Straight Angle™: March 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
At times I do wonder what is it that makes you carry on with life? There should be some sort of an invisible thread- a fear of death, a fear of unknown that drives you to live, rather than a fondness for living itself..like in the moments when you want not to live- but you are afraid of death..speaking of death, I think I had a fairly close brush with it last Saturday, when I was driving Lakshmi at around 70-75 MPH in I287.
Myself and a colleague of mine had gone for some shopping roughly around 30 Miles from my place and it was raining cats and dogs when we started in the morning- though I enjoy driving in rain, I was a bit uncomfortable driving that particular day. I felt a slight unease setting in, as the intensity of the rain increased slowly, I was getting more and more uncomfortable, as the visibility reduced to within a few feet and I was driving at atleast 60 MPH. Foolish me- I know, but speed always enthuses me. I enjoyed it with a feel of trepidation.
But the sky was clean and spotless when we reached the shopping mall. The shopping mall was deserted for a Saturday- blame it on rains and ofcourse the slowing US Economy. All reasons said and accepted, the purchase went on smooth and the rains started when we started back. It was already 5:00 when we started from the mall and to our credit, we didn't do much of a shopping- what can two clueless dudes do in a shopping mall, figuring out what to buy for a 18 Month old kid?? We ended up buying something that we thought would be good..but then God only knows if that ever would be the case!
Anyways, coming back to the post, we started back to home at around 5:30- we know we had not a long drive ahead and also we had planned to come down to Saravanabhavan for dinner and for early bed!- as things would happen, we lost our way in 202- we went round and round in 202, unable to get the bearings- sadly for me, iPhone was also not of great help, as it kept giving some weird error messages in the maps. Somehow, we trusted our instincts to drive North and were really happy to see I287- following the same logic and forgetting that we drove on I287N to reach this place and thinking we need to go north to reach home, we started on I287N..the fact dawned on us, as we saw the exits increasing in their numbers rather than reducing...so had to take a detour and come back again to join I287S- but then it was already 4 miles since we missed our path...so that makes it 8 miles of round about route..anyways, cursing everything, I took the next exit to join back on I287S.
When I joined the interstate, I could feel the car was wobbling a bit and was running between lanes and the steering was a bit hard to handle- but I thought it was more to do with my speed rather than anything else..we would have gotten some 10 minutes into the highway, when out of the blue, suddenly there was a huge THUD sound and nothing was visible in the front..nor could I see anything in the rear view mirror..for a second or so, I could not make out what has happened..all I know/hear was the rumbling of the motor against the roar of the traffic outside..but the car was still running at 70-75MPH- as I hadn't slowed down or applied brakes..sensing trouble at the front, I put on the parking lights and was about to pull over to the right[as usual, I was on the left lane], when the dreaded 18-Wheeler whisked past me with a loud horn...I hadn't feared for my life ever as I did then- it was a terrible. But still, I hadn't figured out what has happened.
After letting the truck pass, and steering the car out to the shoulder, I came out without even switching off the car, only to see a gapping opening in the place of the bonnet and the bonnet perched atop the windshield. Mortified seeing at the way the bonnet has come to, I went back to switch the engine off and then came back to see the bonnet with a big dent running through its entire breadth. The force of the wind was such that, it has pried open the bonnet and had left a good dent on the roof too. More than the dent on the bonnet and the roof, the worst part was the condition of the windshield. The windshield had been completely smashed and there were pieces of glass inside the car. The rearview mirror has got detached from the windshield and had been thrown onto the rear seat. Luckily it didnt strike either me or my colleague.
I had to sit on top the bonnet and jump over it, to get it back to lock position and started back on the way. For some 10 minutes after this, I was driving on the shoulder itself- didnt have the courage to drive on the highway with a broken windshield and no rear view mirror. But after sometime, I was able to regain my confidence and started driving on the road- needless to say, was not clocking anything more than 40 MPH. It took us nearly an hour to reach home- but the wind has already created havoc everywhere. There were lots of fallen trees and my friends place was out of power for atleast 4 Hours.
I think this was for once a daring and a drastic experience for me- now read my opening lines- so, why do we live? Is it that we are afraid of death or we are fond of living?
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