Please Drive Safely

I woke up today morning at 9 AM because I heard the *ping* sound on my Blackberry. Someone had sent me a DM on Twitter and it pinged. I had forgotten to make it silent last night. I put my Blackberry on Silent mode and fell asleep again. Around 1 o'clock in the afternoon, my brother banged open my room's door and he rushed in. I woke up startled wondering what had happened. After him, came my dad and both looked really worried. I got up and I asked them, "what is wrong?" They both literally shouted at me. "Your sisters and mum have been involved in a major car accident! We just got a call from the Police! Some truck hit our car!" I suddenly got so worried and shocked. Then both of them said "we are going to the Hospital." Then just like that, they were gone. 

I got out of bed and switched on my laptop and tweeted about it. I know it shouldn't be the case, I should not be tweeting about this, right after I have found out my sisters and mum have been involved in a car accident, but I just could not help myself. I was shaking. Just the thought of people I love the most in this world, being involved IN A CAR ACCIDENT was too much to stomach. After that, I went to the bathroom and showered, got dressed and took a taxi to the Hospital. My car was involved in the accident, otherwise I would have drove to the Hospital. All the while I was in the taxi, the only thing that I could think of was gruesome scenes of damaged cars and how cars and people get after a major car accident. There is another thing which kept on creeping up in my mind. A very bad memory, a memory about some incident that really shook me when it occurred in my life. Something related to driving. Something that has left scars on me physically and emotionally.

Summer of 2008. My best friend and I had gone for a driving test. The main final road test before getting the license. Something happened during that fine summer day, which changed my life, at least for a little while. The way Dubai driving tests work is that, there is one car and 5 people sit in it. In the front passenger side seat is the Driving Examiner and by turn, every female has to drive the car for around 10 minutes, show her and impress her with your driving skills and then after the 10 minutes are done, go back to the back seat and give another test-giver a chance to drive.

My best friend was in the driving seat, I was at the back with two other test-givers, people who I did not know. We were in Al-Qusais area. My best friend was driving the car. We approached a traffic signal and it turned red, but my friend did not stop the car. She crossed the signal really quickly. We turned left and next thing you know, there was a car in front of us. To avoid hitting that, the examiner pressed on the emergency break from her side of the car. Little did we know what would happen in consequence of trying to not hit the car in the front. A massive 40 foot truck came crashing from behind, hit the side of the car where I was sitting. All I could remember was that my face hit the window with a loud thud and the rear windscreen shattering.

I opened my eyes and tried to get up but could not. I was in the hospital. Rashid Hospital Emergency and Trauma section/building to be precise. The driving school and the R.T.A (Roads and Transport Authority) had been notified and my parents had been called to the Hospital. I had a neck collar and I was covered with sheets. I was still a bit dizzy and didn't really know what was going on around me. Thankfully I could see my mum there by my side and she was a real support that day and the rest of the days I was admitted.

I was in the Hospital for one month, I had injured my spine and broken 3 molars, along with the other injuries that I had received because of this car accident. This accident had changed my life, even though it was not even my fault and even though I was not the one driving the car. I have three artificial teeth in my mouth right now, because I lost my 3 molars that day. I injured my spine that day, because of which I have to take care about giving load to my back, even today.

Apart from the physical injuries this accident gave me, it gave me a lot of emotional ones too. I came home after one month in the Hospital and for about 3 months I think, every night I would dream that I am driving a car and I mess up and die in a car accident. I used to get nightmares about me dying in car accidents and I would shout and scream at night, when I would suddenly get up from one. I did not even feel like sitting in a car for many days, let alone go back to Driving School to give the test and pass to get my license. My parents pushed me to get myself acquainted with a thing called the car again. Dad would take me out driving at 5 AM in the mornings, when there would not be a lot of traffic on Emirates Road and he would ask me to drive. It took me many days to actually start liking driving again because after this incident, I kind of had started hating it. I even hated the word driving and car. I became such a recluse and I would just sit in my room and wouldn't do anything. I would not even go outside with my family because I would have to use the car. Finally after a lot of effort from my parents, dad with his driving sessions in the morning and mum with her lectures about everything is going to be okay, I mustered up the courage to go back and give my road test. I passed this time and I was really happy. I had tears in my eyes. It had been a painful incident, when I had gone to give the road test last time and had that accident and I was very apprehensive about whether I would pass or not. About whether I would get scared and just abandon the driving test. I did no such thing and passed with flying colours, that also driving a manual car.

While I was going to the Rashid Emergency and Trauma Section in the morning, this experience of my life, this past memory, seemed to flash again in front of my eyes. That pain seemed to come back. Everything was pretty similar, I was hit by a truck and so were my siblings and mum. I was taken to Rashid Hospital and so was my family. I was just worried that they did not get injured like I was. I would not want anyone to go through the psychological trauma I went through, the emotional and physical scars that I was left with.

Thankfully when I went there, my sisters in Hospital gowns seemed fine but my mum was sleeping. She was in Hospital gown and had a neck collar. I stayed by her side for 3 hours, dedicated to just staring at her and praying for her. Just like she had prayed for my well being and had been there for me for one month when I was in the hospital. I did not want to leave the Hospital and come back home, but dad said you have to go, the maid is home alone. Also he was worried about giving me stress, since I get palpitations and asthma attacks.

I came back home and slept for a while and then watched some movies. JUST so I could stay calm and not get an attack. When that happens, it is really horrible. I had my inhaler by my side just in case. Even while writing this blog entry, all I can think of is that, I am going to drive safely from now on. I do some reckless things like, one handed driving and speeding. Not only that, but tweeting too while speeding. Driving itself is dangerous and I practically live on the edge, while in the car. This accident today is an eye opener and has brought me back to reality. It made me remember that car accident from 2008 and how much I suffered because of it. I do not wish to go through any such thing again or die because of a car accident.

All I am going to say is, please drive safely. Your life is precious and so is the life of the people who are in the car with you. Not only that, when you are driving, you are also responsible for all the other people who are out on the roads too. Someone might ram in to you, you might ram in to someone. Just be careful please. This is risky business and you do not want to be in tears or give someone else tears.

Comments

  1. I was reading about this accident and I could actually picture everything happening in front of me. Like they show it in movies. It was something like that. I am sure it was worser than that, but still I had a glimpse of all what happened.

    There are times in life when you forget certain things you had gone through before. Some kind of loss you faced when you did some particular thing. Lessons you learned way back. Like that, but events like these really act as a reminder to all that we knew before.

    It was good to see it reminded you not to drive recklessly ever again. I hope the thought stays in your mind long enough and god gives strength to you and your family to recover well from this accident.

    It was a nice read, I liked it. And the best part is that it made you feel better, so umm, Well done! Cheers.

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  2. Indeed, writing this did make me feel better. Like a burden had been lifted from my chest and like I can breathe again. I am never going to drive recklessly again, what I went through is too horrible and painful. Thank you to your prayer. We all will recover from this accident, iA. Thanks for your comment as well Shahreyar.

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