A few weeks ago, a scooter accident shattered more than just my collarbone. It cracked my illusion of control. I’m always been a confident, “in-charge” kind of person, a planner – “get-things-done” kind of guy, proactive with reflexes sharper than most.

Just after the spill, the first blow was to my self-image. With reflexes honed from years of being a decent athlete (trophies gathering dust are proof, at least!).

The Fall:

Let me rewind. I was just in our society’s entrance ramp on my electric two-wheeler, the one with those big, supposedly stable 14-inch wheels – unlike most 10- or 12-inch options on Indian roads. I was barely going at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour (12.5 miles per hour).

Bangalore’s water woes were on display again, a spill from a water tanker creating a slick patch right on the entry ramp to our society. It all happened in a blink. The scooter skidded, and before I knew it, I was on the ground, the impact jarring my right shoulder.

Driving for almost 25 years, this was a first. It was funny and it was sad, quarter of a century, driven bike from Mumbai to Indore – a distance of 600 km – with just one stop. At least 60,000 km of riding two-wheeler experience on my back (this excludes experience of driving four-wheeler), it was funny that I fell at such a slow speed. It was sad that it happened even after full control, no highway, neither a vehicle ahead of me nor behind me.

The pain in my ankle was immediate, but it was the throbbing in my shoulder that told a different story – a fractured collarbone. As I lay there, a question gnawed at me: Was this a sign of age catching up? After all, until recently, my reflexes had been my saving grace. I could even pick up and steady my daughter while teaching her to skate or cycle (you might have seen those dads saving their kids videos! I have done almost all that kind of stuff).

The throbbing in my ankle seemed worse at first, but the X-ray revealed a fractured collarbone needing surgery and a metal plate – not exactly ideal for a guy who loves picking up his daughter and teaching her to skate.

Beyond Reflexes: The Illusion of Control

This initial worry about reflexes soon morphed into a bigger realization – the illusion of control. I kept replaying the accident in my head. How could I have fallen when everything seemed under control? The big wheels, the slow speed…it just didn’t make sense. Especially considering I’d been driving accident-free for almost 25 years!

Digging deeper, a chilling thought struck me: Are we ever truly in control of our lives? Looking back, I thanked my lucky stars that there weren’t any other vehicles around. The worst case could be, a water tanker running over me! Had that happened, you probably had read my obituary and not this blog.

Just imagine I had the whole Sunday planned. At 9 am, I was on my way home, 10 am this, 11:30 am that, lunch by 2 pm. In reality, at 10 am, I was in a hospital bed, unable to even lie down properly because of the backache (which, by the way, lasted two whole days!). I cannot imagine, the pain last very long even though I was on pain killers. The worst thing, I still cannot believe at such a controlled riding and slow speed, there could be such pain and problems. Life, it seems, has its own plans.

This whole incident shattered my illusion of control, my tendency to plan smaller things in life, and of course, the nagging question of age. But in its place, it brought a well-known yet hardly practiced appreciation for the unexpected and the importance of living in the moment.

These last couple of weeks were a reality check – a reminder that sometimes, life throws a curveball when we’re busy planning the perfect pitch.

Image source – Photo by Kumpan Electric on Unsplash

KRD Pravin

Here I am supposed to write about myself. Professionally, I am quite serious and a workaholic; personally I am an individual who enjoys what he does and takes life as it comes. I am passionate about my work and actions and empathetically careful, attached and committed to them. All this makes me a fierce competitive professional and yet a compassionate soul, the Yin and the Yang together. Balancing is the art to be practiced using the middle path. From - http://business2buddha.com/about/


Leave a Comment