Friday, January 18, 2008

Human nature: Potters save a life

This happened in 1968, when I was associated with Ruby Rubber Works Ltd., Changanacherry, Kerala. I was on my way, driving a Jeep in heavy drizzle, to pick up a friend, Mathukutty Ettukettil. We were to attend an afternoon function.

The narrow mud road ran along the edge of the cutting to the railway tracks. After a drop of about ten feet there was a flat ledge and again a sheer wall for another twenty feet or so. On the other side of the road was a colony of potters.

Suddenly the Jeep skidded off the road and went over the edge. I hit the ground first and saw the vehicle falling over me.

As it settled, fortunately my entire body except the neck and head was within the front seat space. I grabbed the metal bar of the roof that tapered to the front with both hands and pushed hard against it in an attempt to prevent it from crushing my neck. I knew that I couldn’t continue that for more than a minute.

I could hear people running and shouting. A woman in the potter’s colony had seen the accident and had raised alarm. In no time the Jeep was lifted and I was pulled out. They carried me to one of the huts and laid me on a mat.

I was badly shaken but knew that there was no damage. Within minutes Mathukutty arrived. People from Ruby Rubber followed. They rushed me to the famous Dr. Thomas Varghese (Aniyan) of KTCM Hospital, Vallamkulam. He is a close friend. He confirmed that I was unscathed but for good measure gave me stiff cognac to keep the shivers away.

But for the potters I would have died of a broken neck at the age of 34. And they wouldn’t even take gift from me!


Also see: The greatness of human nature – a true story

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