General ramblings

The Longest Moment of My Life

I would like to apologize to everyone for disappearing and for not responding to your lovely comments. It’s very uncharacteristic of me for sure. I have good reason for it though- I have been a little caught up with the relocation work. And unfortunately, on my way to St. Louis, I met with a deadly accident…and almost got killed. I’m still recuperating from the after effects and have had absolutely no time to engage in blogging or to reply to your comments. Please forgive me for that. I will respond to your comments as I get time.

It’s surprising that some of the first people whom I told anything about the accident are my friends from WordPress- Ish and Shefaly. I thank everyone else who inquired about my well being too. I’m writing this post to answer everyone’s emails and questions at one go- it’s much easier for me to do this. I’m physically fit (except for some bruises), but I’ll take a long time to be fine mentally. I’ve only witnessed accidents as a observer. Being there, experiencing it, and not knowing where you’ll remain alive, is something that I wouldn’t want anyone to ever find out. Not even my worst enemy.

I had been packing round the clock since the past one week and was quite relieved when I finally drove on the highway, towards my new home. Nothing could go wrong. I made the mistake of getting my tires checked and inflated before driving on the highway and this might be a possible reason why my car tires blew up. All of a sudden, I lost control, and my car started swinging like a pendulum in the two lane highway. Before I could even think, I could see and smell fumes, the car skidded and hit the metal road barriers to my left, ripped through it and landed on the opposite side of the highway, where the traffic was flowing in the opposite direction. There were three 16 wheeler trucks, and I found myself praying to God, wishing that I come alive through this entire ordeal. I don’t know how the trucks managed to stop. But it’s a miracle that they did. What is even more surprising is that none of the cars on the highway hit my car, else I would have surely died. Everything possible (except for the boot of the car) broke. The door wouldn’t open. Somehow, I pulled myself out of the car with some guidance from my friend. Both of us were relieved that we were alive.

Those couple of seconds stretched for an eternity. I could feel as if everything was happening in slow motion and that I was living the final moments of my life. Perhaps my inner strength guided me to go on. Dying in a road accident is definitely not the kind of death that I wanted.

The Highway Patrol arrived within a minute or two. He wrote an accident report and pretty much told me on my face “It’s your problem”. I couldn’t care less about his rudeness. I was too worried about all my electronics. Yes, my electronics. The minute I found that me and my friend are safe, I made sure that we got our laptops, GPS navigator, cell phones, iPods, Cameras etc. out of the car. 😀

A very kind lady called Christina stopped for us and literally baby sat us. She was driving on her way back home from work. Later, in the car, she told us that she never leaves this early from work (it was 8:30 pm at the time of the accident) and it was a co-incidence/miracle that she’d left so early. She was behind those 16 wheeler trucks when our car was skidding and was shocked when she saw the condition of our car. She told me, “I don’t know how you people are alive. Seeing your car…I never thought that the people inside would have survived. What is a miracle is the fact that you don’t even have a single scratch on your body! Perhaps God wanted me to take you back to your home safely…and that’s the reason he made me leave my office 30 minutes early”.

There was another thing that she said- “The only way to repay me is to pass on this deed of kindness to someone else during his/her time of need”. And I hope to do that for sure. I hope God gives me a chance to help someone.

It’s been more than 72 hours since I had that accident, but I still feel traumatized. The trauma has reduced for sure…yes. I get panic attacks when I start sweating, my stomach starts churning and my throat becomes dry. I guess everything will get better with time.

I’m in a new town…hardly know anyone…no car either. I have rented a car for now and hope to buy another one ASAP. I feel too scared to drive, even though it was not my fault.

I went to the junk yard yesterday to take out stuff from my wrecked car. I got everything back, and I’m happy about that. The car mechanic told me that only “one in twenty cars manage to break the metal barrier and land on the opposite side of the highway…and hardly anyone ever survives it”.

Having been there and seeing death so closely, I feel that this is my second life. I feel very fortunate and very happy that I’m still alive and am surrounded by people who love me.

Oh, and by the way, after the accident, I did think about the accident scene from Kryzstof Kieslowski’s movie, Blue. 🙂 It was something like that. Very movie like.


36 thoughts on “The Longest Moment of My Life

  1. Hey Ruhi,

    I’ve been following you on tumbler and everything seems to be going well with you.

    This comes as a shock to me. But thankfully no damage done. And I hope as you said, this is your second life, nothing troublesome from your first life follows you now. On a positive note, very few people gets a second life without dying, so consider youself luck and began anew in a new town 🙂

    I think what I wrote above sounds life a part of boring lecture 🙂

    Still, all the best.

