Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My First Encounter with Death

This happened when I was about 4 years old. I write this from my vague memory.

Its a police quarters where we lived from 1960? to till I was sent out by my father one day after I started working, soon after my graduation as a Mechanical Engineer.

This was the place which molded me into a Man - teaching me good and bad things of life. Its heart of today's Chennai, Kilpauk, one of the oldest Police Colonies where families of policemen stay and it is called Lotus Garden Police Quarters. The Colony, I guess, was named after the pond that was there, where lotus flowers grew.

My mother was washing clothes near a water sump (open) those days. It was a common practice for the people to come there to wash clothes and dry it next to the sump, where many trees where grown around. My mother was deaf and unless you speak loudly she would not be able to hear.

As a Child, I was curious to play in water when she was doing her work. I was the only child at that time. Sister and Brother were born later. I was playing splashing water around, from the sump. My mother was engrossed with her work facing the other side. Suddenly I fell into the sump. The sump was so deep that I was getting drowned. I do not remember what really went in my mind as I was too young. I struggled to come up twice trying my way up, but in vain. It only took me deep down inside. My mother should have seen the water splashing outside from the sump when I tried for the third time to come up. She pulled my hand and dragged me out as soon as she saw my hands from the water. First aid was given to me and people assembled to watch me. Today I am alive to write my first blog ( though my blog for poems is a separate one in tamil ) at the age of 55.

Had my mother not turned back and saw my hands that day in that split second, I wouldn't have survived to share my experience with you. That was my first encounter with death. Water has always been associated with my life.

More to come. Stay tuned.
Vijayan ( friend of Uma, Co-writer)