December 15th1986 – the 349th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. The doctor had confirmed his wife would deliver within the year. 16 days remained. The day was Monday and he was set to leave for home when the phone rang. He was asked to attend a Director’s meeting at the South end of the city. The clock struck 6.00 Upset at the late call, he knew he had to attend.
The meeting concluded at 9.00 pm. He wished all present a ‘Good Night’ and rushed to the railway station. As he got to the platform he saw a train about to leave. He rushed and got aboard. The hour was late, so seeing a less than full compartment was no surprise. He had a full hour to go by to reach his destination. Half an hour later in the midst of a nap, he felt a tap on his shoulder. The train had reached its destination and was headed for the yard. He quickly disembarked and blamed himself for not having checked the destination of this train. As he stood tired and forlorn on the platform, he saw a fast local heading for the next platform. Wanting to get home ASAP, he ran across the bridge till he was at the door of the first class compartment. The compartment was jammed with passengers, and no one was willing to budge. Not wanting to let go off this train, he decided to stand on the ledge, which is a small foot strip at the far end of the coach with two handle bars. Many a time he had seen dare devils stand on the ledge. The journey would not be more than twenty minutes. So he stood on the ledge with his briefcase straddled between his legs.
The train left the platform with a powerful thrust and then the nightmare began. As it picked speed, the ‘G’ forces thrust him on a centrifugal path; he could feel the wind push his briefcase in tangent. His legs felt numb, his hands held the handlebar as he clung to dear life. The next two stations had whizzed by. He only had to cling on to dear life for a few more minutes and his destination would have arrived. The next few minutes seemed like eternity. His head started spinning and blood seemed to shoot up his brain as his legs began to wobble. He was losing grip on the handle bar and kept missing the electric poles as the wind brushed his rear. He could now see the angel of death smile. He did not want to meet her so soon. He pleaded with her. She just kept smiling. It was then he said if there is a God, then I pray this angel meet me after I have seen the face of my newborn.
‘Won’t cry when the time comes for I’ve lived a wonderful life.’
He did not know what happened next. It seemed he was standing in the rain for a long time as the spray struck face. His first word on gaining consciousness was ‘Where am I’. Lying on the floor he saw a hundred faces stare at him, he remembered his prayer ‘If there is a God, save me’. A shiver ran down his spine. Six days later a son was born to him and he named him after his god.