, who was spouting lies about having honked and braked (the people on the road said that he had done neither,unanimously.) The auto driver, who COULD have driven off with my luggage, didn’t do so, and after we reached the station, I asked KM to get me some ice to put on my cut lip. The people who surrounded me were so supportive; I hardly looked at their faces, and will not be able to recognize even the scooterist again. I didn’t think of taking down the licence plate.

After KM put me on the train and it started, I had an intense bout of crying. This is also very puzzling to me. I was at no point feeling sad…but the tears just would NOT stop for half an hour (I must have got dehydrated with the amount of tears I shed!) The man sitting next to me stolidly ignored the whole thing, and I am unable to say whether I liked that, or not.

But today…I am sitting by myself, and feel intensely alone. Not in a sad way…but I know that I am….alone. No, I don’t feel connected to any all-pervading Consciousness. This sense of being alone (not loneliness at all, I can’t describe it)..pervades my being.

Today, after attending the wedding, I visited the doctor, who confirmed that there didn’t seem to be anything major the matter with me. “I always warn you to be careful while cycling, and here, you get hit when you are walking!” he smiled. Chandan and my daughter both brought up my propensity to jaywalk, and I had to assure them that in this instance, I was definitely NOT at fault.

So I seem to have had an oxymoron…a very lucky traffic accident! Or…should I call the accident unfortunate, and my luck in coming out of it, quite extraordinary? I do remember some curiosity about what was going to happen..also in a kind of emotionless, detached way. So…would it have been “lucky” or “unlucky” if I had died?

I think of all those people who fail to come back from their various journeys, and become statistics…..and I wonder, and wonder some more. What a mystery it is….well, I just failed to penetrate the veil,and am here to make a post about it. I am one tough old chicken!