Sunday 26 January 2014

The Second Chance.....

I stared at the tyre in what was a mixture of anger, frustration, disappointment and helplessness.

I had to be at the venue of the interview in an hour.  I had started quite early from home, thanks to my friend Sanya who had lent me her car, but the heavy traffic affected my time table.
I was relieved to take the diversion to the left from the main traffic signal, and this road was deserted.  The head office of the Choice Riviera Group of Companies, where I was headed to, was still fifteen kilometers away. I was being interviewed for the post of their Public Relations Executive. This was very important for me and my future.

But, half way into this deserted road, my car had decided to stop and not move further. I had got out to check what was wrong, and found the front tyre kissing the ground, much to my dismay.

Oh!! The tyre couldn’t have chosen a better time to get punctured.

How would I make it to the interview in time ? How long would I have to walk to find a garage ? How could I leave the car here ? How would I find a cab , on this road that stretched endlessly to the horizon ?
 Questions of all sorts continued to plague me as I continued to stare at the tyre, as if that would make it spring  to life.

I considered rescheduling the interview. But that was lame. I took the immediate step of pushing the car to the shade of a tree on the roadside , and calling Sanya. She didn’t respond, and I remembered she was out of town on official purpose. I sent her a message about the car and the location where it had gone to rest.

Then I started walking along the road, turning back now and then for any vehicle that might be a godsend to me.

I might have gone on for about five minutes, when I turned back to see a car speeding up towards me. Thanking God, I moved  a little towards the middle of the road, put my hands out and tried to attract attention. I hoped the driver would stop the car and give me a lift, at least to the nearest location from where I could hail a cab.

But I was in for a surprise.

Just as I waved my hand, the speed of the car increased and instead of stopping near me, it went ahead, swerved, lost control, crashed against a tree on the roadside and went still.

I stood speechless, thinking how close I had come to being hit by a car. And that car had crashed.

“ There’s something terribly wrong between me and cars,” I thought to myself as I gingerly moved towards the car, sensing no movement inside.

The sight that met my eyes chilled my bones with fear.

The driver had fallen face down on the hand-wheel, and had been knocked unconscious. From what I could see, he seemed a well-built, middle-aged fellow. Lying on the seat next to him was a briefcase and some stamp papers. Blood was dripping down from the hand-wheel. There was fresh blood on his thighs too. But what caught my attention was the backseat.

Sprawled there, with some rough cloth stuffed into her mouth, a red dupatta wound tight around her neck, eyes closed, was a young girl. She was squirming in pain and her hands had been tied with  a metal chain behind her body.

My mouth went dry for a minute. For a moment, I thought I had come straight into a bollywood movie. I didn’t know what to do.

Had I just foiled an attempt to kidnap ? Was he the wrong guy ? Or was she the bad one here ? I couldn’t decide.

The girl inside started writhing all the more in pain, and she repeatedly tried opening her eyes, even though she couldn’t keep them open for more than a second.

Something in me told me I had to do something. I couldn’t leave this place like this.

I tried opening all the doors, but wasn’t successful. I was afraid of the legal implications of breaking into the car. That was the last thing I wanted to be caught with.

I rang the police helpline. I briefed them of the situation, and gave them the location. I told them about the girl too.

Ten minutes later, the girl had managed to sit up on the seat. She was trying to spit out the cloth from her mouth, when she saw me and gestured frantically with her eyes.

By then, the ambulance arrived, followed by the police.

The police broke into the car with their tool kit, and rescued the girl, releasing her from the chain and  the mouthful of cloth, as the volunteers from the hospital transferred the unconscious man to the ambulance. The girl was given water to drink, and she too was taken to the hospital for a check-up and treatment.

“ I appreciate your thoughtful gesture, Madam. So sensitive of you, to stay back and help. Do you mind coming to the police station with us? We need to record the account of the eye-witness as a part of the FIR,” the Inspector spoke to me. I was surprised at his gentle approach to the issue.

“No issues, sir. I’ll come along. Thanks for being so friendly,” I blurted out.

He smiled and asked me to get into his jeep which I did.

The police station was nothing like what I had heard. It was neat and organized. Inspector Jagat, as I learnt his name was, instilled confidence and trust the way he spoke. Yet, he had the aura of someone
you would never want to mess with, and that reflected on the way his subordinates behaved with him.

