Twenty-six and further…

On a short trip to Chennai to visit my parents, I realised it’s the same city Chennai that has shaped me so much. The trip from the airport was in short a hot journey as the taxi that I took had a faulty air-conditioning and I wasn’t in a mood to get off but wanted to just reach my residence and workplace.

Getting back to Chennai brings back memories and many are such fond ones from long bicycle rides to use the energy which was so much a part of us during our college days to riding my motorbike in the later years through the streets of this south indian city where I spent the first quarter of my life. 

Fate, back luck, destiny are some of the words used for the road-accident that I experienced on this very day the 18th of April, twenty-six summers earlier.

Learning to live with an arm less has been one of the most humbling but truly rewarding times of my life. Be it the difficulty to wear a trouser to the fact that I let my fingers go wound as I relentlessly tried and in the end succeeded in mastering the art of using my three fingers, albeit to wear a trouser. 

The lessons learnt back then stood by me as I navigate a big car now with probably just those three important fingers. I type away on the computer faster than I did with all ten back then. In short I learnt to keep trying. 

Talking to a trusted friend who in our long conversation commented that if not for the accident, I might have had just unexciting and common life made me realise that I do owe a lot to this one accident.


I decided to write this piece as an answer to many questions that people whom I meet pose. Though I would love to tell them a story about me trying to ward off a dangerous crocodile or a lion in the savanna, the reality is I lost my arm in a freak bus accident as a passenger and lost over 2 litres of blood in the process, but survived in the end, thanks to the many prayers that were made keeping me in mind. 

Sadly I am unable to thank a very dear friend of mine who was instrumental in saving my life back then. He lost his life some years later on this very day in April. One does sometimes imagine that certain days are probably doomed, but no I refuse to subscribe to that view. It is probably the fact that things are inescapable and many times one’s destiny is interwoven with certain people who surround you. 

Acceptance of the facts leads one to lead a life looking ahead and not backwards. That is probably the best one can try. As I sat today in a restaurant reminiscing about what has been and letting the years pass through my mind, I was overcome by gratitude, towards family, friends, and a long list of wonderful people I have been fortunate to know since then. Also the fact that I am surrounded by the unconditional love of my canines fills my heart with contentment.

Owing to the fact that  it was a dry day with the general elections tomorrow in Tamil Nadu, I had to make do with a Kombucha cocktail and not a bubbly as I would have loved it to be. But to state a fact, the sip wasn’t less sweet in any way as I savoured it pondering what a very dear friend so kindly wrote about me sometime ago in a poem and goes as below: 

Though trials may come, in their relentless stride,

Karthik’s spirit soars, with nothing to hide.

With courage undaunted, he faced every storm,

In his smile, resilience found its form.

The poem has touched me profoundly and has been gifted to me at such a right moment in life that it has filled me with energy to strive further and try and reach new heights in the time to come and offer any adversity a cheeky smile…

And so I raise my toast to all the people who still believe in me, my strength and who have been such a wonderful support. It’s brilliant to have you in my life.