So I’m here, my foot pressed on the clutch, gear- ready to move, slightly revving, waiting for clearance at the traffic signal. The front vehicle clears and I get an orange and I know I can get through to the other end without a ticket but just as I spring into action and move forward, the traffic on my left heads straight for me, I swerve to the right to avoid hitting that bike that is heading squarely to my left, seemingly oblivious to the danger. All I can hear in that split second, is a terrible thud, honks blaring, brakes screeching and people gathering around the car in a frenzy.
I knew I was safe, Babu Bhaiyyah sitting next to me was in one piece but I dreaded to look behind and check on the status of things I was a meter away from. I could feel the pulse beating frantically, my heart doing double takes or what felt like long trapeze jumps with breathless spans in between each beat.
No one was hurt.
That is what I’d craved to hear, my teeth stopped chattering as much, the motor cyclist came and gave an amused quizzical look of inquiry at me. The policeman couldn’t care less, the traffic signal was recently set at that stop and they had gotten the timings wrong, so these brushes were reaching a count of hundred since the installation. The local crowd were mostly youth who wanted to firstly, preserve the fragility of a woman’s state of mind, that being moi. They kept shooing away the spectators while they themselves stood around and chatted with me politely, while there were others who were plain pigs. They snorted about women driving ANYTHING. I did roll my eyes as I continued to shake.
Babu Bhaiyyah was truly gentlemanly about the whole thing, he ironed out the wrinkles, paid off for the necessary repairs and we left the the motorcyclist grinning on the sidewalk just short off waving us goodbye. SubhanAllah! Indeed Allah SWT is the Greatest! He takes care of all our affairs in the most minutest of details that are far, far, far beyond our grasp.
I replayed every split second of that incident through out my drive back to Bangalore like some obsessed director who wanted to orchestrate everything finitely. I picked apart the incident like pieces of a puzzle, reshuffled this and that and wondered how things could’ve been different. He could’ve been killed, na’oodhubillah, either one of us would’ve been hurt unimaginably, so many other horrifying things could have ended this story differently, but that’s where Allah SWT is indeed Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem.
I remember making this du’a before leaving, “Ya Rabbi, protect us from our own follies and from others’ follies”. I also learnt a lesson that has left me faltering for ground in the alternating dimensions of paradigmatic shifts. I always wondered at the nature of that person during the time of the beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) who was guaranteed paradise on account of his nature to forgive everybody at the end of the day without an ounce of resentment in his heart. I asked this dua, hoping I’d be affected by it by Allah- Al-Aleem’s, Al-Hadi’s directions in my everyday affairs.
“Allahumma waslul sakheemata sadri”
“Oh Allah cleanse my heart of resentment”
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, was I holding the resentment I was shamefully aware of holding against so many of my family, friends for their little faults, quirks, eccentricities? No.
Everything just faded into a blank canvas of need. Need for their support, need for their understanding, need for them to be around and just plain, need for lives to go on as they are. I’d gladly run to that as if it were a true blessing. All their faults seemed absurd in comparison to , be it the unintended mistake of being responsible for a person’s death. It made me seem petty and small. I’m certain that this is not the way in which everybody learns to let go off resentment but I learnt it this way.
I returned home and my hugs were full of gratitude, I felt my smiles towards those people of afore faults blooming into genuine pleasure, the feeling of guilt that kicked in every time they were surprised by my lack of inhibitions. I can’t change how they are, I can change how I want to be in this world and how I want to be in the next, bi’idhnillah.