Dominos Effect: The Phone Call That Set Off An Accident

Posted: January 14, 2019

Sometimes, life hits you in strange ways, and you can’t make head or tail of it. Is there a domino effect behind this thing we call daily life?

The phone buzzed for the nth time. Supreena, the heartthrob of the nation, answered the call.

“What sweets, I have been calling you like a million times. Why don’t you pick up?” The caller complained cutely.

Supreena sighed. “I am not in the best of moods okay. A girl is allowed to drown in her sadness da.”

“What happened?” The caller’s interest was now piqued.

“The usual! I turn a year older on 1st Jan. The nation knows that. Yesterday, one of the superheroes asked me to audition for his older sister’s role. Just imagine the cheek! He has forgotten I was the heroine of his last blockbuster. The word has already spread and today I had two more calls offering similar roles. It is so depressing dude! Why do only women age while the men seem to get younger by the hour? I flew into the gaon to hide. I don’t want face life now.”

“Don’t be stupid. We will party like there is no tomorrow. I am not taking a ‘No’ for an answer. I’m texting you the address. It is a private farm. We will bring in your birthday in style. See ya!”

The caller disconnected and the happier Diva got busy dressing.

****************************************************************

“Dad. Please stay home this time. It is my birthday tomorrow. Let us celebrate the new year’s eve together this time. I am going away for further studies in a few months. God knows when the four of us will be together again. Why do you have to be so duty conscious always? There are others too, who can pitch in! You choose family this time, please for my sake.” The teenaged Rahul pleaded with his police officer father.

“That is not the right attitude, my dear son. What if everybody thought the same way? We would have none who would take the responsibility. Around 15 thousand of my fellow police personnel are on duty to make sure that NCR is safe. If my name is on the on-duty list, I cannot shirk, because the right attitude percolates from the very top. I will try my best Rahul. Be with you as soon as I can. Save a piece of the cake for me. Love you, child.” The father ruffled his son’s hair and set off to his station.

********************************************************************

“Padma, I have told the hospital not to disturb me. Not today, because I have plans with my dear daughter. So, is the evening date of us watching your favourite movie and then having dinner together, on?” Dr. Ratna, a specialist Surgeon with a five-star hospital asked her daughter as they had their breakfast.

“Momma. Promise me you won’t ditch this time? You will be with me throughout? It is my birthday tomorrow.” The young Padma asked innocently.

“Of course, dear girl. It’s a promise” Dr. Ratna hugged her child tightly.

The day rolled on.

***********************************************************************

Supreena was sloshed to the gills as she blew the candles on her birthday cake. Just then the superhero’s call came, wishing her a happy birthday and asking her about the sister’s role that he had offered. Supreena spat expletives into her phone, slammed it to the ground, grabbed her car and revved up the engine. Soon enough, she reached one of the barriers set up by the police. One of the policemen asked her to take the breath analyzer test. Supreena refused, threw a tantrum and was about start her SUV.

Sensing trouble, the policeman rang his superior. Seeing the commotion, a crowd soon gathered, started closing on Supreena’s car and clicking with their mobiles. A panicky Supreena backed up and tried to speed up on the opposite lane, only to bang into an oncoming car; one of whose occupants was Rahul’s Dad, who was taking rounds of the roads.

As Padma cuddled up with her momma and lay contented, Dr. Ratna’s phone rang, asking her to report at the hospital immediately. The case was very sensitive and it needed Dr. Ratna’s expertise. It involved a movie star and a high ranking police official. Sure, they had been told not to disturb her but lives were at stake.

Sighing deeply, Dr. Ratna got ready while Padma cried bitterly at being ditched again while Rahul stood stoically at his home, clutching the phone, gamely holding on to his tears.

It was merely a domino effect. Just that!

Who set it off?

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Anupama Jain is the author of 'When Padma Bani Paula', a breezy novel about second

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