I waved a cheery goodbye to my son, after dropping him at school and slowly started taking the U-turn.A resounding clank and there were two people lying on the road and a two-wheeler alongside. Where in the world had those two come from. I was a careful driver and had checked in the rear-view mirror before starting the turn. But the sight of those two, who were now slowly beginning to get up, was an affirming fact that such a thing had indeed occurred and all accusing eyes were turned to poor ol’ me sitting comfortably ensconced in the car.
Considering that I had never needed to get out of my car while dropping my son to school, I had stopped bothering with dressing niceties and just ensured that the vision which appeared above the steering wheel was decent. Rather like those news readers who put on a tie and shirt over their boxers.But now, with so much of expectations hanging in the air, I felt obliged to step out in my shocking pink pajamas and bathroom slippers. I didn’t know what shocked the onlookers more, the fact that there had been an accident or my shocking pink vision.Anyway, I saw that they were unhurt and was just thanking my stars when I saw the Nose. The pillion rider’s nose was bleeding on the bridge and he was clutching it and making some wild gesticulations. I offered to take him to a hospital and asked him to hop on. The other feller didn’t want to hop on and decided to head to work.
So, the two of us, me in the drivers seat and the feller and his nose on the backseat went looking for a hospital.I asked him conversationally about the status of his nose to which he made some grunting noises. I took a surreptitious look on the rear view mirror and although it did seem just a cut on the bridge,it did have a certain amount of strategic importance.A nursing home which looked more like a shack appeared to our right.Not exactly the kind of place I would have stopped at, but the feller at the back seemed okay with it so who was I to argue.So,we got out and explored the place which seemed abandoned at first glance. I bought him some water and biscuits and went in search of a doctor.Shortly afterwards, a doctor examined the Nose from all angles and told us that it was only a superficial injury and prescribed some painkillers. So I paid for all of that and was wondering on the best way to hand him some money and put him on a bus. When I finally suggested an amount, he shook his head and told he would take nothing less than 2K. Huh ! Well, well. I had to set the record straight. I was not the one to blame, it was they who had come at me like a bat out of hell and so I informed him in no uncertain terms that we would go to the police station and file an FIR. But before that, I had some urgent work at home.
At home, I quickly changed out of my pajamas and felt much more equipped to handle the police station. By the time, I returned to the car where I had left him with my FIL(Father-in- law), I found that situation had changed. My FIL and husband suggested that it was easier to hand him some money and get a signed letter that all dues were cleared and he had no further right to bother me, which seemed a good suggestion. So, I quickly came back in, crumpled two letters for bad handwriting and finished writing but by the time I got back to the car, the situation had again changed. My FIL who is a Malayalee had gleaned that the feller’s boss was a Malayalee and was on the phone talking like old chums (See my post on Mal-Connect to understand this phenomenon better) but then the Malayalee boss handed the phone to another super boss, who probably was not a Malayalee and who refused categorically that his ‘boy’ would sign any such document.
So, all the three headed for the police station and on the way, we decided to collect a letter from the doctor stating that there was no fracture. But, when we went back, the night doctor was away getting a hair cut. When he came back all spruced up and understood what he wanted, he had some hurried consultations with another doc and gave a letter which only said that it ‘looked like’ a superficial injury but required specialist consultation to rule out a fracture. In the meantime, our feller had been resourceful and had asked a few of his friends/ office colleagues to come by. So two of his friends came and advised him that if we can get a specialist consultation which said ‘no fracture’, then that was the end of the matter.
So, off we went to a specialist clinic where the specialist was not around and was summoned specially for this case. She came and told me, that it did look like there was no fracture but would be better to get an X-ray. Considering my gloomy luck that day it was no surprise that there was no X-ray facility there. We trudged into another hospital for an X-ray, where we were told that they could do an X-ray but since it was the Nose, then a special nasal imaging could be done in another hospital 8 kms away. Thankfully we settled for an X-ray and all of us peered into the X-ray when it was done,not that we could make out anything much.
So again, the 5 of us went back to the specialist’s private clinic with the X-ray report where the specialist did an endoscopy and the insides of the Nose was beamed on a flat screen TV.And finally, at long last, the verdict was the Nose was fine and doing well.
Now, it was only the small matter of the signature on the letter. Suddenly, the chummy friends became very heavy handed saying what was the world without trust and that we were after all one family and what was this business of a silly signature and all. I did want to chip in that I hadn’t met my family before till that morning. Finally, my FIL decided to get out the Brahmastra and told them that we would go to the police station if that’s what they wanted , but then we would clearly say that two people came on a two wheeler dashed against the car and the driver ran off, leaving me to take care of the pillion rider. Now, where would that leave them ? Matters were settled pretty amicably after that, with a pen suddenly emerging out of the depths and the signing function taking place under a banyan tree on the bonnet of my car. Two crows also witnessed the ceremony.
Then, we all headed back home, where I dropped the Nose at the bus stop and the two friends at the place where they had parked the bike.
So, all was well that ended well but strangely, I did dream of a nose that night.