  2. Oh heavens!!! U take care girl…

    But, trust me, this is the right time to appreciate life and thank God for all you have! Its only in moments like these that you feel closer to your friends, family and even God!

    Take your time and good luck recuperating!

    M sure you will bounce back in no time 🙂

  3. Hi Ruhi,

    I have also been following you on Tumblr and I was wondering where you’ve been. I sorry about your accident and am VERY glad you are okay. I’ve never been in a horrible accident before so I can’t imagine what you’ve going through or how you’re feeling, but please know I’m praying for you.

    The only advice I can give you is you can only look forward from this point on. You are starting out in a new city albeit rough but maybe this will be a new starting point. It will definitely make you a stronger person.

    All the best!

  4. Hey, I am so glad to know, dear friend, that you were unharmed in such a bad accident. God bless!

    I thought you were missing because you were busy with relocation thing. And accident still sounds scary to me. Ruhi, take care. Think of this as a blessing in disguise.

  5. This is Indeed a miracle !! I have no words to say… Just saying thanks to God for this miracle ………… You are definitely blessed

    You should be alright soon.. try to find new friends around there 🙂 and you should be fine..

  6. Ruhi:

    I hope you never have to pass on Christina’s kindness. Remember a pre-requisite for you to be able to do so would be that someone else suffer the kind of accident you did.. Don’t wish it on anyone 😉

    Take care and I am glad you are driving again.

  7. There’s not much I can say, I’m really at a loss for words in situations like these. Chalo, jo ho gaya so ho gaya yaar, ab usko to change kar nahi sakte and uske baare mein sochne se kuch milega bhi nahi right? So start over, keep your friends cool and be strong, I’m sure everything will be back to normal. Aise cheezon ke baad mein yeh feeling zaroor hoti hai, it’s always a scary experience but kya karein, hota hai. Bhagwaan ne kuch socha hi hoga na, ki accident hone ke baad bhi you managed to be safe, the trucks stopped, the cars didn’t hit you and Christina came in. Bas stop thinking about it now and start thinking ke aage kya karna hai right? And jaldi se sab kuch figure out karke start Tumbling and blogging again. The tumblr guys must be missing their star and I for one am missing you like hell. Idhar comment kare bina and tumhare replies padhe bina mera din kabhi complete nahi hota. Isliye ab bas, himmat karo and comeback maaro fatafat okay? 😉

  8. When did you appeared?? 🙂
    I was just logging off when I thought of coming here to see if there was any news of you. And I was certainly in for a shock. It was quite scary to read all this so I can very well imagine what you would have gone through.
    Take care and thank god that nothing really bad happened and people were there to help you out.
    Know what, the description of the accident was quite similar to the opening sequence of Final Destination 2…if you have seen it. The only difference being that the accident reaches mammoth scale in the movie.
    Keep yourself busy…it will help you forget it.
    And, yes, Ish was right…we were surely missing you. 🙂 But he is sounding like some 70 year old…
    “Chalo, jo ho gaya so ho gaya” 😆
    And one more thing….I downloaded Bad Education. Will see it soon. 🙂

  9. thesuda says:

    Hey Ruhi, you are my favorite blogger from start of my wordpress life. Its just I never left a comment ( now I feel I should have done so).
    Having an accident and missing death by inches………. well its bad to have such an experience………
    But ok yaar, accidents happen accidentally. Now the worst happened (don’t start remembering it again) , nothing can go bad than this. Means everything will be good(perhaps better) from now on. And as you are feeling some DARD inside :-p (inside where? you only know) ……. so write some DARD BHARI story, or write some jokes which will make our ribs pain by laughter.
    I am giving just ideas. You are free to ignore them 🙂 . Get well soon.

    Don’t Worry Be Happy.
    (I am thinking of writing in my blog about this, thanks to you because idea flashed while wishing you well)

  10. Amit is right, I did sound like some 80 year old wiseman in the previous comment. The things you make me do Ruhi..kya kya karwaati hai merese. 😛

  11. Traumatic experience to go through. I don’t really what to say except hang on in there and don’t worry about blogging. It’s a miracle like that lady said that you were not hurt. Take care…

  12. “Please forgive me for that.” why? u don’t need to ask for forgiveness
    yes it does worry people that u weren’t posting but hey as nita says there are more important things and blogging can wait, but do talk a lot to someone close .

    Woah! that must have been indeed traumatic, so take care of yourself
    yes these are the times that u remember god and god comes to ur rescue as my mum says…. plus even all ur elec gear and most things were left unscathed 🙂
    Well, it will still take u some time to get out of the shock! But don’t worry u will be a mentally stronger person after u get over it , and get over it u will
    my sis was once in an accident with a brand new rick, the driver jumped out and she and her friend also escaped miraculously – front half the rick was smashed to smithereens. She came out fine.

