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'S A T I V A'

Mysore - India
With a thundering roar Sativa drove onto a platform of that small railway station and came to halt. People ran and jumped around me like I was an alien. I knew that I could barricade myself in the Lady?s waiting room if I were I to drive in panic. The cooking cylinders came to a rest with crackling sounds, surrounded by screaming women and children.

"Sorry! Too much!? I tried to say, but there was not much left to understand. It would also be of no help. The room has been swept empty. Only crates, boxes and luggage were left there. Immediately I locked the door and thought of what to do next. I sat here in this the trap ? ?I must get out at once!?

I looked dreadfully frightened in a mirror on the wall. The left side of my face was a single smear of blood. I wanted quick medical help, and my left feet felt broken. Blood trickled from the gaping wound on my forehead, and it looked like a mess. From the hastened jungle escape the wounds were full with insects and moths. I picked on Elastoplasts from my first-aid kit in a hurry. Luckily I only needed to tear the stuff with my teeth and plaster up the bare skin fragments which was hanging from my forehead over my left eye. A piece of my lip was still hanging down from a deep knife cut to my chin. It looked so much better plastered up. I struggled to take my helmet off as there was dried blood sticking to my hair, and that alone was a difficult undertaking. There was not much time. The Station Master banged the door but shuddered when he saw the state of me and my distorted face; holding the same expression earlier when women fled from my room. He looked into my face as if struck by a spider web with white plaster.

I proceeded to blubber about my accident; my brain still seemed to work. The only thing he understood was ?accident?, but he probed further.

"The motorbike ? oh Sir, you had a serious accident, Sir? In our state of Mysore , incredible!! And then you are here? Like at a ghost, you are alive, Sir - this is a true miracle for me!" And then he insisted with a loud voice: "You need to get out of here, Sir, right now and fast!" He barked a few commands in Hindi, in the direction of the platform where porters ran in blue and red shirts.

I have never used a porter in my life, but today they were very welcomed. One of the turban walas gave a fire-fuelled rapport to the already gathered hordes of angry and unwelcoming mob at the station. I pleaded ?Changs! Changs!" which was meant to be ?Thank you! Thank you!?

In the binder as I sort to get myself some help the mob understood one word ? ?Panjim!?
?Friends" it meant.

?Ah, Panjim! Panjim, in Goa !", the answer came from the Station Master.

I heard him chattering with the police, who would usually be far awayn from situations like this; everybody avoids the angry mobs of crowds.

It was possible that because they knew that I was there they would light up the station in flames by all accounts. However by that time we were well on our way, while countless pairs of hands were pushing the bike along the platform with me on it. I repeatedly said: "Changs! Changs!" But what I meant to say was ?Thanks! Thanks!?.

We had finally reached the end of the long platform although the train
was not in sight. The running blue and red shirts stop my demolished
motor bike Sativa abruptly and lifted us gently down from the
platform. Like a dead beetle transported by crowds of ants, it seemed
to go on to many rail tracks. While I felt I was in safe hands I
still sat on top feeling ever so vulnerable. They hobbled through
cables and barriers. Nothing is insurmountable with so many supporting

What went wrong on the highway today? Why was there no help for
severely wounded man? I saw a freight car rolling at us ? it stopped
next to us. They dragged, lifted, and supercharged me inside. And
yet a simple task, the 250 kilos of Sativa, with its steaming hot
exhaust pipes and four followers seemed like a magic mission.

An audition of the task commands and expect to hear crises of "Heave
Ho and Rise!". The pitch of cries seemed t increase like the grandeur
of the creation of pyramids.

When night falls the helper ran with a water jug and a kerosene lamp.
"Puff? puff?" the Sativa and I drew. With a ?crack!? the heavy
sliding door closed. Alone like imprisonment, I wondered that they
have in mind for me? And then the car has stopped with a ?ram! ?

Did the mob wait on the track with torches to light us up? Cruel
memories 67 started to fill me up as I remembered being witness to the six British tourists burnt in their camper bus. They were burned
alive by the street mob in Lahore during the Kashmir conflict.

I fell forwards towards the opposite of my traveling direction with a
strong force. My bus Sativa began to roll. I secured her with a chain while she rattled. I started to realize that these good people saved my life. Now I am taking in the small pleasure of pouring water carefully from the back of my helmet while looking up at the ceiling. My hair started to break free from the helmet. This was difficult since was scarce but somehow I got the helmet off my head. I needed to trim a few tufts of hair with my knife and soon enough I
could clean my wounds with chromium. I could think of all kinds of doctoring for myself, feeling well traveled, with all these unexpected and crazy fold of events, but for now the kerosene light is weak, only enough to see.

My lungi cloth was cut equally in strips, and very carefully I wrapped a turban around my head, a useful skill I learnt in Afghanistan . The last strip across my left eye made me looked like a pirate. But I liked the purity of the turban as I leaned my back into the inner peace and night before I stoop and fetal wrap myself for a wearied cry.

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