It was 3 PM and the students were on the verge of snoozing. Our faculty who was lecturing us on ‘Creative Writing’ sensed that he had to verbally shake the pupils from falling into a deep slumber. He smiled and adjusted the microphone.
“I will tell you all a story that happened with me long ago.” he spoke. Half of the class snapped out of their sleep.
“It was a long night and I was driving on a lonely road. Just ahead, there was a pedestrian running to cross the road. I tried to maneuver and prevent the vehicle from hitting him. The car tilted and I lost control. I fell out of the car and the man passed out. He lay down unconscious and I was on the verge of losing consciousness. I was bleeding but I did not know the location of the wound. My shirt was wet with fresh blood. After a momentanother vehicle was approaching us from a distance. He stopped at the site of the accident and offered to take me and the victim to the hospital. As we reached the hospital, he got us a doctor. He was afraid that people might mistake him for knocking us unconscious and so he ran for his dear life. The moment the doctor saw me, he smiled. It was a coincidence. Three months ago I had written an article about all the rackets taking place in that hospital. All the bad activities that the doctors were involved in, was highlighted. The article was about how the doctors tricked the ignorant patients into surgery and later, take away their lives. He told me that he could not take care of me because he was busy. He left me with a single nurse who took me to a shabby room. I had to sleep on the bed without mattress and pillows. I was in a bad condition. After a few days, a lady approached me and asked me if I had any friends or relatives. I told her that I lived alone and the only number I remembered was my editor’s number. She dialled the editor and informed him about my condition. The editor called up the chief editor who in turn, called up the hospital. The authorities informed him that I was perfectly fine but I just had a minor cut. When no one came to visit me, the lady contacted him again and persuaded the editor to visit me personally. The day the editor landed up at the hospital, four nurses and two doctors surrounded me. I was given fresh mattress and pillows to lie down on. The editor was furious and said that he would take me away from there but then the superintendent of the hospital intervened and said that he should keep me there because it was a matter of prestige. After a few days, the doctor informed my editor that the entire hospital was against him and that he should leave soon. The doctor told me that he would perform a pseudo surgery on me, after which he could declare me as “discharged”. He bound my broken jaw with copper wires and it was a painful procedure. The doctor did not administer anesthesia. He discharged me and I was taken to the Apollo hospital. The good part was that the doctor was a friend of mine because I used to write a lot of articles on health. After a month of staying at the hospital, I was taken back home. The moment I landed home, the police arrived one hour later. I had no respite. Since the police officer was a friend of mine, he told me that he could not arrest me. I used to write a lot of articles on crime stories as well. I befriended too many police officers in the process. He told me that I had to go through the formal procedures. They took my finger print and with much trouble, the officer informed me that he had to produce me in the court. I gave an affirmative reply but then, something bad happened to me. I began sweating a lot. I developed the paranoia of crossing the road. I noticed that the women folk were the kindest. They still are. Other people would look at me and walk away curtly. It was only the women folk who helped me cross the road. After the court proceeding was over, the matter was settled.
The epilepsy that I got in standard five, terrified me. I was depressed and I had a serious chat with a close friend of mine. I told him that I would not have the capability to work as a journalist. I added that I wanted to drive auto-rickshaws and pick up passengers and collect money for the day. He said that he would take me to a psychiatrist and I was annoyed. I told him that I was mentally normal and perfect but I was demoralized. That day, I went back home and lay down staring at the fan. Just then, something struck my mind. I remembered about how I overcame the problem of epilepsy as a child. I was determined not to lose hope and within three days, I was back in action. I never looked back since then. All I had to do was to motivate and inspire myself. Ultimately, motivation is the key to success.”
The students applauded and the class ended on a good note.
(This story was narrated by my “Creative Writing” teacher, Ramesh Menon. He has worked as a journalist for a number of newspaper agencies namely India Today, DNA and is a filmmaker, author, corporate trainer. Currently, he is working on his fourth book.)