It happened one week ago. My friend and I were in the middle of a badminton game, playing on the deserted road by our neighbourhood garden. The road is rarely used by vehicular traffic and it being an odd hour of a lazy Sunday afternoon, the chance of a vehicle coming by was even less.
It was my serve. My opponent flicked the shuttle cock in my direction and it fell right behind me. I took an about-turn .... and then found myself lying on the floor, looking in random directions, sometimes through people and trying to comprehend what was going on. It was literally the "main kahaan hoon" situation which a lot of protagonists from the Hindi movies of the 1970s found themselves in. I was totally blank. I was having a system reset.
It felt like eternity. I felt I had been sleeping forever, sleeping for so long that my memory had cobwebs and dust strewn all over it. I couldn't remember any details. Slowly as I became more conscious, they all start coming back, limping into my conscience.
The first face I recognized was that of my sister. She was there, looking at me with a sense of shock. She got me back on my feet and took me to a bench nearby. I was disoriented as far as my directional sense went. I couldn't quite react to the stimuli around me and act intelligently. Though there was one sensation that was ramming the doors of my head, that of pain.
She took me home and gave me basic first aid. When I saw my bruises, I realised I had met with an accident or had had a bad fall. I asked her to tell me what transpired in the last, uh wait, I didn't even know how long it had been. The first reaction she gave me was of disbelief. The second was amusement and buffoonery (just discovered the word!).
I was getting a little irritated with my lack of cognizance about a period of my life, no matter how small. How could have that happened?! A complete blank out. It was a first in my life. What we fear the most is what we know least about and I was beginning to get worried for exactly that reason.
She said it has barely been 15 minutes. You met with a minor accident. You were hit by a cycle. I was not in the state to think much due to the severe headache. I went to sleep in sometime not knowing how waking up will bring a true realisation of the pain. I had a very stiff right leg, from the lower calf muscle to the groin (oh, had he gone a little wayward and I would have damaged an important symbol of my manhood), a swollen left knee, bruises on my right arm and a bump on my head.
When I woke up, I asked her to tell me in detail. How could a hit from a cycle have caused a black out in my head? How could I have been bruised in so many different areas of my body at one time if it was just a light bicycle? She still thought I was bluffing, but then she realised that the otherwise know-all Kapil could not have pretended to act so dumb. Out of pity, she gave me an explanation which I had no option but to believe.
I had turned around and before anyone could realise, a cyclist had just crashed into me. He was a 13-14 year old kid driving a cycle too big for him, riding at a pace as if he were escaping a covetous cheetah. The road was wide enough for two rickshaws to pass by while we were playing so it was strange that he couldn't find a leeway. My sister thought he was paid to knock me down! If so, he did his job really well. My sister found it funny although I thought it was my 9/11.
Not only did he smash into my right leg and throw me off balance but also managed to fall on me. One would wonder what difference would a weight of a kid made, but add to that the weight of the cycle which he brought down with him and you will know the gravity of the situation. The first thing that came to my mind was the Joker's dialogue - "This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object."
All the physiological evidence logically fits when added with the theory of concussion which was later introduced to me by a friend. And when I thought I had estimated all the damage and taken corrective action, I discovered a pale yellow patch on my upper left arm with ugly red specks scattered on it. The doctor said it was a blood clot and would heal by itself in around 2-3 weeks.
Thankfully, the damage was neither severe nor permanent, just very painful. I live to see another day and tell another tale.
None of what I said was exaggerated but the last line. And yeah, in case you are reading this mumma, don't worry, your son has recuperated completely. To the other readers, I could hear you say 'ouch' to yourself. A big thank you in advance for empathising.