The humid air mixed with the stench of sweat and sewage, filled my lungs as I rushed down the stairs to catch my train – standing on platform 2 .
The stampede on the stairs didn’t distract me . Neither did the milling crowd of hundreds rushing out of the train and covering the platform like a swarm of ants . The loud speaker announcements about the trains arrival were only increasing my heart beat as I pushed and nudged my way through the sea of humanity on Kurla station .The intense awareness that comes when you are just focussing one pointedly on the most important thing for you in existence at that time – was flowing through my veins .
Finally, there I was about to grab the pole in the middle of the First Class Ladies compartment . Only it wasn’t the first class coach – but the second class one . With the last few seconds left before the train started moving , I looked around desperately to see if I could spot that compartment but since I couldn’t I just grabbed the pole and kept one foot on the footboard and tried climbing up .
There was a group of eunuchs, coming from inside the compartment their bangles and bells tinkling . One just nudged me with her elbow as I was trying to climb in – asking for the time . My concentration was broken. Somehow, I lost my balance with that nudge and fell down – my hand still clutching the pole tightly .
(Kurla Station-represntational pic)
And then the horror started. The train started moving . And dragging me along . Those of you, who have seen the Mumbai locals, know how they pick up speed . In that tiny microsecond I knew with an air of finality that the last few seconds of my life remained . My own prediction of this being a marak dasha ( killer period astrologically ) whirled through my mind .
The train was moving fast now – and I couldn’t even feel my body getting bruised and cut as it was dragged along the length of the Kurla platform. People inside the train and on the platform gaped at me in horror and curiosity ,with a sense of dread perhaps but all I could see was blurry images of groups of people whirl by .
Last few seconds – my life flashed before me in those.
No matter how much I had fought with Piyush this morning or over the years – I still loved him. Deeply. I wouldn’t be able to tell him that now .
Shubham and Priya – their loving and cute smiles when I waved them goodbye this morning flashed so clearly before my eyes .
My fledgling career that had just re-started – my ambition buried in the ground before it could grow wings and fly .
I had taken a 5 year career break post leaving P&G . I had fought a battle with severe depression and then insurmountable odds to make a come back . And within months of joining HUL they would be mourning me .
What all one thinks in one’s last seconds!!!!
I remembered Sri Krishna . And struggled to hold on to the pole. Why ? I thought to myself . The end is near- I am anyway going to fall through and get crushed .
I closed my eyes and suddenly felt someone pulling my backpack and me . A strong pull now – and I was turned over as the train whizzed by . I was at the very end of the platform . Thousands of eyes watched me . A man with large eyes and a larger smile, smiled at me and extended his hand to help me get up .
I couldn’t believe it ! I was still here . In this very world !!
I took his hand and tried to pull myself up . I couldn’t . The guy then bent down and supported my shoulders to help me stand – he supported me and helped me walk . A stall owner put out a plastic chair . I sank down in it . And held my head in my hands . Disbelief and Gratitude -those were the emotions that coursed through me. I couldn’t believe I was alive . It was a miracle !
“Aap theek hain na ?”( are you ok ) the man asked with concern in his voice . I could only nod my head .
“Thank God” he said .
The next I raised my head – I couldn’t see him. A large crowd surrounded me . Tumi theek ahat na ( marathi for are you ok) was the sentence being thrown at me repeatedly . I was overwhelmed and my eyes were searching for my savior. But he was no where to be seen, As is the case in Mumbai – things move fast in the city like fast locals . And people are always in a rush to get some where . So, after ensuring I was ok – the crowd dissipated and a constable walked over .
He politely offered to call my husband – who as is usually the case with him, didn’t pick up the call. I called him again from my mobile – which was in my pocket- dented but still working . He picked up and told me in an irritated tone – “What happened ? I am in a meeting”. I could barely tell him I had just survived being crushed by a train . The constable told him that .
He was in Worli in a party with his colleagues. So, he requested the constable to help me with a cab to get home. Tottering over, I dragged myself to the cab which the constable had so kindly arranged . I was filled with gratitude for my savior and this guy again – they saved my life . And then a storm of guilt – I couldn’t even thank them properly – so self absorbed I was . May be it was Krishna himself who came – sometimes it is this wild thought that comes to my mind . May be it was . But even if that was a wild imagination ,definitely a messenger of His, a messenger of Kindness and Hope was there .
Here I was – expecting thanks and acknowledgement, for every single act of kindness or assistance I did and here were these two people – who put everything on the line so selflessly and without needing a single word of appreciation . They could have stood and watched like the rest of the crowd – but they rushed forward and did everything they could , my savior literally putting his life on the line . He could have got pulled in too by the centrifugal force – as one railway constable recently did, while trying to save an old woman. He didn’t know me , what I did , where I came from and what he would gain nor did he wait for my cry of help – he just jumped in without a thought! Remembering that day still brings tears to my eyes .That incident changed something in me
Kindness and help can come from the most unexpected quarters . Kindness -it is that spark of divinity in all of us that elevates the consciousness to think above the selfish interests and step up to serve the creation. Swami ji through his thoughts and actions has built an army of these kindness angels- i.e. all of you ! who serve this world without expecting thanks ,acknowledgement , fame or reward . Lets make this world a better place. You never know whose life you might end up saving .
PS – True incident from my life . 14th Nov 2014.