Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Few Seconds Longer...

          Who was that woman lying on the road in a pool of blood? Ananya did not know her.  A group was beginning to gather around the woman. It looked like a terrible accident. The woman was lying lifeless, a lunch box with it's contents scattered and water spilling from a water bottle.

          Why was Ananya standing here? She had no idea. How did she come here? The last thing she could remember was that she had once again forgotten the promise she had made to Varun -  to get to his school on time. The school lunch time was 12.30 pm and she had to be there ten minutes prior to the bell.

          She had once again miscalculated the time it would take to do the laundry, set the house in order, do the dishes and prepare lunch. By the time she competed all these chores, the old grandpa clock in the hall struck 12. Yes, she would be late to the school once again. In her hurry, she had forgotten the promise she made Varun the previous morning.

          Packing his lunch bag and water bottle, she took off in her scooter. She had 20 minutes before the school bell rang. She could still be on time if she drove fast enough. She was humming a merry tune thinking of her only son who was turning 8 the next week. What a nice boy he was growing into! Ananya was very proud of her son. He was good at sports and loved playing cricket and basketball. He even proved a tough nut to crack when he competed with his daddy in Chess. He had come first in his class every month of that academic year. He would be honored in the next Annual Day for this unique achievement and Ananya was looking forward to that moment.

          She was a little away from the school junction. The school was a few metres down the right lane. The signal was about to turn red. She could turn right before the signal turned red if she drove faster. She accelerated. And then what happened?  How did she end up standing here?

          "Wait, is that Varun? Why is he going towards the dead woman? Why is he crying?  Does he know her? I must comfort him". Ananya started walking towards his son.
          "Hey Varun!"... "Hello!".. "Why can't he hear me? Who is that woman he is crying over?"

           She bent over and looked at the woman. Ananya went white with shock on seeing herself sprawled on the road, entirely lifeless and motionless. What happened?

          Suddenly it all came back to her. The black Limousine!... The right turn!... The red signal!... The hurry!...The school!.. The brakes!... The skid!.. The collision!... And the sudden void!...

       She could have waited a few seconds longer...


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