Friday, March 31, 2006

The day that changed my life.

Exactly two years ago, when I was working in Mumbai, the client arranged for everybody working on our project, to go on a visit to EsselWorld. Having seen the EsselWorld ads repeatedly on TV, with declarations of "Esselworld mein rahunga main! Ghar nahin jaaunga main!" [I will stay on in Esselworld, I will not go home!], I couldn't wait to go and see what was so special about it.

I went armed with a mini first-aid kit, on my mom's insistence. [Yes, she has heard too many horror stories involving fun parks.] Her advice rang in my ears. "You are over-adventurous. Don't go on rides which are too crazy." Well, moms will be moms. Anyway, after promising to send her an sms every one hour to prove that I am still alive, I joined my colleagues on the bus to EsselWorld. Just as the bus started, I got another sms from my mom. "Be careful. If the ride looks too dangerous, do NOT go on it. Remember, there are people who love you waiting for you back home." Phew! "Ok mom!" I replied, and we were on our way.

At the gates of EsselWorld, a couple of colleagues went to buy tickets. The rest of us, more than 60 of us, were just waiting around. Someone suggested a game to play to while away the time. It was an improvised version of kho-kho. The players stand in pairs, one behind another, in two concentric circles. There is one guy who is the chaser, and he chases a designated runner. When the runner is tired, he tags one of the pairs, and the player in the pair who belongs to the outer concentric circle turns into the runner.

Well, the game progressed, and finally, somebody tagged me. I did a little of smart running and dodging, and then decided to tag somebody else. I approached someone, tagged him, and stopped with an awkward jerky movement. Suddenly, my left ankle twisted beneath me. I desperately clawed the air for a handhold, and the guy nearest to me tried to prevent me from falling, but I went crashing down. A number of hands immediately helped me up. I stood up, put my weight on my left foot, and promptly went down again in pain. I hopped over to the side, sat, and suddenly found that my left shoe was too tight. I took off my shoes and socks, to find my ankle twice its size. It was throbbing in pain. I was half-laughing, half-crying. An ambulance materialized out of nowhere, and took me to the "medical centre" in Essel World. There was a very gentle and soft-spoken doctor on duty. She examined my foot, and declared that it could not be just a sprain. It could be a fracture. Whaaaaat? Yes, she said, and advised me to either go back home to Andheri and show it to an expert, or, go to Bhayander, a suburb close by, to a doctor on EsselWorld's payroll. Going back to Andheri would mean that someone would have to go with me, and that would mean that s/he would lose out on a fun-filled day. Going to Bhayander would take just a couple of hours, and my escort could continue with enjoying himself/herself in Esselworld. I chose the latter. The ambulance again came for me. First they confirmed that I indeed held a valid EsselWorld ticket, failing which they would have probably cast me out just like that.

We set out, my colleague Bhupi, and I. Now Bhupi is one of those people who has helped me a million times when I have been in trouble , and has been a very good friend, but unfortunately, I have never been able to acknowledge how much his efforts have meant to me. Maybe it is just that sometimes you can never thank some people adequately. Anyway, Bhupi accompanied me in the ambulance to the doc in Bhayander. On the way, my mom sent me a message, "How are the rides?", and Bhupi prompted me to write back, "Enjoying a very special ride!" :)

The ambulance ride was pretty painful. The road was bumpy, and my poor ankle kept getting tossed about. I gritted my teeth and bore it. After too long a journey, we arrived at the Bhayander hospital, and I went hopping in on one leg. The doctor examined my foot, said that it was not a fracture (a sigh of relief) but looked like a ligament tear (whaaat?). He bound my foot with a crepe bandage, and told me to go to a specialist. I decided to do that the next day, and went back to the EsselWorld medical centre. I was given a clean bed in a cool room smelling of disinfectant. I convinced Bhupi that I would be fine and he went to join the others.

I lay down there and called mom and told her what happened. I philosophized to her, telling her that you can never know what will happen, and when. See? You were so afraid that I would hurt myself on some ride. I hurt my ankle even before I could enter EsselWorld! Anyway, After that, left with nothing to do, I made a lot of calls, and played games on my mobile. Finally it was lunch time, and the ambulance came for me again. I joined the rest of my colleagues, to a lot of solicitous questions and pampering. After lunch, I got back and slept well, until another colleague, who was feeling woozy after a particularly dizzying ride, joined me. We chatted and kept each other company until it was time to go back home.

I reached my paying guest accommodation, and got pampered by PG Auntie. Then I went into the bathroom. I was hopping on one foot, and the toilet was wet, and well, you know. I crashed again. I tried not to howl, but just took painkillers and went to bed. The next day, I went to an orthopaedist close by. He took some X-Rays, and said that it indeed looked like a ligament tear, and he said he would refer me to an expert. [What was he?] He said, you need bed rest for at least 2 weeks. Whaaat? Then might I as well go back to Bangalore and get treated there? That would be best, said the doc. Fine. Then Bhupi arrived, heard of my predicament and immediately went to the airport to arrange for tickets. Meanwhile I got back and called office to tell them that they would have to do without me for a while. They were supportive, and I packed whatever I could while I hopped on one foot. Bhupi came back with some really economical tickets, for a flight which started at... 3 am! Well, obviously I needed an escort at that time of the night.. and naturally Bhupi volunteered. Well, he took me to the airport, and found that we needed to have booked wheelchairs while booking the tickets. So there are no wheelchairs, sorry. Sigh.. I made a very sad face, and hopped very helplessly around, while Bhupi did some pretty good convincing. Then the airport authorities felt sorry for me and gave me a wheelchair. [My experiences with the wheelchair here]. Bhupi checked me in, and went back. I reached Bangalore early next morning, and horrors! - my entire family had come to receive me. My mother got all teary-eyed to see her dear daughter in a wheelchair.

