Couple of months back, on the very narrow Narullahali road, I met with an accident.
The road is so narrow that it can barely take traffic running in both the directions. At places, where unplanned farm houses and school emerges, it gets further tight. On one not so fortunate day, I was driving at the speed of 30-40 km/hr , I was to take the right turn and park the car in front of the school. So I indicated, and was moving the steering towards right, when a biker came zipping from nowhere and banged into my car from the right side. His bike skid on the road, he went flying in the air and landed right in the front of car tyres. I was fortunate and quick enough to apply brakes on time to save his and my life. I got out of the car and ran to help him. He was lying in pain. The guard of the school also ran and helped the gentle man get on his feet. We seated him on the chair and started inspecting his bruises. The guard ran to get first aid and a glass of water for him, while I waited with him,
‘Is it hurting anywhere’. I enquired.
He didn’t reply, he touched his elbow and looked in pain. The skin was peeled from being scratched on the road. He was bleeding.
‘Can I apply ointment here.’ I pointed to the elbow.
He nodded. I did.
He still had his helmet on. I asked him to remove it. He was unable to do so, as his hand was hurting. So, I did it for him.
‘Is it hurting anywhere else?’
He didn’t reply. He touched his back.
I lifted his shirt slightly, he was hesitant so I backed off and asked the guard to check.
Since he landed on his right side, his skin from that side was peeled. He was bruised badly and bleeding.
The guard applied ointment.
We was panting because of the accident and heat, so we asked him to rest for some time.
Meanwhile a small crowd had gathered, one Ola driver, one auto rickshaw driver, one passer-by, another biker, the school teacher and one of the waiting parents have come out and was witnessing the event.
The guy though in pain was sitting calmly on the chair and resting before he could continue on his journey.
In our country, everybody likes to meddle in other’s business. So the crowd contributed.
The Ola driver, in authoritative tone,
‘Madam, you should be careful’
The Auto driver, in angst,
‘You were taking the turn, it is your fault.’
The passer-by, said something in Kannada. From his tone I knew, it’s not good.
The fellow biker, was trying to know what was the damage to the bike. Not to the guy.
I ignored all, and was focusing on the guy who was hurt.
The auto driver came towards us and started speaking rudely in Kannada, language I don’t understand.
I looked for translator to understand what his problem was since it was not his concern.
The guy with all the pain, bruises and hurt chipped in.
‘He is saying, I should go to hospital with you and make you pay the bill.’
The Auto driver continued.
‘He is saying I should ask for money.’ translated the guy with all the bruises.
The aggression increased in his tone, I asked the guy, to ask the auto driver to mind his own business and shut up.
And after that people dispersed and went on their way.
I apologised profusely to the guy though I believed it was not my mistake. But the guy was badly hurt and too much in pain, it was visibly from his face.
For the first time he spoke, directly to me,
‘It’s my fault, I was in hurry so I speeded though you were indicating, I thought I would make it.’
I am driving for last 15 years and not once anybody has been so honest in a situation like this. I was touched and even felt guilty that the accident happened with my car, while I was behind the wheels.
How you behave under stress defines who you are. Most of the people crumble under the slightest of difficulty. It takes a man of great character to own up to his mistakes.
After five minutes, still in pain, he got up, thanked us and left. What a gentleman!
I regret not asking his name.