  13. lallopallo says:

    Dear Ruhi,
    Iam really sorry to learn about your accident and could imagine what you went through..
    Iam glad that you have come out of it unscathed..
    Please do take care of yourself and try not to think much about it ..
    It will pass..and remember, because nature wants you to be here -alive and kicking-, it cannot afford to hurt you ..
    It just wanted to play with you with it’s sick sense of humor I guess..But, we will not care for that…
    I watched Dr Strangelove yesterday..You might want to watch could help you see serious things in lighter vein…
    Take care

  14. I watched Blue last week…. and I can pretty much figure out how it must have gone. U just got out of all this stronger and wiser. All d best and take care.

  15. Dropped by earlier and couldn’t come up with anything to say. I lost a cousin to a car accident a couple of months ago. I’m really glad you’re safe. (And I like you even more for mentioning Blue.) I hope it gets easier to deal with in time.

  16. You have so many people who love you Ruhi. Just here on the internet! I confess I am one of them too. I wondered when I really ‘met’ you and so I decided to find out. To my surprise you first left a comment on my blog, on 30th of june last year on a post I wrote on Fergusson College.
    Well, I came back here to wish you a very quick recovery. and to tell yu that I feel that me you are already getting over it. After all your electronics are safe! 🙂

  17. ..first time visitor to your blog..very sorry to hear (read) about the accident…best of luck for all your future endeavours(and journeys) …keep posting

  18. Oh my GOd .. !!! this was my reaction when i started the rection as i started reading it became phew ..glad that nothing worse happened
    i was wondering actually what hit ruhi..thought that u are still busy in shifting thing..
    u must be the only one who is blogging the details of an accident u met ..
    anyways glad to know u are recovering…
    dont stress much replying …we will anyway be waiting for u.. so dont worry… 🙂
    take care…

  19. Hi Ruhi,

    Glad you survived the accident. Hope you recover from your traumatic experience and wishing you the best. If there’s a yoga studio where you live, try attending a few classes – it’ll be helpful.

  20. Wow, thats a very scary thing to have happened. I’ve had a couple of car accidents but nothing where I thought I might have been killed. Glad to know you’re ok.

  21. oh…really a shocking incident ruhi….and thank god you are okay now….
    i was quiet late in knowing all these…

    i can’t say anything now,
    praying for your speedy recovery…mentally and physically..
    let’s rock this second life…!

    but seriously, thank god…i can’t think of it….

  22. Everyone- Thanks a lot for your concern. 🙂 I’m really touched. The fact that I’m taking out time to reply to your comments shows that I feel much better, mentally and physically. Things are getting back on track again, and I hope they stay this way.

    Anand- Probably this happened at the right time- new town, new life etc. I’m seeing things in new light now. I think this incident has made me a stronger person, (a little more cynical though…at least for now.) 😉

    Nova- I guess any time is the right time. I’m not sure if this was the right time, because I already had/have a lot of tension. 🙂 But…no sweat!

    Katy- Hi! Thanks for stopping by here. It’s good to know that people at Tumblr also care about my life. I feel much better now, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve started Tumblr-ing again. 🙂

    Poonam- Scary it was! The first thing that came to my mind after I got out of the car was the expenses that will rise…and yes, my expenses have risen a lot. I was forced to buy a new car, even though I didn’t want one (right now). Anyway…I guess some good might come out of it later. 🙂

    Inx- Thanks for your concern. That’s very nice of you. I feel much better now, thanks to all the lovely people in my life.

    Dinsan- Yes, blessed I am. Not many people would have survived it. I guess there is some unfinished business; that’s the reason I didn’t die. 😉

    Balu- Yeah…for sure. This incident has already started affecting my life in a number of ways. I hope I become a better person.

    Shefaly- Yes, you’re right. I was thinking about the same thing when I actually typed it out. I don’t want to see anyone in this condition ever. 🙂

    Ish- You’re really sounding like an old man 😉 Someone very philosophical and all grown up. Hehe. Sorry, can’t stop laughing. Anyway, I’m much better now. Can’t believe that I week back, a couple of hours from this time, I was in involved in a road accident.

    Oh, and did I tell you that it feels nice to be missed? Finish your exams, and then we’ll do tons of blogging/talking 🙂

    “kya kya karwati hai mujhse”

    Achcha? Chalo theek least I have some power to make you do something 😉

    Anirudh- Thanks 🙂 Am much better already.

    Amit- Thanks for checking up on me 😛 I haven’t seen Final Destination, so I can’t comment. But I’m certainly glad that my love for movies helped me write this post in a Hollwood-ish manner. And I’m even more glad to know that you downloaded Bad Education. I’ll wait for your response.