Anyway a quick trip to the best orthopaedist followed... after confirming that my ligaments were indeed torn, they had to determine how bad it was. So a particularly painful x-ray followed. The doc said "Ready? This will hurt!" and grabbed my ankle and twisted it with all his might, and the x-ray guy took the x-ray. The whole twisting thing probably lasted for just 3-4 seconds but my I saw red and black spots and i clenched the sides of the bed. I was sweating and whimpering with pain by the time it was done. This was to see how much damage my ligament had undergone? Ha! The ligament would have suffered the most damage during that x-ray. Sob sob :( Anyway, doc knows best! Then the doc took one look at the x-ray and declared that my foot needed to be in a cast for a minimum of six weeks. Whaaaaaat? Well, my leg was put in a cool blue fibreglass cast, a walker was obtained, and I was a pampered invalid for the next six weeks. Then of course, i needed two weeks to be able to walk after the cast was removed, and it was 2 months before I could go back to Mumbai.

Now why did that fall change my life? Well, some of you know why.. for others, I will just say that this little, but painful incident, drastically and unexpectedly changed the course of my life in a very positive way - I met the guy I would marry. ;)

27 comments:

Anitha said...

hey shruthi ... if I had your phone number , i would have called you immediately ..too much of a suspense story ... who is that guy ? ( since I do not want to make any assumptions) ...

Nice story indeed ... I love your way of writing ....

Raj said...

I vividly rmemeber that Esselworld ad. I so wanted to go there.

I think you shud have clearly told us which guy it was. Bcos now we are forced to guess.

Was it the doctor? :)

Full2 Faltu said...

And who is that??

Or is there a second part?

Punds

Global Indian said...

hmm.. So, where is S in this whole incident?

Amodini said...

Wow - real filmi stuff, no ? Very glad for you though - here's to wedded bliss !

Anonymous said...

would I like to break my leg to get A,B,C whatever ?! Good Lord NO! I would not break anything to get someone ( ok ok may be coconut ;) ) ...ruNanubanda hudukobekadre kaalu murkobeku kelavaru ! bedappa aa kasta, aa Bhagavantha haage kodli daya torsi !!

Oh, first Ugadi is it this time?!

ANKIT said...

well this is a very well written 'unwell story' of yours... :-)

Ajith said...

Shruthi..break the suspense..don't leave it as in a Hitchcok style story. As always I love the style of your narration.

Surya Ragunaathan said...

Shruti, Good post!! Btw, we used to call it standing kho-kho :-)
cheers!!

Sachin said...

Am feeling so tempted to guess who your Prince Charming was!!! But I won't...mainly because if I'm wrong, I would be very embarassed. LOL.... leaving it to you to break the suspense.

Manasi said...

Here's me joining the rant...... who's he??? Who's he????
Nice post and apparently a very filmi way of meeting 'him';)

Shruthi said...

Hey everybody, thank you, thank you :)
Sorry for the suspense! And so sorry to disappoint you, coz my husband does not figure in this post :D
Full2faltu got it right - there is a second part ;)

Akshay said...

good for you
bad for your leg

Nirwa said...

Aah.. second part, eh? Suspense only reminds me of Suspense Account - the one I used to make whenever my balance sheet didn't tally! :P :P

Sorry for those who are totally unaware of the theories of accountancy.. :P

Now, now, don't keep it for long.. Come up with second part soon! :)

Nirwa

Anonymous said...

Good narration style, must admit the last para is a bit dramatic and really cool, romantic and suspenseful. Reads like a Shyamalan movie plot where the climax throws you back ;) .. kidding ..nice article

Kishore

chitra said...

Hmmm...when where how? Yella heLamma.... :)

Shruthi said...

Akshay, Kishore: :D and thanks!

Nirwa, Chitra: Yup, maybe, sometime soon!

Surya Ragunaathan said...

Hey Shruti, just read ur post called 'being on the darkness'...A lil late to comment mayb, but really good post, a lot of it is like what I did during all those ages...especially age 17 is just ditto to what I did, perhaps even now....so u into singing?? great!! Carnatic?/Hindustani?

Rebellion said...

Shruti!

My first visit to your blog... That was quite a cute though painful story :p And you've left everyone in a real suspense eh?!! Waiting for the not-so-painful.. in fact the 2nd happy part of the same painful story ;):p

Take care,
Aarti :-)

Anu said...

I expected to read part 2, first thing monday morning! Where is it?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I do recollect that evening when u came in hopping around on your walker to the re-*****.........

Well, nothing that evening seemed to indicate of the things to come ;-).....not even the ice cream session at CH after lunch.....or were the assembled junta misled that evening.....???

Anonymous said...

Hey shruthi, i like ur style...
we are waitin for the second half of the story......

Shruthi said...

Aarti, Anu: Ummm... my soon-to-come next post should explain everything ;)

Anon1: Are you Anand? Or Krishna? Or somebody else? :D

Anon2: Thanks :) Will be great if you could leave your name ;)

Supremus said...

Sigh!!

What a lovely story - najane, what will it take for me to meet my honewaali hehehe. Now to read part 2 of this story :)

Beautiful writing! I missed this in Blore hehe!

Suyog

Shruthi said...

Supremus: Thank you :) Hope you had a wonderful time in Bangalore ;)

Midhun Kumar Allu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Midhun Kumar Allu said...

Well very nice story not because of romance in it but the narration was nice. I have been in love enough to realise that love is not that great ! Yeah, I dont believe in love (/me dodges all the bricks and stones being hurled at me).

Best of luck in recovery.

(P.S : I ended up here though the link on blanknoise project)

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