The FIR was being prepared and I was asked to narrate how I saw the accident. I had to tell them about my fiasco with my car, my wait for another vehicle and all that ensued.

That was when it hit me. In the frenzy caused by the accident, I had completely forgotten about the time, and I hadn’t sought a rescheduling , either.
I frantically looked at my watch. I was half an hour late for the interview.
I had lost the chance, I knew it.
Disappointment clouded my face, and Inspector Jagat, who  had just returned from a phone call, seemed to read it.

“ Lost the chance for the interview, right ? ,” he asked with concern, and I nodded.

“ But you have just saved a life. In fact, more than one life. The girl was being kidnapped by the man. He’s her dad, and her parents are divorced, the mother has remarried. This man was abducting her  from there, and planned to hold her hostage for ransom. If not, he was planning to sell her off. The car is a stolen one, and the dress that he’s wearing is rented from some drama troupe. It seems he was a patient of hypertension, and his blood pressure suddenly shot up when he was driving, and that’s when he saw you. And the BP hit him hard, and he lost consciousness and the car crashed against the tree.”

I couldn’t say whether I was aghast at the details, or relieved to know the truth.

“ The man is conscious now. He confessed all this to our team. Doesn’t seem he could’ve completed the task anyway. Too much of a chicken, confessing so easily,” Inspector Jagat continued.

“And what about the girl, sir ?”, I asked.

“She’s fine now. Waiting for her mother at the hospital. They’ll be brought here to record her part of the statement soon,” he said.

I nodded.

“ Would you like to wait, Madam ? Or do you wish to go? We’ll call you in case there’s something we need to know,” he said.

I thanked him, and walked out of the police station and hailed a cab home.

I wanted to call the HR at the Choice Riviera and apologise that I couldn’t make it to the interview. At least, that much had to be done.

Just as I picked up my phone to place the call, it started ringing. I attended.

“ Ms Shivani, this is a call from The Choice Riviera, Head Office. Is this a good time to talk to you?”, the caller said.

I braced myself up for a long conversation as I said  yes.

“I’m calling on behalf of the MD. He’s asked me to inform you, that you’re to attend the interview for the post of the Public Relations Executive, at our office  at 10 AM tomorrow. Will that be fine with you?”

Wow ! I couldn’t believe my ears ! Such a stroke of good luck !!

“Yes, sure. Definitely,” I said, making no effort to conceal my happiness.

“That’s fine, Ma’m. Thank you. See you tomorrow. Have a nice day. ” The line got disconnected.

I hadn’t lost the chance after all. I had been given a second chance. And I would make the most out of it.

My phone beeped suddenly. I checked it to find a text message.

“ Hope you’re happy with the second chance. You deserve it. I spoke to the Riviera MD. He’s my friend. All the best for the interview. Jagat.”

I smiled again as I typed out “Thank You so much” in reply.

I would indeed make the most of my second chance.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
Every weekend, we give out creative writing topics for the love of writing.


  1. I was reading it believing you are narrating a thrilling experience.
    Fine story, Sreeja! interestingly presented.

    1. Thanks a lot for the nice words, Ajith sir :) And welcome to my humble space !

  2. This was thrilling and I am so glad she got a second chance in spite of it all! ♥

    1. Welcome to my space, Kathy :) Thanks a lot for the nice words :) Yes, lucky gal, right ?

  3. Wow that was a feel good story! Restored my belief that good things always happen to good people!

    1. Thank you Titli :) Yes, that's Karma these days :) When something good happens to us, we know we've been good at somem point of time ! :) And bad things make us value the good things more !!

  4. That was a beautiful story with a happy outcome.It was gripping from the beginning.
    reg your query I am writing these days in Please see
    Given a break for short stories for a short while

    1. Thanks a lot for the nice words, KP Sir :)
      I had read all the entries in this blog dated till 2012. I was concentrating more on your 'random thoughts' after that. Thanks a lot , will surely hop over :)

  5. Sreeja, really nice take on the WoW prompt, I really liked the narrative and the fact that you took the initiative and effort to pen down a nice short story for a relatively easy prompt :D

    1. Thanks a lot, mahabore ;) aah, well, what I intended to be a drabble dragged me into penning a short story :D
      Brevity, I tell you, never happens for me :D

  6. Nice story..You had me glued to the screen throughout...All the best for wow..

    1. Thanks a lot , Preethi :) Congrats on your WoW :)


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