Experience help man to become strong and brave. He becomes capable to ward off fears and troubles. I too faced an incident which changed my nature and perspective of life.
We were on a vacation to the Lakshadweep Islands. We boarded the great cruise ship “ queen of waves” on tenth of July, around five in the morning. I was extremely thrilled and ecstatic since it was my first journey by a ship. The ship left the harbor and started our long journey of fifteen days from Hoogly to the islands of Lakshadweep and Minicoy. Little did we know what fate had in store for us.
For two days, all was well. We passed our time in the ship pools and restaurants. Outside the sea was blue and glittering under the sun. We were moving fast and while standing on the deck, cold salty air ripped our faces. It was beautiful with blue water all around and blue sky leaning to take a drink. On thirteenth July, from mid – afternoon , a gale arose which took the shape of a huge storm. Waves crashed upon our ship and we felt as if we have boarded the cursed ship “ Titanic”. As if on cue, there was a sudden jolt and a panic stricken cry was heard. Someone cried,’ the ship has crashed with a submerged rock and is now sinking’.
A great deal of commotion began. Ladies started crying, some started to pray. Babies were panicked and hid behind their mothers. And the men were unable to control the situation. Every one was running to and fro to save their lives. The ship had a number of life boats and choppers to carry the passengers to a safe place. I didn’t know what has happened to my family. There was confusion all around. By the time I reached the deck, I found all the life boats gone and there was no choppers. I and a few more people were destined to die on that sinking ship.
Its one thing to see a movie or read a story of a shipwreck, but its completely another thing to feel it yourself. When Titanic was released, people were awe struck by it, but only the ones who had faced such a situation could related with the people dying in that movie. I too felt somewhat like that. I just wished the safety of my family. I hoped they had boarded the choppers and left the cursed ship. Luckily I found a life jacket. I overcame my despair and took it and jumped into the warm waters.
I didn’t know how long I swam, but when my eyes opened, I found myself lying on a sandy beach with waves hitting my placid body. Tears of happiness streaked out my eyes. I thanked God for saving my life. I didn’t know what happened to the rest of the people trapped there. Probably they too were saved by some magical interference. Its better to keep positive hope than getting frustrated thinking about the harsh reality. I didn’t know where I was so I started to walk deeper within. After walking for some time, with a hungry rumbling stomach, I couldn’t find another soul. Neither I could find any animal to satiate my hunger nor any human to get solace.
I felt with Robinson Crusoe myself. First it was Titanic and then it was Robinson. Why the hell were all movies and books coming alive? I tore my hair in frustration. I hadn’t eaten a morsel past two days, my brain was bursting in pain and my stomach growled in anger. I was thirsty , dirty, and hungry. I climbed a small hillock and to my tragic surprise I found it was a tiny atoll. I should have died on the sea with other people. At least I wouldn’t have to face such dire consequences of being alive. There were wild berry and a few coconut trees. I didn’t care if the berries were poisoned or not. I had some. A few coconuts were lying on the earth quenched my thirst. I cried to God and lamented on my condition. I passed two days in that horrific place. No shelter, no food except berries, and no one to talk. Depression and fear grappled me and I couldn’t even sleep at night. Darkness in that small atoll was like a demon trying to take hold. My condition was so critical that I couldn’t even close my eyes in fear. I almost lost my sanity. I realized Robinson Crusoe was fake. Nobody in their right minds would be able to stay twenty seven years in solitude. I couldn’t even stay two days.
On the third day. I gathered enough strength to collect some dry leaves and twigs. I tried my best to lit a fire in the primitive way. It long a long time. But at last , I succeeded. Maybe I had done some good karma in my life, because a passing rescue helicopter noticed the smoke. I was rescued from that hellish island.
One might say,’ what an adventure you had!’. But I myself know what I had faced there. Your soul would be tested and no matter how much brave you are, you would be bound to break. Till now whenever I think of those nights, whenever I think of those monstrous waves, and those dark trees leaning upon me as if to bid farewell to my soul ,I get Goosebumps! Serious Goosebumps!