There was this uneasy feeling since the morning of that day. There was ennui that there was going to be some kind of (mis)adventure, something in the wings that is waiting to happen. My days at work last couple of weeks were so hectic that I naturally attributed that I must be over-thinking about something and that is why I was having a feeling like that. There was a last minute touch to that day’s office presentation that needed to be made, breakfast had to be fixed; children had to be got ready for school and dropped before I could report for work that day. On any other day, Alex readied them for school and dropped them till I could set the house right, line the dishes in the washer and get ready for work.
Back to work for him:
Alex was reporting to work after a gap of two years which he took to hone his personal and academic skills. I was happy for him that he got what he worked for but I missed him because my schedule was haywire and I had no time to fit in everything!
To school first:
I started the car and pulled on to the road. School was about a mile and half away. The kids were buckled up. One look at the rear seats and I was set. We reached school in ten minutes. One milestone completed, I thought to myself. There was only quarter of an hour more for me to report at work. I started the engine but was jerked with a loud noise that almost shook me. My windshield had cracked! OMG!!
I took at least thirty seconds to understand what had happened. Pulling the car to the side and I got down to examine. There was a dead bird lying just under the car's hood. I looked up and around and presumed that it must have hit something and dropped down trying to escape a predator or it would have fallen off a predator's mouth. The real issue was that my windshield was damaged beyond repair or so that is what I thought!
Thank God that the kids were dropped at school. I was trying to think about the options that I had. But before that I called up office explaining the situation to them and telling them that I would report late for work. Smith from the Personnel Department took my call and instinctively I asked him what should be my next step.
. Smith was also my college mate and my senior. He unhesitatingly told me to go in for windshield repair. He said that if the crack was not too big, I could be lucky to have it repaired and save the trouble of replacement. Okay, this was my first time:
They say, if taken in the right spirit, even mistakes and accidents can teach you a lot. And this small little accident taught me so much about windshields. So, while I contacted the guys at the website, I browsed to read up on windshields. Amazingly, I came to know so much about this sheet of glass and the thought and the technology that goes into manufacturing and fitting them on to our automobiles, I mean this was something that you and I (unless you knew about it of course) always take for granted!
I was surprised when I realized that the windshield did not need a complete replacement. There was a spider web cracking on it and the personnel from the company that I contacted said that it was something that could be repaired and made; I was so relieved. The cost estimate was within my budget and I immediately asked him to go for it. I left the car at their workshop and took a cab to work. As promised, I get a call in four hours saying that the car is ready. Whoa! That means I can drive it back home. I had already informed Alex about the accident and requested him to pick up the kids while on his way back.
My take away from this:
I learnt a couple of lessons that day. First was that I must never panic whatever the situation. Panic can turn off your thinking and you can end up making wrong decisions. Second, was that when you are behind the wheel you must have the knowhow of dealing with any kind of exigencies. It helps to have a list of important numbers and website addresses of rescue services personnel. It is always better to be prepared than stranded and sorry!