    And thank you for missing me…heh. I wouldn’t have been able to blog or ever let you people know what’s happened to me, if I had died….and you people would have assumed that I have abandoned

    Thesuda- Oh, so one good thing definitely happened because of my accident: One anonymous reader took the time to finally comment. 🙂 Thanks a lot for your concern. I didn’t mean to make this into a dard bhari story, but I don’t know how else to write about it, after taking into account my mediocre writing abilities. Btw, where do you blog?

    Xylene- Thanks 🙂 Am much better now., Anshul- Thanks. I’m hanging in there. 🙂

    Nita- Yes, I realize that there are lots of people out there who like/love me, even here at I’m quite lucky that way 🙂 It’s always good to know that people missed me. I feel like I’ve been away from blogging since ages. I can’t wait to start blogging again and reading my friends’ blogs. I remember writing that comment on your blog, a very long time ago. I was happy to find someone who was blogging about Pune; so I decided to leave a comment. Very sweet of you to go back and search for my first comment. Really!

    Prax- Really sorry about your sister. Accidents can be fatal. We might think that we’re fine, but it’s only later that we realize that we have been affected in ways that we didn’t even comprehend. 🙂 I’ve been driving around the city and cars going faster than 50 mph scare me now, because of the accident. I’m avoiding all highways and freeways and taking longer routes..wasting time, energy and gas. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to drive normally.

    Rahul- Thank you for your concern, and keep visiting. I swear I write better stuff 😉

    Lallo- Yep, sick joke it was. Very sick joke. And I’ve seen Dr. Strangelove…one of Kubrick’s best, I must say. It’s one of my all time favorite movies. 🙂

    Indisch- Thank you 🙂 I think I read that post on Blue, but didn’t quite find the time to comment. I have bought the Trois Coeleurs DVD collection. I can watch it again and again without getting bored, and every single time you watch it, you’ll notice something new.

    Lisa- I’m so sorry to hear that. Traveling by car is much more dangerous compared to traveling by plane; yet people in the US travel extensively by car. One person dies every 13 minutes in a car accident and there are around 6.2 million accidents every years in the US. 😦 Thank you for your concern..I’m doing much better now.

    Arvind- Yes, you better wait 🙂 I might still not find much time to blog…but I’ll try my best. Ahh…so many people commented here…such an ego booster.

    Amit- Thank you for your concern and for that yoga tip. Actually, I do know a lot of Yoga and had attended these classes as a kid. I should try and meditate for a couple of minutes everyday.

    Amyth- Second life for sure. Not sure about thanking God, but I’m really glad to be alive. 😛

    Ian- So sorry to hear that…I’m really scared of getting on to a freeway again. I know that I can’t stay this way forever…but I don’t know…I seem to have lost my confidence when it comes to driving even though I know that it was not my fault.

    Arjun- 🙂 I’m doing fine now. Don’t worry. I should be up and bouncing in no time.

  23. let me rephrase and please delete the previous comment
    on my sis, she faced something very similar the rickshaw was smashed right till the passenger seats and was saved by inches – luckily the driver jumped cause that had saved him from certain death- so i posted it. She is doing fine and may have probably forgotten the incident or maybe it is lying somewhere in her subconscious , people don’t forget near death incidents easily.
    anyways she is too busy as she has her hands full with her baby
    infact long after that incident, she is fine with taking ricks, infact it is a novelty as it reminds her of all things Indian
    i am the one who from then on has gotten a bit weary of ricks

    on avoiding a freeway/highway
    take ur time share ur fears with people especially close to ur heart – talking and sharing helps a lot as does time
    when u feel like it get back on the freeway but make sure u do cause u have to face ur fears someday
    such incidents make us better more caring responsible people 🙂

  24. Ruhi: There is a reason why I said I am glad you are driving again.

    When I was 11 years old, I was in a serious road accident involving my school bus, a scooter being driven at very high speed by 2 boys without licences and me. Suffice it to say that roads which have no dividers and people who think their dad may own the road do not mix well. I have about 43 stitches to show for it on my head and joints. I am still sad about blood-staining my new shirt and new socks that day although the school bag was soaked too but I needed a new one anyway.

    And now, after all these years, I still watch the traffic like a hawk so much so it can take me a few minutes to cross a street. When crossing with other people, I dig my nails into their arms as they literally pull me across the road at a time *they* deem safe. I was best suited to Switzerland where they do not jay-walk. In London, everyone jay-walks and I look like a weirdo waiting for the right opportunity or the ‘green man’ (the walk-don’t walk equivalent we have here).

    You have been admirably brave and therefore you deserve a pat on the back!

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