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It was 12th November, 2020. The time was twelve (noon). A plan to go to Dibrugarh that day had already been made. But I didn't want to miss my classes either. So I accomplished my duty in early hours and freed myself for the day. After my class I drove back home with a halt at Simen Chapori for 10 to 15 minutes to sip a cup of coffee (an activity turning into a habit of late) at the bakery-cum-coffee house. There was plenty of time in my hand as we were supposed to set out to Dibrugarh after 1:30 and it would take only half an hour for me to reach home (Silapathar) even if I drove at 60km/h.  I resumed my journey. I was at 80km/h and the traffic population on the road was quite sparse. A car with district transport registration No. 06 was ahead of me and running in the same direction as mine. My car caught it within a few minutes. It might be at sixty or so. I watched ahead to the right. No vehicle was noticed plying from opposite direction. Then looking at the side mirrors I was ensured that no vehicle was behind me too. Giving a signal to the car in front of me, I accelerated a bit to overtake the car. As my car half-overtook the car, it, because of the reason unknown, turned to the right almost blocking my way. It was all in a fraction of a second. At that moment there was no other option left for me than pressing my brake and taking right turn to avoid hitting the car at its right side. My car swerved towards the right slope which would lead me to a ditch. Listening to the instant dictates of my intuition, I steered to the left again. With a great squeal of brakes my car swayed to the left and rolled down the slope like a toy car. Tied in the seat belt I rolled along with the steering firmly held in my horrified fingers. I could see a big boulder half-sunk in the swampy soil ahead. My car was lurching towards it. I could sense my end very close at hand. After completing one and half rolls, my car stopped in a pool of muddy water. I was expecting the completion of the second roll. But it came to a standstill halfway capsizing with the wheels towards the golden paddy field from where reapers were watching in petrifaction at my rolling car. Now I realized that I was alive, that the engine was still on, that the music system was playing Hindi songs of our days obediently. I switched it off. It silenced. I turned the key left and the engine stopped. I untied the seat belt. I was shocked to find myself alive and I wondered how I was not dead. My cell phone was in the mud. My hat that had been on my head a while ago was at my feet. I picked up both and looked for an exit to come out. The door on my right was stuck to the muddy ground. For a while I had lost my wit and failed to find where the left front door could be. Then my eyes looked up and saw that the left window was above me at that time and its glass was missing creating a sufficient passage for me to come out. Stepping on the steering I climbed to the broken window. When I protruded my mud-smeared head through the glassless window, I could see people getting congregated on the road very fast. Interestingly nobody ventured to wade through the muddy water to reach me or my car. Thinking that the soil farther from the pool would be a bit harder, I jumped from the right window. To my surprise, I sank to my knees in the quagmire, and losing my balance, my heap fell back with a soft thud. Soon I came out of the peat bog splotched top to toe with greyish mire. My horrified feet staggered towards the road which had by then been thronged with curious faces observing me with even more curious eyes.                                                                                                                                                                                             'How many more are there in the car?  ''Were you at the wheels?' 'Are you alright?  ''Thank God you are safe'  'How did it happen?'   I responded to some of the queries and ignored many. My eyes were busy searching for a known face. There I spotted Uttam (Uttam Parajuli), one of my distant cousins, a sincere social worker and a promising leader with a human heart. He stopped a car and took me to Dimow Charali, eventually leading me through passages between shops till we stopped at a bathroom. I washed and cleaned the mire off my body. By then Uttam had bought a trouser, a T-shirt, a vest and an undy for me. I changed. I extend my deep sense of gratitude to Uttam for his deep concern and timely help. My only elder brother, nephew Amardeep, cousins Tara and Roshan, my colleagues Shyam and Mr. Manoj Kumbang, My young friend Dakshya Boruah; Bijay Kr Pegu, one of my closest friends, my friend Golap Padun  and many others from different societies and social stratas had arrived at the spot by then. I thought I was lucky to have so many friends and well wishers.                                                                                                                                                                            A tractor was hired to pull out the car from the marsh. Shyam steered my car. I extend my deep sense of gratitude to Shyam too. The car was taken to the Dimow Police outpost. I breathed in solace. Leaving my car in the custody of the outpost, I moved homeward with Bijay Pegu and Shivshankar Padun. I thank my friends and well wishers for their help and support. But I couldn't sleep that night. I was haunted by the incident whole night.


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