I’ve always believed in destiny. A while ago, I got an urgent phone call from my mother when I was at work. My grandma had passed away.
I headed to Goa the next day for the funeral. I’d never in my wildest dreams thought that a catastrophe awaited me in a city which is so close to my heart.
I have a huge circle of friends there, and it is also my birthplace. Almost everyone who’s my age is a buddy. I was going to Goa after two years.
I was excited about meeting my childhood friends, John and Nicholas. I was scheduled to leave for Bombay in two days.
The next day, John and I went for a drink. We got on to Nicholas’ bike and headed to the nearest bar. I had a couple of mocktails, because I’d quit drinking while John ordered his favourite cocktails. It felt like the good old days. We chilled out for a couple of hours.
The next thing I remember was waking up in a government hospital. I had stitches on my head and forehead. My head was bandaged and my vision was blurred. My family and close friends were at my bedside.
I tried to talk but felt an excruciating pain. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I was told that I had met with an accident.
I couldn’t remember anything. All I could recollect was John speeding home and me riding on the pillion. John was fine, I was told.
I was bedridden for six days. I reached Bombay after 10 days. The pain had subsided but I was still on painkillers. But the worst was yet to come.
A week later, I called up my aunt in Panjim. It was her wedding anniversary. She was happy to talk to me. She asked me if I knew about John. My heart started beating faster. I asked her if something was wrong. There was silence at the other end.
Finally she told me, “John is dead.” He had died on the spot. I was shocked and speechless for a few seconds.
I asked my mother why I hadn’t been informed about his death. They were scared that I wouldn’t have been able to absorb the shock. I couldn’t control my tears and cried like a child.
I’d lost one of my best friends. But I didn’t know how he had died. I called up one of my friends in Goa.
He told me that, that night after partying with them, John and I met up with some other friends and partied till the wee hours of the morning. Then we rode off again on Nicholas’ bike.
Everyone was worried because John was high but he insisted on riding the bike. On the way, he collided against an electric pole, which fell on his head, causing massive injuries.
At that point, I fell off the bike and escaped with only minor head injuries. Then my mom told me about the miraculous way in which she had found me, unattended to, on the site of the accident.
My maternal uncle had developed chest pain. My mother and his wife were in the process of rushing him to the hospital, when they spotted a huge crowd on the way. They were shocked to see John and me lying in a pool of blood.
I still get the shivers every time I ride on a bike or walk on traffic-congested road. My belief in destiny has only strengthened after all that I have gone through.