July 26, 2005 – Mumbai, Marol Naka, 3.30 in the evening – it had been raining heavily for a while then. There was a power shut down in our office and some of us thought it’s better to try and get home before the local trains stop plying. It wasn’t an uncommon scene in Mumbai for the local trains’ service to be shut down due to heavy rainfall.

We got out of office thinking it was one of those routine heavy rains. Little did we know the adventure that was awaiting us. When we stepped out, there was water till our knees. I was slightly panicking because that was my first experience of Mumbai’s heavy rain. But my colleague was reassuring. So, we began walking. In about half hour, the water level began steadily rising and it was now till my waist. Another half hour or less and the water level rose till my neck. By now, the slight panic had grown into a massive fear. I had no idea what to do. We wanted to get into any building on the sides but we couldn’t.  The current was strong and we couldn’t distinguish between the gutter and the gate. One wrong step and we could be swept away in the water. Frozen with fear, I was holding on to a lorry. One of the men helped me to get on to a bus for safety.

As we sat in the bus we noticed that water was getting into the bus as well. The fellow passengers decided that we should try our luck and walk to Andheri station while there was still light. They spoke of the danger of getting stuck in deep water through a dark night. Petrified, I approached a tall man and sought his help to walk through the water. He agreed graciously. We walked and walked for hours. If it was not for the people who pulled me by my hand and hair, I would’ve been swept away in the water for sure for the number of times I slipped. Death and I encountered a few times that evening! Miraculously, after many hours of ordeal and thanks to many good Samaritans, I made it to my guardian’s place, at about 10 in the night. My aunt was shocked to see me. She couldn’t believe that I made it in that heavy rain somehow. My parents breathed a sigh of relief when they knew I was some place safe.

I sat down, and I could still feel the water current passing through my body. I cried for about an hour. I couldn’t believe I had survived. It was a miracle! In those moments, when I thought death was just around the corner, I had only one wish – to bid a final goodbye to my parents. I did not have anything left unsaid or undone. I was happy with the way I had lived my life and had no regrets. All I thought was – God! Couldn’t you think of another nicer way for me to die?

Today, when I look back, that is the most profound experience. I realized that we have not come with a guarantee tag like a Prestige pan. Our life might end anytime. What if this was the last time I’d be meeting someone? Would I be any different? The answer to that has always been a yes! And so, I choose to celebrate excellence, of life, others and self. Life is too short to be worrying or angry. If this was my last day, all I want is to be happy. I love living life fully – for who knows when might be the last moment. The last time I shared this experience in my training, one of the delegates went home and broke a 10 year silence with her co-sister. Happiness is a choice! Living this moment happily becomes just as important as planning for the next.

Breathe fully! Live fully! 🙂

12 Replies to “Living life fully!”

  1. Profound thoughts.
    Inspiring…Living life fully!

  2. Narmada,
    First of all, I am so happy that you survived. If not, I wouldn’t have met a friend like you. I would 100% agree that we never know what’s gonna happen next moment. Your experience is going to change many people’s perspective about life. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very well Written Narmada. I have heard this mumbai incident from you before also, but this blog is so impactful. Loved it…Cheers to you & positivity you create.

  4. very touching story….. i am so glad that you survived to share this…. i am sure you are going to make everyday count ..

  5. Praveena 9 years ago

    That’s a wonderful thought! I keep telling my husband, whatever it may be, never stop talking 2 me. U might not know what happens next…. So v get into fights but never stop talking….Everyone should follow this……

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Appreciate it:-)



    As I view your narration, I develop a wonderful sense of self-awareness. Your words say a lot to me!

    “What if this was the last time I’d be meeting someone? Would I be any different?”
    “…for who knows when might be the last moment”

    Things seem to calm down in my mind. The internal bickering starts settling, in particular with regard to my loved ones and my close friends.

    Living each day, this way, gives a great sense of purpose and a feeling of completeness, when the day ends. And when the next day dawns (by chance…), it sounds like a virtual rebirth – a day of great opportunity to settle equations with every remaining person in my life and move towards a “greater fulfillment”. Finally when death peeks around the corner, I would love to see my bygone days stacked one over the other, each supersaturated with the completeness of life.

    Ego and Prejudices give way to moments of “Great Opportunity to connect with people in the best way” Thank you Madam.

    1. thank you so much Doc. As always, your thoughts and comments are much appreciated. 🙂

  7. Sathya Subramani 8 years ago

    Dear Mam,

    Really very nice to read and also its spreading the positivity. Thanks for your post for inspire and make us to think in the same way.

    1. thank you Sathya! 🙂

  8. Read your life time experience. Lesson the life teaches are profound. I will share to my near and dear. Worth sharing. Thanks.
    Death comes once only in a life time and its always uninvited. So, I agree to live the life fully every moment.
    How to live fully is always a discovery process that happens every day and it can become better when approached consciously and by learning continuously.

    1. Thank you 🙂

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