It was a rainy day when the Kumars had set off on a tour to western ghats. The sweet family consisted of 7 people - Mr and Mrs Kumar, their two sons - Ajay who was 15 yrs old, Vijay around 12 yrs old, a cute little daughter tinku, who was in 2nd std and Mr Kumar's aged parents . The 7 of them were packed in a Qualis and started off. The journey was not very eventful or adventurous but normal. The only people who seemed to enjoy the travel were the aged parents of Mr.Kumar as this was the only time they had got to spend time with their grandchildren for they lived in a shimoga and the others in bangalore. The little girl was specially of interest as she entertained the grannys telling them cute lovely stories, singing songs and talked naughtily. And it was only her who seriously gave ears to the mythological stories that her grandparents narrated which others found it quite old for their age. The two guys were most of the time engrossed in cliquing pictures of the scenic beauty that the Ghats offered. Mrs Kumar occasionally conversed with others while most of the time, she was glued to magazines. Mr. Kumar slept peacefully amidst these people and it was "peacefull" coz it was after many years he was with his family touring, otherwise it was always office stuff that constantly kept him occupied.
Most of the first day was spent travelling when finally they reached the guesthouse around 7pm where they planned to settle that night. The next day they visited Horanadu, Shringeri and other temples, Agumbe and other tourist spots and it was a couple of hours before getting dark.
The kids were keenly interested to visit the beach as they had not seen one till then. In fact the children had agreed to come only after their father promised them that he'd take them to a beach. Mr.Kumar was skeptical if they really could enjoy it due to high tides in that season. Nevertheless, being a faithful father, he didn't want to disappoint the kids and kept up his promise.
As he anticipated, the scene was quite horrific as the sea was fierce with high tides and the roaring noise scared the kids. The beach was almost deserted except for a few fishermen here and there. The grandparents, and Mrs.Kumar preferred staying in the car while others went to the beach. The eldest was a bravo and ran towards the sea. He attempted getting his feet wet though the others insisted against it. Ajay asked his brother and sister to join which they did after a slight hesitation. Mrs.Kumar kept warning not to go far from the shore. The fact was that the shore was very narrow and moving towards the sea a few yards was actually getting them deep into the water. Ajay kept "playing" in the mighty sea but he never realised he was actually responding to the inviting waves into the sea. To others, he looked a few yards away, safe. The other two only let their feet wet and din't dare to move further. Mr.Kumar meanwhile took a stroll on the beach now and then halting to see if the kids were safe.
It had started getting dark and Mr.Kumar realised it was time to start their journey back home and gave a pack up call and turned towards where Ajay and others were playing. To his dismay, there was "nobody" ther. He was the "only" creature on the beach!!! He was shaken to death for a split second and started breathing hard. On top of his voice, he started shouting out the kids' names. When he got no response he felt stupified momentarily and it took him several minutes to regain conscious. He searched for them in every possible corner on the beach, behind the bushes, near the rocks but in vain. He lost his composure and stood gaping at the deserted beach and he felt as though the sea had calmed down suddenly and looked all gay after preying the victims. Tears began to fill his eyes and he silently walked towards where the car was parked in all hopes of finding them there. Maybe it was just a joke, maybe it was yet another prank of those kids, or just hoped they had survived the death that was so close.
When he reached the car, his "hopes" turned sour. There were no kids there. Mrs Kumar was relieved to see him back and insisted that he and others get into the car so that they started their return journey soon. When he was about to break the news of "missing kids", he saw something flashy and glowing a few yards down the road. He walked towards it, and as he did so, he got a clearer view of the road as it was pitch dark now. As he neared it, he could hear the sound of a water stream. The other side of the road was the "not so thick" forest and so he was pushed towards the sound he heard but he saw no lights now. He thought it was just his imagination and turned back to return when suddenly the place was illuminated with torch and candle lights and there were the 3 kids who started to sing the "birthday song". Mr.Kumar strongly felt he was dreaming and he wanted to end it. But it was happening and he now rememered it was his "birthday" and wondered how unpleasant a surprise can be!!! He was very happy to see the kids again and hugged them kissed them and told them never to play such a prank ever again on him. The others joined them and they all winked at each other to have made Mr.Kumar the birthday bakra!!! They went back to where the car was parked and cut the cake and Mr.Kumar felt this excitement would last forever.
They started back to bangalore and everyone were speaking together about this plan and how hard they had worked to make it successful. As the car was crossing a hairpin bend, a truck from the opposite side hit the car and a loud "thud". That was the last thing that Mr.Kumar's family heard. There was a slight jerk and the car started moving backward off the road, down the hills, freely suspended in air for a few feet and another "thud" of the car resting on uneven land a few 100 meters down!!!
The grandparents were dead on the spot. Ajay the bravo fights hard for breath and gives up, Mrs.Kumar dies of a bad head injury, tinku and vijay bleed badly and are dead crushed in the car and Mr.Kumar left with injuries in a soporific state. Chasms of grief engulfed him and the birthday song kept ringing in his ears. Being the only survivor amongst them, Mr.Kumar goes into a state of trauma and recovers only after 6-8 months of rigorous/timely treatment.
What a tragedy it was!!! The "ACT OF DYING" come true!!! Its one of the true stories i have heard. Just imagine the pain that Mr.Kumar would have gone through. Dear friends, can you imagine anything worse happening than such an incident? Can there be anythin at all that leaves you with so much pain and a churn in your stomach? I bet anyone wouldn't want this to happen even to their deadliest foes. Sometimes i wonder how can God be sooo cruel. Taking off so many lives in matter of few minutes!!! May be this is HIS way of cost cutting through recession!!!