It was 27th september 2011, yet another Tuesday with normal day and normal office life. I had the usual weekly client call. I started by 9.20 p.m. from office. My project colleague dropped me at the Velachery, MRTS Railway station. He wondered, at what time I would be reaching home. I made an approximate extimate and told him that I will be reaching home by 10.45 p.m in the worst case.
The train made it to Chindadripet station by 10.20 p.m and as usual I took my bike from the station parking lot and started my way back to home. It was here I made the first unusuall mistake. I forgot to turn on the bike headlights. I thought I could be able to reach home even before the time I estimated, But things turn out the other way.
Few thoughts were going though my mind. Just a day before, I visited my friend who was recovering from an unexpected road accident. So I decided to remain caution while I drive and made up my mind not to drive above 45kmph. As I expected, the roads were empty as it was already above 10 p.m.
Finally I reached, the Langs garden road, where this unexpected thing happened. There were two other two wheelers travelling by my side, one on my left and the other to my right. I was travelling at exactly the same speed as them. Neither did I overtook them, nor I tried to slowed down. Suddenly I spotted this big ditch ahead of my path. I know I can't stop as the road was a bit sloppy and trying to apply sudden break might be risky. I could not take a turn as I have vehicles on both my side. So I decided to get though the ditch. But to my surprise, the ditch was a bit deeper than I expected. Though the front wheel successfully crossed the ditch, the rear wheel skidded, and I lost balance & fell down instantly.
Blood starts oozing through my left hand. Both my shirt and pant were torn. As there were no nearby shops and the road was empty, I started again in my bike in hopes that I could reach home and clean up all the mess. But soon after I start, my legs started trembling. I stopped before a shop, and noticed that both my leg knees were badly hurt. I got some water packets from the shop, cleaned the wounds and called my brother for help. The rest is a big story. The funny part was, I finally reached home only by 11.30 p.m.
Today I started wondering how it all happened. I know I was driving with utmost caution but even then I was not able to stop the approching danger. I tried to recollect the sequence of events that led to this incident.
The first and foremost was, It was a Tuesday, which mean I had client call, and that I could only be able to start by 9.15 p.m. The later it gets, the lesser the traffic and so I will be travelling a bit faster than usual. I was travelling at around 40 kmph when I met with the accident. If I have started earlier , I could have never drove at such speed in that road because of traffic. So this was the first blow.
Next, I missed to turn on the head lights when I start driving from the parking lot. If I had the lights on, I might have got more chance of spotting the ditch from a distance. So this was the second event.
And there are two two wheelers travelling at the same speed as mine on either side, which prevented me from taking a sudden side turn. This was the third cause.
I could recollect, that just a day before, I refilled my bike tyre air pressure. The higher the tyre air pressure, lower is the surface area of contact of the tyre with the road and lower is the road grip and hence more chance of bike skidding. This was yet another hidden event behind the incident.
And above all, the most important cause was the big ditch in the middle of the main road. If there isn't a ditch, this incident coultn't have happened. The ditch may have appeared natually due to recent monsoon rain or because of some man made electrical or drainage work. In either case whether it was natural or man made, I am sure that, that ditch was surely a gateway to hell unless taken care of by the government.
Therefore this incident happened as a result of a sequence of unrelated events that happen at the same time as shown in the figure below. This doesn't mean that they are the only events responsible for this incident. Their could be millions of invisible events contributing to the occurence of the incident either directly or indirectly as subevents but only a few are visible and can be perceived by human mind.
Finally I wish to conclude saying that an incident happens as a result of countless, unrelated chain of events that occur at the same time, over which we might have very little contol or sometimes no control at all. Many a time, we used to get a feel that things are out of our hands and some external power is controlling us and deciding our forture. But we fail to realize that such external power were none other than the environment and people surrounding us. Just think about it.
Think !!! Decide !!! Think different !!!