Sunday, March 23, 2008

When 2 lives were nearly lost

This experience I had is one I wanted to write for a long time but I just did not had the time to do it. Its about 2 lives that nearly ended in an accident. It is about being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but somehow, the hand of providence gently nudged you into safety. Here's a recount of that incident that happened 5 days after my daugther Zahra was born in 2003.

Fatimah Zahra, came to us that year and we brought her back to our home on July 27th. It was with much relieve that I got accustom to having another child at home. It was particularly blissful for me to have a baby girl. That faithful Saturday, many of my relatives and friends called and came over to our home. I had a tiring week that time, and decided to go for a run that afternoon, even when folks were coming to visit. Not too polite right, but I decided to just do that run anyway.

Back then, we stayed in Bedok Reservoir and my usual runs were usually done at Bedok. That afternoon, I am not sure what came over me when I decided to take a route that took me past to Jln Eunos finishing at Kembangan MRT station. This was a route that I have never taken before.

I wanted to check out a bicycle shop there after finishing my run. When I reached the bike Shop, the famed up your nose owner of this shop did not make me feel welcome when he realized I rode a 10 year old carbon bike. I left the shop, to make my way down to the MRT station to catch the public transport back home after being snubbed by a rear of a donkey also known as Ah Boon.

There was a religious school behind me as I walked towards the traffic lights to cross a major road. Walking beside me was a 6 maybe 7 year old girl who looked blissfully angelic and like me was waiting to cross this road at the pedestrian crossing. Runners usually make a quick turn to look at the traffic flow before stepping out to cross the road, even if the green lights have changed. As cars on the road stopped, I turned instinctively to my left, .... in slow motion, I saw this girl stepping out of the pavement and into the road oblivious to a speeding Black BMW that was going to hit this girl. I shouted at the girl to stop and pulled her back, failing which that car would have definitely rammed against her and me. The other Chinese pedestrians behind me shouted expletives at that driver and looked at me in amazement for having stopped this girl from crossing. I was at the right place at the right time and I did not know why I took that running route that I have never taken before for a run. That car nearly hit me too.

I turned and in anger I chased that black BMW car until the next traffic lights, that was about 300 m away. The lights were turning from green to red and that car had no choice but to stop as there were other cars that had already stopped in front. Having reached there, I stood before this car and I asked the lady to come out of the car as I furiously told her that she nearly hit me and a little girl. She very defiantly refused to come out and insisted that she had done no wrong as we were not hurt. The very same defiance I have seen many times before, when caught with the hand in the cookie jar. Standing in front of the car, I called the Police and accounted what had taken place. I was told to let her go, because the Police assured me that she will be stopped by the Police officers on patrol near by.

The reckless driver was stopped and asked to account for beating the traffic light and nearly hitting 2 pedestrians that day. I gave a police statement a week later and she was duly charged and fined for what she did.

That was me being at the right place at the right time. That innocent angelic girl, wearing a head scarf, walking carefree, was a sight I still think about frequently. Because that day when I watched and admired her, I was thinking of my own daugther Zahra. In retrospect, this kid, saved my life, cos I was looking at her that day, whilst crossing the road and that averted a near miss. This girl must be about 11 or 12 years old now, I wonder if she still remembers, an Indian guy who ran after a car that nearly hit her.

What has all this got to do with ironman training, .... hey dude, it was a momentous run, that I don't think I will forget.