Yesterday’s article about swimming brought up more related memories.
It used to be a fairly long journey from home to the pool. However, we never felt it to to be long since we always looked forward to the swim. However, after the swim, we generally used to be so tired & hungry that the same journey used to feel very boring.
We used to start from home with 25 paise on us. One way bus ticket used to be 10p. So after paying for the bus, we were still left with 5P with which we would buy nuts to fight the hunger till we reached home.
Some astrologer had told us when I was young that he foresaw some danger to me from a motor vehicle when I was 12 years old. This was always at the back of my mom’s mind when we went swimming in 1972. I was exactly 12 years old. Everyday as Mrudula and I left home, she would tell us to be very careful while crossing the roads, particularly the road just outside the swimming pool, Cadel road, where the vehicles seemed to go very fast and there was no traffic light in front of the swimming pool.
It was a Saturday. On that day, I & Mrudula were supposed to visit our aunt, Shobha Mavshi, who stayed nearby. So we left much later than usual, and there were only two of us when we started from the pool. We bought our customary nuts (Chane Dane), and started crossing the road. What happened next was quite unexpected. Even after so many years, I still remember the whole event very vividly.
I was engrossed in eating my peanuts as I stepped on the Cadel road. I picked a new peanut and put it in mouth. As I was looking at the Shivaji Park ground, the ground suddenly turned around. I remember thinking that it was a little odd for the ground to turn like that.. That’s when I heard people shouting. They were talking about some boy being knocked by a car. And I thought, they were most likely talking about me. It was a strange experience, I was almost detached from my body and observing myself.
When I looked, I was lying on the road with a crowd gathered around me and a car stopped about 10 feet from me. Mrudula was stunned and came running towards me. The car driver was also completely stunned and afraid about what was the extent of my injuries.
Looking back, I think we behaved in a very mature manner. I was 12 and Mrudula was just ten and half. We told the driver and the crowd that I was alright, there was no need for anyone to worry. We asked the car driver to drop me at my aunt’s place. My mom came in the afternoon. Then we went to the doctor in the evening. Except for some bruises and body ache, there was nothing serious.
My mom was relieved that the prophecy about the danger from a motor vehicle was over without much of a damage to me.