Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Narrow Escape

I had a really narrow escape today. There was a bandh in Kolkata, and I was walking to office. In the meantime, the monsoons decided to arrive last night, so it was drizzling as I walked under my umbrella. When I am about halfway there, it suddenly became dark as night and the sky opened up. The rain was flying from all directions, the wind would not allow me to hold my umbrella and visibility dropped to a few feet. Still, finding no place to stand, I kept walking. Besides, I had some important work to do at the office.

There were flashes of lightning, and as usual, I counted the seconds between the lightning and thunder to judge the distance of the discharge. When I was in front of my office, suddenly there was a flash - a flash brighter than any that I had ever seen, and it was not followed by but accompanied by the loudest thunderclap that I had ever heard. And while this was happening, I realised with horror that small electric discharges were taking place between my fingers and the steel rod of my umbrella!

It took me a fraction of a second to shift my hand to the plastic part of the handle and lower the umbrella. And when I did lower the umbrella, I saw that the same flash of lightning was still playing across the sky overhead. I ducked instinctively and realised it was unnecessary; the show was over.

I was badly scared. My palpitation increased and throat became so dry that I started coughing. However these symptoms also signified that I was still alive, and had narrowly escaped a very unusual way to die. I rushed indoors, to be faced with a different kind of bolt from the blue, but that's another story.

[And yes, post(s) on Puri will follow soon. I was not getting time to upload the photos. Now they are ready.]


  1. bhoye amar e gala sukiye kath hoye galo, sudhu pore,tumi tai tarpareo chhatar plastike hat diyechho, ami hole sudhu bhoy peyei sense less hoye jetam. ami purir chhobi dekhbo bole khule dekhi ei ghatona. baba JAGARANATHA raksha korechhen.

  2. wow! Good to know you are safe and sound.

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